Well that sure was a day of baseball, wasn’t it? The Yankees swept the doubleheader in another thrilling extra-innings game. This time, the heroes were Deivi Garcia and Gary Sánchez. It was wonderful. The Yankees defeated the Mets 5-2 (box score) and improved to 19-13 on the season.
Amazingly, they took 3 out of 5 against the Mets and won this series. (Yes, that is literally true.) They’ve won three in a row in advance of a big series this week against the Rays.
Let’s get right to the very exciting takeaways from this one.
1. Deivi Garcia Announces His Presence: Well that was about as impressive of an MLB debut as we could have imagined. Deivi Garcia, the now 21-year-old who took Yankees fandom by storm last year, attacked the strike zone and dominated the Mets for 5 innings. Garcia, who historically struggled with command in the minors, threw 44 of his 67 pitches (66%) for strikes. He worked quickly – presumably a function of the MiLB pitch clock – and attacked the Mets all night. Here is his pitch plot:
As you can see, he was very direct with the Mets hitters. It’s interesting to see so much red (4-seamer) in the middle of the zone, coupled with exit velocity against that looks like this:
Especially when that 4-seamer averaged 92-miles-per-hour. Deivi is not a flamethrower by any stretch of the imagination. However, it was pretty obvious that Garcia’s fastball plays a bit faster than that. I suspect it has something to do with a curveball that looks like this:
That last one is just tantalizing, isn’t it? Here is an example of what I mean by his fastball playing off that curve:
That is completely disorienting to a hitter. If Deivi can continue to be aggressive and spot both pitches, he will have a very successful future ahead of him, I’d say.
Anyway, back to tonight. Deivi was masterful for the Yankees and did everything we could have asked for and more. I was especially impressed by Deivi’s ability to work out of trouble in the 5th (the Mets had 1st and 2nd with 2 outs) and his poise in the 6th inning. Luke Voit made a critical two-base error, just booting a grounder into the outfield. It was truly an awful error that put the tying run on second base with no outs in the
8th 6th inning. Inexcusable.
Deivi did what he could, though. He got a pop up for the first out but allowed a two-strike single to Dom Smith on a pitch he just left out over the plate:
That tied the game at 1. It was extremely disappointing, but Deivi worked a double play right after. All in all, Deivi showed poise and collection on the mound and I don’t think it’s possible for me to be more impressed with him than I am. He threw 6 innings, allowed just 4 hits and 1 run (unearned) while striking out 6 and walking none. It’s hard to ask for more.
Erik Kratz, one can assume, is just as proud of his son as we are:
2. Tyler Wade, Made in the Shade: The Yankees had absolutely no offense through six innings in this one – if you can believe it! – aside from this home run from Tyler Wade. Yes, that’s right. Tyler Wade hit a home run and I have video proof:
Wade has been brutal at the plate in 2020 – he’s hitting just .200/.293/.343 (74 wRC+) – but he did have a hit in the first game of this doubleheader as well. It would be nice for him to do a bit more with the stick as long as Gleyber Torres is out, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Still, for Wade, that was a nice home run.
4. Oh Boy, That Gary is Scary: As nice as that HR was, it pales in comparison to the other Yankee home run tonight. And I mean that: it pales in comparison. The new extra-innings rule took hold in the top of the 8th inning – remember, the Yanks were the road team. Clint Frazier worked a four-pitch walk that was followed up by a Gio Urshela fly ball that just missed being a three-run, go-ahead home run. On that play, both Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier tagged up to set up second and third with one out.
That is a huge, huge moment because it set up an intentional walk of Mike Tauchman. Erik Kratz was on deck, so Mets manager Miguel Rojas forced Aaron Boone’s hand. The obvious move was to use Gary Sánchez as a pinch hitter and Boone did it. He deserves credit for sticking with his players no matter how hard they struggle. And boy did Gary reward him.
But not before fouling off two very hittable pitches down the middle. It got everyone thinking about how wrong and lost Gary looked at the plate, but he promptly shut everyone up by doing this:
It is just so, so beautiful. Isn’t it just so beautiful? I haven’t been happier about a baseball moment so far in 2020. I root so hard for Gary and I hate it when he struggles. There’s always so much controversy. Gary himself obviously needed that hit in the worst possible way and we can only hope that it gets him going.
Until then, though, let’s all just enjoy how much Gary clearly enjoyed that:
The only thing I didn’t like about this was that it wasn’t a walk off grand slam, which is what Gary deserved. Oh well. I’ll take it.
5. An Interesting Bottom Half: Because it wasn’t a walk-off, the Mets still had a chance. the Yankees needed Jonathan Holder – who pitched a clean 7th inning – to just record three easy outs. He couldn’t do that, allowing 2 runs and leaving the bases loaded with two outs in a 5-2 game.
That’s an extremely disappointing outcome for the Yanks, but Luis Cessa came into the game in that situation to face Wilson Ramos in a pinch-hitting situation with Robinson Canó on deck. Ramos, like Gary, entered the game with the bases loaded as a pinch hitter. Nothing – and I mean nothing – about today could be easy, could it?
On a 3-2 pitch – again, nothing could be easy – Cessa struck out Ramos and ended the rally. That was that, and we all exhaled.
- Chasen Shreve Strikes Out Voit: The Mets officially won the 2018 trade between the Cardinals and Yanks that sent Luke Voit to the Yankees. I’m kidding, obviously, but Shreve did strike Voit out in the 5th inning (he got Voit to chase ball 4, but that’s okay).
- The Yanks Flash the Leather: As bad as the Voit error was – and boy was it bad – the Yankees also flashed the leather a few times today, too. Here are some examples:
The Yanks will remain at home to take on Tampa Bay for a huge three-game set beginning tomorrow. Tyler Glasnow (1-1,5.14 ERA) will take the hill for the first-place Rays while Gerrit Cole (4-1, 3.51 ERA) will start for the Yanks at 7:05 pm EDT tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your night, everyone. I doubt that will be very hard.