JA Happ had a great outing in this middle game of the weekend series in San Francisco. He threw 95 pitches in 7 scoreless innings, giving up just 5 hits and striking out just 2 batters. He set the pace for the Yankees to dominate most of this afternoon’s game. And he was supported by some great moments of the Yankee offense.
Maybin worked a walk to lead-off the 3rd inning, moved to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt out, and then scored on DJ LeMahieu’s single. In the 5th, Maybin and Estrada singled. Being a NL game, Happ got a few at-bats tonight, including hitting a bunt fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners. LeMahieu’s walk loaded up the bases.
Luke Voit was hit by a pitch, which walked in Estrada. Then with just 1 out and the bases loaded, Gary Sanchez stepped up and smacked his first career grand slam deep into the left field seats under today’s sunny skies. Fortunately, that ended up being the extra cushion the Yankees needed by the end of the game.
Luis Cessa came on in relief of Happ with a great 8th inning but started to falter in the 9th. He gave up consecutive singles to kick off the inning. A fielder’s choice put runners in the corners that would score on a solid 3-run home run. After another out, Cessa gave up a solo home run.
Unable to find that 3rd out, the Yankees called in Aroldis Chapman to close out the game for a quick 4-pitch save to shut down the Giants’ attempt at a last-minute rally.
Final score: 6-4 Yankees
It’s worth noting that in addition to being Gary Sanchez’s first career grand slam, it was also the longest grand slam ever hit in the Statcast era (an MLB tracking system since 2015), coming in at 467 feet. It was also his 7th home run of the season so far, even going on the IL for a bit.
Plus, the Yankees have now won 10 of their last 12 games, including 5 of the 6 games on this road trip. Again, I keep going back to how many amazing players are on the IL, and yet the Yankees really pull together and win more often than not.