Game 124: CLE vs. NYY — #TanakaTime & Gardy’s Grab FTW

*Note: FTW is an online acronym for “for the win”. I feel like someone out there needs to know that before we dive into today’s post.

After last night’s rough start for the Yankees, they were looking to turn the tables on the visiting Indians. So they called on Masahiro Tanaka to right the ship, and Tanaka came through. He threw 83 pitches into the 7th inning, gave up 4 hits and 2 runs, and struck out 2 Cleveland batters. His allowed runs were 1-out solo home runs in the 2nd and 7th innings.

After he gave up that 7th inning homer, he also allowed a double. So with that threat on base, the Yankees opted for reliable Kahnle for a quick 2 strikeouts to get out of the inning. Then Britton and Chapman followed suit with scoreless innings a piece to close out the game. And in more than one instance, the Yankees relied on their fantastic defense to save the day — like Brett Gardner’s snazzy grab at the wall in the 8th inning.

Meanwhile, the offense gave Tanaka and the bullpen some cushion to work with. With 1 out in the 1st, Judge singled, moved to 2nd on Urshela’s single, and advanced to 3rd on on Gregorius’ fielder’s choice. A pair of singles by Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres scored Judge and Gregorius to put the Yankees on the board first. Then, in the 5th, with 2 outs, Judge doubled and scored on Gio Urshela’s single and a fielding error for the insurance run they needed in the end.

Final score: 3-2 Yankees

Roster moves/Scranton Shuttle: Before today’s game, the Yankees moved some of their pitchers around on that Scranton Shuttle. They optioned Chance Adams and outrighted Joe Mantiply and Brady Lail back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. And they recalled new Yankee Ryan Dull from Scranton to help with the bullpen in that regular “fresh arm” category.

Injury update: Luke Voit has been out of the lineup for over 2 weeks with a sports hernia. The worry was that he might have to get surgery on it, but with recent days being rather pain-free, Voit has been cleared to resume on-field work outs with AAA Scranton next week. As long as things remain good, he could be back with the team during the West Coast trip at the earliest or when the Yankees are back home.

Go Yankees!

Game 121: BAL vs. NYY — 15 straight wins against the O’s

The Yankees continued their dominance over the Orioles in tonight’s game, their third of this 4-game mid-week series. Domingo German got the start and had a pretty great outing tonight. He threw 93 pitches in 7 innings, gave up 5 hits, a walk, and 2 runs, and struck out 7 Baltimore batters to earn the win. His allowed runs were a pair of solo home runs, a lead-off one in the 4th and a 1-out one in the 5th.

Adonis Rosa came on in relief of German for the final 2 innings of the game. He made his MLB debut and got to throw his first MLB strikeout tonight. He continued a pretty good outing, his only allowed hit was a 1-out solo home run in the 9th.

The Yankees’ bats were on a roll once again against the Orioles’ pitching staff, starting early with DJ LeMahieu’s solo home run to lead-off the 1st inning. In the 2nd, Torres led-off with a walk, and Gregorius’ double put them in scoring position to do so on Cameron Maybin’s single.

With 1 out in the 4th, Romine singled and Tauchman walked. After another out, Aaron Judge’s double scored both runners. The Orioles decided that was enough for their starter, but Gio Urshela’s singled home Judge and Gary Sanchez’s double scored Urshela. Maybin worked a 1-out walk, moved to 2nd on a wild pitch, advanced to 3rd on a fly out, and then scored on Mike Tauchman’s double. Though Tauchman ended up getting thrown out trying to get to 3rd.

Final score: 8-3 Yankees

Roster moves: The Yankees made some big moves fine-tuning their roster. They activated pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga from the 60-day injured list, the reliever ready to contribute after a long-stint on the IL recovering from right shoulder strain back in May. To make room, they designated Joe Mantiply for assignment and then optioned him back to AAA Scranton.

Speaking of Scranton, the Yankees also optioned Brady Lail and Breyvic Valera back there, and they released pitcher Daniel Camarena. They also selected the contract of Adonis Rosa to pitch into tonight’s game and then optioned him back to Scranton after the game.

And yes, the Yankees have won all 15 of their last 15 games against the Orioles. After dropping the first 2, they certainly picked things up and ran with it. They’ve got one more game tomorrow to see if their winning streak can continue and make it to 16.

Go Yankees!

Games 119 & 120: BAL vs. NYY — Double the Monday power of Torres

The Yankees start their home stand and this series against the Orioles with a doubleheader, the first game a make-up of the rain out game from May 14 to close out that series. And the Yankees continue to dominate their division rivals, this team in particular thanks to the “Oriole Killer” Gleyber Torres.

