How nice is it to finally bury the Boston Red Sox in the division race? How sweet is it to end their division chances with a sweep at home? This was a great way to respond to the rough series the Yankees experienced in Fenway last weekend. The Yankees take the final game of the series by the score of 7-4. They are now 72-39 and have a 14.5 game lead over Boston. They are currently eight games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays.
1.The B Lineup Gives An A Performance: As a Red Sock, David Price probably views Yankee Stadium as a house of horrors. Coming into tonight’s start these were Price’s numbers:
That is terrible. With that said, the Yankees weren’t featuring their best lineup due to all of the injuries. The Yankees clean up hitter against the Boston Red Sox was Gio Urshela. The beauty of the 2019 Yankees season is that Gio Urshela was the clean up hitter. It didn’t take long to remind Price that anyone who wears a Yankees pinstripe jersey pretty much owns him the night he pitches. Aaron Judge got the attack going early:
Then in the third inning, that Gio Urshela guy made his mark on the game:
There really isn’t that much more to say about Gio Urshela. Dude is having the season of his life, but this all feels legit. His mechanics are solid. His approach is sharp and the confidence is clearly there. This homer felt like a big hit in the game. The Judge homer was great, but Gio’s felt like a body blow that set up the rest of the game against Price.
The onslaught continued in the third inning. After Gio’s homer, the Yankees scored on a Cameron Maybin RBI double. That was followed by a Mike Ford RBI single. Mike Tauchman joined the party with a two RBI single to extend the lead to 7-0 and essentially ending David Price’s night. Here are some of the exit velocities from the third inning:
The Yankees tattooed Price with their depth guys. It probably says something about the quality of pitching from Price, but the the compromised lineup did its job in taking advantage. To bring things full circle with the Yankee dominance of Price, here is another note from Katie Sharp:
2. Happ Was Pretty Good?: We all know the rough stretch the Yankees starting rotation recently experienced. Things have begun to correct as they have a 3.81 rotation through their last turn. Tonight’s start from J.A. Happ was a bit of a mixed bag. Outside of two solo home runs in the fifth, Happ was largely effective. He did a really nice job of mixing up his pitches. Happ is reliant upon his four seamer, but he threw his two seamer and slider just as much tonight. The diverse arsenal led to 42 swings and 8 whiffs.
Happ was good through the first four innings. His command was strong and he dominated the at bats. Things changed for the worst in the fifth and sixth innings. It appears Happ’s command eluded him in these two innings. Take a look at this chart:
Happ was attacking the zone and keeping the Sox hitters on their heels. As soon as he lost the zone, the poor results reared their ugly heads. He gave up back to back home runs in the fifth to Vazquez and Chavis. Then in the sixth inning, he let two runners on base that Andrew Benintendi knocked in with a single.
Overall, there are some positives to take from this start. The pitch mix seemed to work well. He kept the Sox hitters off balance for the entire time he had his command. It’s possible he tired in the fifth inning and Boone let him in a little bit too long in the sixth. This is a lineup that has done significant damage to the Yankees recently and Happ did a pretty good job of limiting it this time around.
3. Cessa With A Strong Performance: The name Luis Cessa certainly incurs a wrath from many Yankees fans. It is hard to argue with that reaction. The team clearly loves the pitcher more than the fans do. Given that truth, it is important to give credit when it’s due. Entering the game in the sixth with the tying run at the plate, Cessa was able to escape the jam. He was then able to shut the Red Sox down in both the seventh and eighth innings. With the bullpen logging heavy innings all year and this weekend in particular, we can’t understate the importance of Cessa’s outing. He allowed Boone the opportunity to keep the few high leverage bullpen guys he had available away from stressful situations. We don’t always show him love, but Cessa certainly deserves some tonight.
4. UNCLE: How many more injuries do the Yankees need to endure this season? This is absolutely absurd. It is getting so bad that Edwin Encarnacíon’s stuffed parrot has a cast. Tonight’s victims appear to be Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela. After Gleyber’s first inning ground out, he grabbed his groin walking back to the dugout. He stayed in the game until the eighth inning where he was replaced by DJLM. Then Gio Urshela fouled two balls off both legs during an at bat in the sixth:
He was eventually replaced by Valera. It was so ridiculous an at bat that we got this great shot in the Yankees dugout:
Yeah, I think that covers my feelings on the injury run. Hopefully, it won’t be too bad for Gleyber and Gio.
Update: It’s not looking good for Gleyber. Aaron Boone announced Torres is on his way to the hospital for tests on a “core issue.” Gio took x-rays and they came back negative. He’s pretty sore at the moment.
The Yankees go on the road and will start a series with Baltimore tomorrow night. Masahiro Tanaka will get the start. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to who will join Masa in the lineup. It’s a good thing they have a large lead in the division. Have a great night everyone.