Game 114: The D-team gets it done

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When it seems like half of the current 26-man roster has COVID and the Yankees are running out names in the lineup that even die-hard fans barely recognize, you might see “bullpen day” and think the team is throwing in the towel.  Not so.  The Triple-A Yankees and Everyone in the Bullpen got it done today, beating the Kansas City Royals 5-2 to cement a series win before heading out to Iowa to play baseball in a cornfield.  To the takeaways:

Started off hot, never looked back.  The Yankees, who are known this season for never letting their fans breathe even for a moment, jumped out to an early lead against Royals starter Brady Singer today.  DJ LeMahieu led off the game with a walk, Aaron Judge laced a one out single to center, Joey Gallo worked a walk to load the bases, and Luke Voit singled to right, plating LeMahieu and Judge.  Rougned Odor followed with a single to left to make it 3-0 about five minutes after first pitch.  Andrew Velazquez ended the inning with a double play, but it was nice for the Yankees to be playing ahead all afternoon.

They extended their lead in the fourth after Tyler Wade led off with a double, stole third, and scored on a LeMahieu hit.  After a Brett Gardner single, Judge plated LeMahieu with a one-out single for the Yankees’ fifth and final run of the day.

The Yankees saw multi-hit games today from LeMahieu, Judge, Odor, and Wade; Gallo was the only starter today not to record a hit. Great team effort offensively.

Tyler Wade reigns supreme.  For all the deserved trash-talking Tyler Wade has taken this season, when praise is deserved it is deserved.  Wade, who went 2-for-3 today with two doubles, a run, a walk, and two stolen bases, has been on fire of late.  Since July 30, he is hitting .563 (9-for-16) and is OPSing 1.262.  He is second on the team in stolen bases with 10 despite playing in only 70 of the team’s 114 games.  He is now hitting .262 on the season. He also made a rare start in left field today, saving a run with a great play in the bottom of the 5th.

Bullpen nails it down for 9.  Lucas Luetge got his first career start today, indicating that the Yankees stretched-thin pitching staff was intending to MacGyver this game together.  Luetge and Co absolutely got the job done all afternoon.  Luetge gave up a soft run in the first, as Whit Merrifield singled to lead off the game, stole second, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Salvador Perez groundout, but got through two with no further damage.  Albert Abreu relieved him in the third inning and went 2.1 innings with four strikeouts.

Joely Rodriguez, Chad Green (who picked up the win), Jonathan Loaisiga, and Zack Britton all had scoreless outings to finish the game.  Things definitely got scary in the 9th; Britton hit Ryan O’Hearn to lead off the inning, and then with one out the up-the-middle combination of Odor and Velazquez botched what should have been a routine game-ending double play to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of pinch-hitter Carlos Santana, who has 17 home runs this season.  Fortunately, Britton’s ground-ball stuff appeared to be working today, and he got the do-over as Santana grounded into a double play to end the game.

Abreu’s big day.  Albert Abreu had one of his best outings of the season today, throwing 2.1 innings and surrendering just one run with four strikeouts.  Abreu has generally been one of the last guys out of the bullpen this year, but came in hard with his sinker and slider today to keep the Royals swinging and missing.  Of the 31 pitches he threw, 26 were in the sinker/slider category, and on those pitches combined he got 6 whiffs out of 13 swings.  The one run he gave up, while earned, was on an error by Velazquez after Rodriguez had relieved him.  Very encouraging outing for him today in a great overall team win.

Abreu kept the Royals off-balance with his sinker and slider this afternoon.

Leftovers

  • While this is fortunately not the story of the game because the Yankees prevailed, the team has now committed seven errors in their last two games.  As a certain former manager would say, it’s certainly not what you want.
  • In the bottom of the 7th, Rob Brantly threw out Whit Merrifield attempting to steal, halting Merrifield’s streak of successful stolen base attempts at 33.
  • The Yankees have now won 9 of their last 10 series, the outlier being the late July heartbreaker in Boston.  They are now 12 games over .500, tying Monday’s season high.
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2 Comments

  1. Michael Thompson

    I think it’s safe to say that was a definite win. It likely would not have been if Girardi was still around. I think his animosity towards Refsnyder is a good indication of what he would do with Tyler Wade in this situation – bench him. Luckily, that is no longer the case, and Wade is allowed to flourish and bring wins to the team. There are points where I would not have thought so and given up, but the playoffs are a definite real possibility now, or at least a wildcard game.

    • The Original Drew

      Wade is playing this much out of absolute necessity, not because Boone actually believes in his ability or anything.

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