Game 1 (make up of May 14)
James Paxton got the start for the afternoon game of today’s doubleheader. He threw 107 pitches through 6 innings, gave up 5 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs, and struck out 7 Baltimore batters. In the 1st, a lead-off single moved to 2nd on a grounder and then to 3rd on a single before scoring on a sacrifice fly to get the O’s on the board first. A 2-out solo homer in the 3rd and a 1-out solo home run in the 6th capped off the allowed runs under “Big Maple” today.

Kahnle sailed his way through the 7th inning, but Luis Cessa had an unexpected rough patch in the 8th inning. He quickly loaded up the bases with 2 singles and a walk. A simple grounder moved all the runners up and scored another run for the visitors. And another walk loaded the bases again. That was it for Cessa’s outing.

Zack Britton came in to try to stop the threat. After a strong strikeout, he gave up a walk that scored one more run for the Orioles before he got the final out in the 8th. Chapman breezed his way to his 32nd save with a 9-pitch 9th inning.

The Yankee offense, however, came ready to play. In the bottom of the 1st, Gardner led-off with a walk, moving to 2nd on a slow fielder’s choice that Urshela hit into and made it safely to 1st. Didi Gregorius then smacked a big 3-run home run to leap the Yankees ahead on the scoreboard. After an out, Gleyber Torres smacked a big solo home run.

In the 2nd, with 2 outs, Gardner doubled and then scored on Gio Urshela’s double. Urshela kept things rolling with a 1-out solo home run in the 5th. Cameron Maybin got in on the fun with a 2-out solo home run in the 6th. And with 1 out in the 7th, Gardner worked a walk, advanced to 3rd on Urshela’s single, and then scored on Gregorius’ sacrifice fly.

Final score: 8-5 Yankees (the May 13-15 series closes with a Yankees sweep 3-0)

Game 2 (regularly scheduled game)
The Yankees went to their “opener style” with their now usual opener Chad Green, who quickly breezed through his 4 outs with just 11 pitches. Then new Yankee Joe Mantiply got in some long-term relief, pitching into the 5th. His lone allowed runs were in the 3rd, when a lead-off triple scored on a ground out. And a 2-out single scored as part of a 2-run home run.

Brady Lail came in for the next shift on the mound, closing out the 5th and pitching through the 7th, and he had his own issues. But only at the end. He gave up a lead-off walk and a single that scored as part of a 3-run home run before getting out of the inning and the game.

Nestor Cortes Jr had a clean 8th inning, but he tripped up a bit trying to close out the 9th. But he loaded up the bases with 3 singles with just 1 out, so the Yankees turned to Adam Ottavino. But he gave up a single that scored 2 of those runners before getting the final 2 outs of the game.

And honestly, that would sound like terrible news, but the Yankees continued their offensive dominance from the earlier game right from the start. LeMahieu led-off the 1st with a single, and 1 out later, the bases were loaded with singles from Urshela and Torres. Brett Gardner’s solid triple cleared the bases and leap-frogged into the lead.

In the 2nd, with 1 out, Breyvic Valera singled and moved to 2nd on LeMahieu’s walk. Then a wild pitch and bad throwing error moved the runners up 2 bases, which scored Valera. And Mike Ford smacked a 1-out solo home run up the middle. In the 5th, Judge worked a walk and Urshela singled, and the Orioles finally went to their bullpen. But Gleyber Torres smacked yet another home run against the O’s, this time a 3-run home run to keep the Yankees safely on top.

Valera walked and LeMahieu singled to put runners in the corners. After another pitching change, Judge hit into a fielder’s choice out, where the Orioles snapped into action to get Valera out at home. After another out, Gleyber Torres (who else?) hit another 3-run home run to just dominate the visitors again.

Final score: 11-8 Yankees

Roster moves: Before the game, the Yankees recalled infielder Breyvic Valera from AAA Scranton to be their 26th man for the doubleheader.

Now, among other noteworthy featsGleyber Torres has hit 13 home runs in 17 games against Baltimore just this season. This leaps him among some big names in the record of having the most home runs against a single team in a single season, putting him 2nd only to Lou Gehrig. Gehrig hit 14 home runs against the Indians in 1936, which means that Torres can tie or even surpass the Iron Horse in the next two games of this series.

Also worth noting: Torres has a total of 26 homers this season, so exactly half of those have been off Orioles’ pitchers. He has certainly well-earned the title of “Oriole Killer”.

