Game 108: Did you just say Gallo?

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Those midseason trades are making Brian Cashman look pretty brilliant these days. The new-look, can’t-miss Yankees struck again this evening, this time against a team that actually means something to them in the standings as they beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 in the Bronx. Joey Gallo had his first True Yankee moment, the Bombers now lead the Mariners by two games in the race for the wild card, and everyone went home happy.  To the takeaways:

Nestor not so nasty, but gets the job done. The unexpected delight that has been Nestor Cortes in 2021 continued tonight.  He wasn’t quite dominant, but kept the Yankees in it, giving up two runs on five hits over five innings for a no-decision. He worked around a walk and a single to pitch a scoreless first, and then breezed through a 1-2-3 second. The Mariners scored single runs in the third and fourth, courtesy of a sac fly by Mitch Haniger and a Kyle Seager home run that just kind of floated into the right field short porch (with a 42 degree launch angle and a 357-foot distance, the expected batting average on that ball was just .170; chalk it up to bad luck), but Cortes never let any inning get out of hand.  He mixed pitches well and kept hitters off-balance as he’s been doing all year.  Well-deserved round of applause to him.

Cortes mixed pitches well throughout the strike zone.

Gallo’s greatest hits.  While Anthony Rizzo’s hot start in pinstripes has been garnering much of this week’s attention, Joey Gallo (not Callow) showed that he was a marquee acquisition as well tonight.  Gallo went 3-for-4 and drove in three of the Yankees’ five runs on two doubles and a clutch late-inning home run.  With the Yankees down 3-2 in the bottom of the 7th, Gallo came up after a pair of two-out singles by Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton and lofted a high, high home run just over the right field wall.  With a 48 degree launch angle, his home run is reportedly tied for the highest by a Yankees hitter since Statcast started tracking in 2015.

Green and Britton not their best selves, but good enough.  The bullpen was “good enough” today, but Chad Green and Zack Britton both had a few hiccups.  Green, who’s recorded an ERA of 5.40 since the beginning of July, mostly pitched well but gave up a home run to Jarred Kelenic leading off the 7th, which gave the Mariners a 3-2 lead.  Britton struggled to locate throughout his 8th inning performance, giving up a leadoff double and an infield single before getting out of the inning on a double play.  As the Yankees make a late-season run for the playoffs, both Britton and Green are slated to be major difference-makers in the back end of the bullpen, so getting them back on track will be extremely important to the team’s championship hopes.

Chapman’s troubles continue. Coming into the top of the 9th, Michael Kay remarked on the YES broadcast that Aroldis Chapman’s troubles seemed to be behind him.  Tonight’s performance seemed to render that pronouncement a little bit premature, as he definitely struggled with both velocity and location throughout a coronary-inducing inning.  Chapman couldn’t locate his fastball at all and maxed out at 98.6mph, well below what we’re used to seeing from him when he’s on.

He led off the inning by inducing a ground ball from Tom Murphy, which was almost an infield single save for a great pick from Rizzo at first.  He then walked Kelenic, got a strikeout of Cal Raleigh on a 3-2 pitch (and benefitted from a few eyebrow-raising calls from the home plate umpire), and gave up an odd infield single to J.P. Crawford (in Chapman’s defense, that likely would have been an out if Gleyber Torres’ vision hadn’t been obscured by Kelenic passing in front of him).  He threw three balls to Mitch Haniger before giving up a warning-track shot that was reeled in by Gallo to end the game. Chapman could really only locate his slider today, and Haniger was definitely waiting for that pitch – he hit it off the end of the bat just enough to keep it in the park. Exhale.

Leftovers

  • Giancarlo Stanton got two hits tonight and now has a three-game multi-hit game streak.  Rougned Odor also picked up two hits in two at bats.
  • The Yankees are now 59-49, ten games over .500 for the first time this season.

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16 Comments

  1. dasit

    sterling has achieved full-rizzuto with the “pal joey” reference. next up, gabby hayes

  2. One of these days Green may learn not to throw his very inconsistent, mediocre breaking pitch to left handed batters, particularly to ones hitting a buck thirty nine that had no chance again his high fastball.

    The pitch he threw Kelenic was so bad an A ball level player could have hit it out.

    Or maybe he won’t, he’s been getting beat like this for several years.

  3. Wire Fan

    I thought Britton pitched well. The double was a weak dribbler off the end of the bat down the line. The infield hit was also not hit hard.

    Chapman was a hot mess and it was good to see Boone having Loaisiga warming in the pen (Haniger was probably his last batter?). He got bailed out several times by the home plate umpire.

  4. Joey Galleddardo

    I thought it was the best win of the season, Ana. Rizzo has single handedly won 3 games and now Gallo has won 1. Finally some pop from the left side has given us balance. The Yankees should always have as many big left handed hairy monsters as possible and Gallo is one of them. Nestor was fine. He didn’t have his best stuff but kept us in the game which is all you can ask of your ace. Chappy is a problem but at least Boone did have Loisaga warming. But I fear Boone was only going to bring Loisaga in after Chappy had blown it. We need to get past this “it’s the closer’s game” mentality. If he doesn’t have it that night then find someone who does.

    But someone tell me what the hell Cash was thinking sending Greg Allen down in favor of a .150 hitter. What did Allen do to get sent down, hit too much? Ams of course Davis came up 3 times with RISP and failed all 3 times. Then he had to be PH for by Gardy to match up vs the pitcher. What can combat those matchup issues? A switch hitter! Allen was hitting, he’s fast, he’s a switch hitter. And Davis has a weak arm which cost us a run. Allen has a very strong arm. Dumbest move I already saw for a .150 hitter that nobody else wanted.

  5. Dani

    Fun fact: Gallo now has 4 doubles in 7 games with the Yanks. He had a total of 6 (!) in 95 games with the Rangers.

  6. Mikey

    I’m not saying that Chapman’s ineffectiveness is solely based on inconsistent appearances where he doesn’t get to pitch everyday but it sure does seem like having layoffs, even if it’s just a few games where he’s not in, does have an effect on him. Knowing this, wouldn’t it make sense to try any way possible to minimize this problem by putting him out there more frequently, no matter if it’s a save opportunity or not? We dealt with the same thing with Betances.

    • villapalomares

      That’s what I was thinking Mikey. Keep the relievers sharp even if they only face one or two batters in low leverage. Too much rest is almost as bad as not enough.

    • The same was true for Sparky Lyle back in the day.

  7. Evan3457

    Those midseason trades are making Brian Cashman look pretty brilliant these days.</i.

    Mr. Heaney will be by on Saturday to gauge the veracity of this judgment.

  8. Kansas

    Why is Johnathon Davis better than Greg Allen?

    • He isn’t better. I don’t get that decision at all. Allen is the better player.

    • MikeD

      Is it possible that Davis is out of options and would have to pass through waivers, so the Yankees simply opted to keep them both? It not, the decision is perplexing. The reality is neither are worth worrying about, but Allen had been playing well so why not keep him?

    • Terry from LA

      I was thinking the same thing.

      • Rob

        Allen was a COVID call-up so could be sent down again without having to clear waivers. Not saying I agree with the decision, but the way the season is going it’s probably no bad thing to pick up an extra outfielder when you have the chance.

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