Let’s keep it short as it was a 1 pm start on a work day. The great Yankees bullpen couldn’t do the job today to get the sweep against the Astros. It happens and they will blow some games here and there. They are still awesome and will be awesome more times than bad. So it ends the winning streak, but let’s get another one going.
- Gerrit Cole is good as usual
I dont know what else there is to say about this guy. He is a monster, he domitates every 5 days and he is the best pitcher in the AL. He did the same thing he has been doing against his old team but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.
The ace once again went 7 innings pitched, striking out 4 and walking none while allowing two runs on solo homers to Yordan Álvarez. The first one wasn’t even a bad pitch, that was an excellent hitter in Álvarez pulling a good pitch to the RF bleachers, you probably want that slider going more to the back foot but hey, it happens. The turn pitch chart:
In general terms, Cole didnt have his best command today, but the stuff is just so good that he can challenge a good Astros lineup without his A+ game. There were many pitches middle-middle (especially fastballs) but the Astros just couldn’t make solid contact with them.
2. The best way to score against good pitchers? Hit bombs.
Just like the 2 runs for the Astros against Cole, all the Yankees runs scired against Lance McCullers Jr. were homers. The Houston righty has nasty stuff and everything moves like crazy, he’s even complementing his already great curveball with a new slider that moves like this (4th pitch of the video):
McCullers was battling with control all day, noted even more in his 4 walks, but managed to strike enough guys out to get out of sticky situation like the first inning bases loaded two out AB against Ford. All the damage done to him was through the way of the homer, and as the Mandalorian would say: “This is the way against good pitchers”. I may, or may have not added those two last words, but the point stands. It is tough to string hits against nasty pitchers, the easy way to score is to take one deep.
Today’s Bombers of the day: Giancarlo Stanton (obviously) with a 117 mph exit velo solo shot to right center in the 3rd to break open the score, and Clint Frazier with a two run shot in the 4th to the opposite field with Hicks on base (after legging out a groundball single). More on Clint to come later in this post.
3. Hicks is definitely turning it around
After being highlighted by yours truly in last nights game takeaways, Hicks keeps the turnaround going with a 3-for-3 day and a walk. He got another 100 exit velo hit in his second inning single, legged out a lazy groundball single, and hit an infield single to the middle that allowed Gleyber to score all the way from first because of the shift and some heads up baserunning. No one was covering third, so Gleyber rounded second and went straight for it, then Maldonado went to cover 3rd and realized that no one was covering home plate (brain fart from the pitcher). It was an amazing play that got a good laugh from me. The video:
Our starting CF is now 9 for his last 20 with 4 walks, that’s good for a .450 average with a .541 OBP and a +.600 slugging. That will do the trick, lets keep it up Hicksie. That’s more walks than K’s in that time span and that’s typical Hicks for you guys, he can be a reaaaaally tough out and it is so good to see him do his thing.
By the way, Hicks cramped up at the end of the game but stayed in and should be fine.
4. Chad blows it
Chad Green came in to the 8th to keep a 3-2 lead but just didn’t have it tonight. After walking Kyle Tucker and his .255 wOBA to lead off the inning, a single from Aledmys Díaz made it men in first and thrid with no outs. He did manage to K Martín Maldonado to get the first out, but then allowed a homer to the worst person he could in Altuve (UGHHHH).
From the pitch chart we can see that Green could not control his Curveball, either dropping them way down or outside, or hanging them. The fastball control was not as bad, but Altuve managed to chase one up and in for the 3 run blow. It happens, shake it off and go to the next one Chad.
- Frazier may not have gotten multiple hits like Hicks did, but he was a little bit unlucky with his 100.9 mph exit velo force out in the second, and his homer was hit over 100 mph as well. After highlighting last night how weak his quality of contact has been for the season, this are the things you want to see for him to turn it around. Hopefully that comes soon enough.
- Gio being pulled from the game is really concerning, Boone took him out mid-inning on what surely is an injury. He’s getting an MRI. Let’s hope is not too bad.
- Higgy is now 1 for his last 16 and it seems like the Cinderella story is closing, so really need Gary to get it going soon.
- Yordan Álvarez is a beast, his .337/.376/.609 is a really good indication of this. He has light-tower like power and draws a ton of walks, that will be a problem for a looong time.
- Justin Wilson did not look good in the ninth. He gave up a two-run homer which basically put this one out of reach, 7-4.