After being outscored 22-4 this weekend against Cleveland to the point that we didn’t even bother recapping the games (just kidding, we were all just busy), the Yankees bounced back with a much needed 4-3 win. Of course a 4-0 lead in the 2nd turned into a 1 run nailbiter for most of the night, but a win’s a win. To the takeaways:
Nasty Néstor tires in the 5th. The question on everyone’s mind was how would Nasty Néstor fare in his first start after setting a career high with 11 K’s last time out? Would he throw a no-hitter while using both hands? Through 4 innings, he was his usual self, weaving in and out of trouble with aplomb.
The first inning started out inauspiciously with back-to-back “hits” and a passed ball that led to runners on 2nd and 3rd with no out. After this weekend’s debacle, the Yankees needed to get out of it, and Néstor had it covered with 3 straight K’s. Take a look:
Striking out the side with mid-90’s heat…is what I thought we’d say about Yankee ace Gerrit Cole, not true Yankee ace Néstor Cortes Jr. It was more of the same in the 4th with a K to end the inning with two runners on. Through 4, it was 4-0 Yanks and things were looking great.
Unfortunately, Néstor needed 84 pitches to get through those 4 innings and was clearly tired in the 5th giving up 3 extra base hits that led to 3 runs. His final line was 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
The pitch plot is pretty good overall. You see most fastballs at the top or above the zone looking for swings and lots of pitches near the corners. The slider was his best pitch with an unreal 60% whiff rate, and you wonder if he should have thrown more. With any Cortes start, here’s the obligatory release point chart:
An artist like no other. And, it wouldn’t surprise me if those sinkers are actually fastballs or cutters misclassified due to the wonky release point.
Bombers wear down A.J. Alexy. That was a vintage Yankee power and patience approach against Alexy. After struggling the 1st time through – with the exception of a Gary homer – the Yankees absolutely wore down Alexy the second time through.
They worked 3 walks in a 3-run third and 6 walks overall in 4 innings against the Rangers right-hander. And, here is the glorious Gary homer:
Set-up guys get it done. With all we’ve talked about with the bullpen needing to get it done despite every game being close and despite the starters struggling to give length during this 20 game in 20 day stretch, the middle relief got it done tonight.
Chad Green came in to relieve Cortes in the 5th and he went 5 up and 5 down getting through the 5th and 6th. After giving up homers in each of his last 3 appearances, it was a much needed sight. Perhaps getting 3 straight days off was just what the doctor ordered for the overused reliever.
Clay Holmes came on and did Clay Holmes things. He now has a 24:1 K:BB ratio with the Yankees. That’ll do. Wandy Peralta came on to get the last out of the 8th.
- An 0-4 but with 2 walks for DJ LeMahieu.
- Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres each had multi-hit games with an RBI apiece.
- A nice, easy 1-2-3 for Chapman in the 9th. More of that please.
With the Rays win over Toronto, the Yankees are now 0.5 games back of a wild card spot going into tomorrow night. It’ll be Dane Dunning (5-8, 4.28 ERA) against Jordan Montgomery (5-6, 3.63 ERA) at 7pm tomorrow. Have a good night, everyone.