Game 49: LAA vs. NYY — #TanakaTime overrides Angelic hopes in rubber match

Despite whatever happened last night, the Yankees were able to shake it off and come back this afternoon for a series win.

Masahiro Tanaka actually had a pretty decent outing today in the series finale against the Angels. He threw a whopping 104 pitches in 6 innings, gave up 3 hits, 3 walks, and just 1 run, and struck out 8 batters. The lone allowed run was a 1-out solo home run in the 6th inning.

The Yankees faced off against the Angels’ starter they certainly beat the last time they were in Anaheim. In April, he only made it into the 2nd inning, and today, he threw into the 3rd before they went to their bullpen. That’s because the Yankees launched a big rally in that inning that made the difference in the game.

Aaron Judge led-off with a strong single and moved to 2nd on a wild pitch. Gary Sanchez worked a 1-out walk, and another wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. But then Didi Gregorius worked his own walk to load the bases. Aaron Hicks worked yet another walk for this inning that scored Judge to get the Yankees on the board.

That would be it for the Angels’ starter. It’s pretty clear the Yankees have his number, which is weird because he’s actually a decent starter most of the time (though these 2 games against the Yankees have wrecked his average). And he was celebrating his birthday today, so that’s not exactly the greatest birthday gift. (Though to be fair I have a terrible 30th birthday story too. Maybe it’s actually more common and why everyone hates turning 30.)

Anyway, with a new reliever on the mound for the Angels, just 1 out, and the bases loaded, the Yankees weren’t quite done. Greg Bird was hit by a pitch and that scored Sanchez and kept those bases loaded. Then Miguel Andujar hit into a short grounder and fielder’s choice to 2nd for the out there, which allowed Gregorius to score the Yankees final run.

After that, the Yankees collected base runners but without the satisfaction of any further runs scored. The Angels’ bullpen certainly has had mixed results this weekend, and today’s combination of relievers helped keep the game close. The Yankees had similar success with their bullpen. Robertson, Betances, and Chapman had a strong final third of the game, breezing through their individual innings, a much stronger showing than many of them in previous games recently. And that was enough to keep the Angels to that lone run.

Final score: 3-1 Yankees, Yankees win series 2-1

Next up: the Yankees will host the Astros for 3 games starting Monday before heading down to Baltimore for a 4-game weekend series and then over to Detroit for a make-up doubleheader from April.

Before the game today, while it was rather soggy outside in the Bronx, the Yankees hosted a fun community event for local kids called Pitch, Hit & Run, a partnership with MLB and local communities to promote youth baseball nationwide. Twenty-four kids (ages 7-14) on the local championship team got to come to the Stadium early for special events this morning.

Normally, this events takes place on the Yankees infield, but because of the rain, the kids got a modified tour, practiced their pitching in the Grand Concourse, and then took some batting practice (sans the “running” part for safety reasons) on the field across the street (where the old stadium was). The kids were then invited to the game as special guests of the Yankees and got to see a pretty good game.

Go Yankees!

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