Game 24: Finally, a laugher

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The Yankees made quick and easy work of the Orioles tonight, 7-0. Domingo Germán dazzled and the Bombers’ offense racked up hit after hit, including three homers. Nice to experience an easy, no stress win after a lot of frustration early this season.

The win is the team’s fifth in its last seven games. As we’ve said time and time again, the team’s poor play and malaise wasn’t going to last forever. There are still some things to work out, but the team is trending positively. Let’s break it all down.

Domingo Germán reverted to his spring training form in a dominant start. I know tonight was against the lowly Orioles, but I think the righty would have shut down most lineups given his stuff and command this evening. Germán needed 92 pitches to complete 7 scoreless innings tonight. He allowed just four baserunners and struck out six.

Germán’s command was nothing short of terrific in this one. His heatmap tells a lot of the story:

But I also think it’s worth showing this chart of all of his called strikes:

That’s painting the corners for ya. Credit to Kyle Higashioka for framing many of these, too. As you can tell, the battery got a few called strikes on pitches just out of the zone.

With that kind of command, it’s no wonder that the opposing lineup had a difficult time doing anything against Germán. The Orioles averaged an 84.5 MPH exit velocity against the Yankees’ starter, and so to no surprise, it took until two outs in the fifth inning for Baltimore to record its first hit. Ryan Mountcastle reached on an infield single that Gio Urshela nearly turned into a highlight reel backhanded jump throw play.

Interestingly enough, Germán didn’t record a strikeout until the fourth inning in this one. Even so, his terrific command allowed him to make short order of the Orioles anyway up until that point. And once he got his strikeout game rolling, Baltimore stood even less of a chance. Germán retired six of the last fourteen batters he faced via the strikeout (42.9 percent).

You can see how his excellent command tonight led to some of his strikeouts, by the way. He got a few called third strikes on backdoor sinkers to righties, which is always aesthetically pleasing.

Again, I don’t care that Germán carved up a lackluster Orioles lineup. His command tonight would make things difficult for any team in the majors. This was much more like the pitcher we saw back in March; the one who convincingly won the fifth starter gig. This follows a good outing last time out, too. He won’t get optioned to the Alternate Site again if he keeps this up, that’s for sure.

The offense needed another performance like this. Fresh off tallying 12 hits and three dingers yesterday, the bats racked up another dozen hits today along with three more homers. After a lot of poor at-bats and sulking in recent weeks, the bats looked awfully confident tonight. Dean Kremer stood no chance against this lineup.

Even though Kremer held the Yankees scoreless in the first inning and the offense didn’t put up a crooked number until the third, it was quite obvious that the Yankees were all over him right away. Look at this sea of red:

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that much red shading on Baseball Savant in a single outing before. The Yankees were squaring up everything. Sure, there are a few hitters still working some things out. For example, Giancarlo Stanton, even after yesterday’s homer. Now, he did have three hits today, but he continues to hit absolute rockets right into the ground. More lift, please.

Now, to the obligatory dingers against Kremer, courtesy of Mike Ford and Gio Urshela:

Those two delivered the big blows against Kremer. Gleyber Torres, who I’ll touch on more in a moment, chipped in an RBI single as well. Aaron Hicks tagged Kremer with his sixth earned run allowed on a sacrifice fly, though it came against reliever Shawn Armstrong, who inherited Kremer’s mess.

A couple of things on the aforementioned homers. Anything the Yankees get out of Ford feels like gravy until Luke Voit returns, but I sure wouldn’t mind a redux of his September 2019 performance in the meantime. As for Urshela? His batting line continues to rise. He’s at .278/.318/.481 (125 wRC+) with four homers in 85 plate appearances, including tonight’s affair.

Sure feels nice to get out to a big, early lead. This one felt over early, did it not? Haven’t had that experience much this season, if at all. Offense knocks around the starting pitcher while the Yankees’ staff shuts the door? You love to see it.

A turning point for Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres? These two both had multi-hit games and combined to go 4-for-9 with two doubles, a homer, and a walk.

In fairness, Torres appears to have turned the corner a couple of days ago offensively, but it was nice to see him get an extra base hit. It was just his fourth extra base hit of the season, all doubles. Torres, who entered tonight’s game hitting .318/.400/.364 (127 wRC+) since the Cleveland series, is definitely looking better at the plate. Hopefully we start to see some of his home run power, though.

Meanwhile, Frazier has been mired in a miserable slump. Today feels like the first time we’ve actually seen him scald the baseball. Clint scorched a double into the left field gap (106.4 MPH) against Kremer. He subsequently made a horrible baserunning decision, but let’s save that commentary for the Leftovers. That he finally showed signs of life with the bat is more important right now. Later, Clint did this against Tyler Wells:

That’s the stuff. One homer down, 39 to go. Silly bold prediction aside, Frazier came into this one hitless in his last 20 plate appearances (albeit with 7 walks) and with just two hits since April 6th! Hopefully this is a sign of more things to come. Not just for Frazier, but for Torres too.

Leftovers

  • The Yankees’ baserunning makes another blunder: So, about that mistake Frazier made that I touched upon previously. After he doubled, Frazier proceeded to get thrown out at third base on a ground ball to shortstop. Ugly. It’s the team’s 13th out on bases this season which leads MLB.
  • Michael King delivered two shutout innings to finish this game out. His ERA remains at 0.00. Nice to see him pitching well even in garbage time.
  • Aaron Hicks, Kyle Higashioka, and Brett Gardner were the only Yankees to go hitless in this one. Hicks and Gardner are struggling, in particular. Although, it felt like Hicks just missed a couple of pitches that he flew out on.

Tomorrow, the Yankees go for the series win. It’s a quick turnaround, by the way. First pitch will be at 1:05pm. Have a nice night, everyone.

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6 Comments

  1. Terry from LA

    Enough with the bad base running. That is little league stuff right now. And that is on Boone and the coaches. (Yeah, and the players too!) At least they’re starting to swing the bats and the pitching is/has been good lately. Everything has to get tightened up. I don’t know if Boone is the guy.

  2. Jake

    This may have been touched on somewhere else but I haven’t seen it. Looks like Ckint changes his stance and opened up to start? Was that new today or did I just notice it because of the change in results.

    • Jake

      Clint changed*

      • SharkDriver

        I noticed the change too. Haven’t seen it mentioned yet.

      • Derek

        You’re right. Didn’t notice this last night but I can see it comparing videos now. I’ve been kicking around a post on Frazier’s struggles, so that’ll definitely be worth mentioning when the time comes. Thanks!

  3. Wire Fan

    They are starting to string some good pitching performances together which is lightening the bullpen load. With Cole anchoring the rotation, they really just need two of the other four pitchers to put together 6 inning starts each turn thru the rotation.

    The Yankees need to address the baserunning at some point. This is a team wide issue where guys who aren’t great baserunners think they are Brett Gardner. Not sure a team with this offense (early season slump aside) needs to be pushing the envelope so much. It has been bad for a few years now. Sanchez, Torres, Voit, even Judge just seem to make bad decisions on the bases.

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