Finally, the Yankees’ 2020 schedule is out for your future planning. They start 2020 on their road in Baltimore on March 26, playing their home opener a week later on April 2, hosting the Blue Jays. They will close the season out at home against the Rays on September 27.

Go Yankees!

Game 118: NYY vs. TOR — #TanakaTime pitchers’ duel closes out series

The Yankees say “farewell” to Toronto on a bit of an upswing. Masahiro Tanaka threw a great game, commanding the home team through 8 scoreless innings with just 94 pitches and 3 allowed hits. And Aroldis Chapman earned his 31st save with a 1-hit and still rather dramatic 9th inning to close out the really dominant game.

But then, the Blue Jays also closed out this series strong, also only using 2 of their pitchers. They limited the Yankees to just 5 hits and a walk. Fortunately, 2 of those hits resulted in a bit more. In the 5th, Gio Urshela led-off with a double and then scored on Brett Gardner’s ground-rule double bouncing over the right field wall to score the lone run of the night.

Final score: 1-0 Yankees, the Yankees and Jays split series 2-2

Next up: The Yankees are on their way home for a packed home stand. First up, they will host the Orioles for 4 games starting with a doubleheader on Monday, part of a make-up from May. Then the Indians come to the Bronx for a 4-game weekend series. After a travel day, the Yankees begin their long West Coast week to visit the Athletics, Dodgers, and Mariners.

Roster moves: And before today’s game, the Yankees refreshed their roster again, partly because they could and partly because another name is on the IL again. Reliever Stephen Tarpley’s left elbow bugged him after yesterday’s game, and tests later revealed that he will be out with an impingement. They also transferred Giancarlo Stanton from the 10-day to 60-day IL as his knee sprain is still keeping him from returning any time soon. This removed him from the 40-man roster.

With that spot and after the Yankees also optioned infileder Breyvic Valera back to AAA Scranton, they exchanged them for relievers Brady Lail and Joe Mantiply. Both “fresh arms” were officially signed to the team and placed on the roster.

Actually, the biggest sigh of relief from today was that it felt like the Yankees were back in fighting order and commanding the game once again. Not a bad way to head back home and ready for the final big push before October.

Go Yankees!

Game 117: NYY vs. TOR — Saturday sluggish in the bullpen

Okay, so this weekend isn’t really turning out as the Yankees hoped when they hopped on that charter jet through customs. Though they certainly had the opportunity to flip the story along the way today.

Chad Green got the chance again to be the Yankees’ opener in this third game of the four-game weekend series in Toronto. Green threw 24 pitches and a gave up just a walk in the 1st inning. Then Stephen Tarpley came in and took over for longer relief. He kept the Jays off the scoreboard until the 4th inning. A lead-off walk moved to 2nd on a 1-out single. But with a threat on bases, the Yankees went to their bullpen.

Chance Adams, however, promptly gave up a 3-run home run to get the home team on the board and put them in the lead. But then he sailed through the 5th inning without adding to the score. Kahnle followed suit with a scoreless 6th inning, but Adam Ottavino had a troublesome 7th. With 1 out, a walk and single put runners on base to score on a solid triple. Then Britton closed out the game with a scoreless 8th, working his way out of a minor threat.

The Yankees actually got on the board first with Gary Sanchez’s 2-out solo home run in the top of the 4th. After the Jays took the lead in the bottom of that inning, the Yankees worked their way back in the 6th. Judge led-off with a single and scored as part of Gio Urshela’s 2-run home run to tie up the game.

With 1 out in the 7th, Ford worked a walk, moved to 3rd on Tauchman’s double, and after a pitching change, DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly scored Ford. This put the Yankees in the lead again, but the bottom of the inning flipped the script again with the aforementioned triple.

Final score: 5-4 Blue Jays

Roster moves: Yesterday, the Yankees acquired reliever Joe Mantiply from the Reds in exchange for cash considerations. Mantiply played 5 games with the Tigers in 2016 but spent most of the season in their minor league system. Later that year, the Yankees briefly signed him, and he played for their AAA team before releasing him back to free agency in 2017, where he was picked up by the Reds and bounced around their minor league system. Though initially, Mantiply wasn’t placed on the 40-man roster.

The Yankees also placed reliever Jonathan Holder on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to August 7) with inflammation in his right shoulder. They also activated Gary Sanchez from the injury list, sending back-up back-up catcher Kyle Higashioka back to AAA Scranton. And reliever Stephen Tarpley was recalled from AAA. Both recalled players played key roles in today’s game.

Go Yankees!