Game 42: A Nice, Feel Good Comeback Win

That was a very nice win. The Yankees were down 3-0 in the 4th as Jameson Taillon was struggling early, and it felt like the game was over. It really did, given the way the offense has been going lately. I don’t think this does it justice:

But it didn’t matter. The Yankees came back and won 7-4, and the series is tied at one game apiece. The Yanks are now 23-19 on the season and sit 1.5 games out of first place. Let’s get right to the takeaways.

1. Jameson Taillon’s Fastball Problem: I know that everyone is super frustrated with Jameson Taillon, and I get it. He has not been super entertaining to watch, and at times he’s been extremely frustrating. It’s felt like he hasn’t been able to put batters away with 2-strikes. I think it has a lot to do with his inability to get his fastball as far up in the zone as he would like.

Here is his fastball heatmap location of every such pitch he’s thrown with two-strikes in 2021, for example:

He’s clearly trying to get it up in the zone here, but it’s not high enough. The pitches live at the top of the zone, not over it, and too many trickle down over the heart of the plate. That’s why he’s given up a lot of homers, and it’s why he’s had some trouble putting guys away. That was really on display in the 3rd inning of this one, which was an extremely annoying inning that looked like it should have been over.

With a runner on second and two outs, Gary Sánchez fired a rocket behind the runner for the third out of the inning…or so it seemed. The call was overturned (Odor probably should have made the tag), and Taillon was really out of whack after that. Here is the video:

A single and two walks later, and the bases were loaded. This is the at-bat, against Adolis Garcia, that I want to focus on a bit.

Taillon got the count to 1-2. With just a 1-run deficit at this point, and the Yankee offense scuttling a bit, it felt like a pivotal moment in the game. It’s a batter Taillon has to retire, especially with two strikes. Gary called for a 2-strike fastball up and over the zone:

And Taillon threw it here:

It wasn’t even close. A 2-run single followed and it was 3-0 Rangers. I will admit to being frustrated here at this time. It was very poor execution from Jameson Taillon in a big spot. To his credit, he did settle down after this a bit. He retired the side in the 4th inning before allowing a solo homer in the 5th. Not great, but I thought he was done in the 3rd, so kudos to him.

All in all, it was a 4.1 inning performance with 6 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts for Taillon. His pitch plot tells the overall story:

The fastball was pretty good (35% whiff-per-swing rate) but nothing else was located well. The good news is that the fastball is working. Remember, Taillon is recovering from Tommy John and missed the last two seasons. It was never going to be easy in the early-going. What matters is that he irons these issues out. I expect that he will, even if it’s frustrating now.

2. The Offense Can Break Out: Hey, would you look at that. The Yankee offense can string together hits, just like the old days. The Yankees really picked up their man Taillon tonight after that rough third inning. They scored 5 runs in the 4th inning, including tacking on 5 consecutive hits with two outs. It was a sight to behold. Here is the full inning’s worth of highlights. It makes for some pretty viewing:

It was especially nice to see some big clutch hits from Gary Sánchez (more on him shortly), Mike Ford, and Miguel Andújar. Too often these days, the back half of the Yankee lineup is a complete black hole. I was surprised when each of these guys got a hit. That all three of them did felt like a minor miracle, but it was truly great to see. If and when the Yankee lineup is going to break out in a major way, it is going to take more consistent top-to-bottom performances. We saw what that could look like tonight, even from some unlikely players.

3. Bullpen Dominance: I really love the Yankee bullpen. Not much more to say about that one. Here are their respective lines on the day, which about tells the story:

  • Wandy Peralta: 1.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Jonathan Loaisiga: 1.2 IP, zeros, 1 K
  • Chad Green: 1.0 IP, zeros
  • Aroldis Chapman: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 K

That is one hit and one walk against 5 strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work. The Yankees really needed to close the door in this one – none of the back three pitchers had pitched in a while – and the bullpen absolutely slammed the door home. The Rangers didn’t even stand a chance. Chapman was throwing 103 mph, for crying out loud.

It was a good reminder of two things specifically. First, that the Yankees are very, very hard to beat if the offense scores runs. And second, when the rotation is competent, the Yankees are very tough to hit. Very tough indeed.

There’s been a lot of frustration in 2021, but the Yankees feel very close to going on a very dominant run. At least to me. Maybe I’m just an optimist.

Leftovers

  • Gary Leaves the Game: The Yanks removed Gary from the game after he scored a run on the basepaths. He really hustled to get home, and he seemed fine. Meredith said it was “left side tightness” on the broadcast, and I hope they’re just being precautionary. Higgy was likely to catch Kluber tomorrow anyway, so we can’t read too much into whether or not he plays tomorrow. Ugh. He was starting to look good offensively, too.
  • Slick Defense: There was some good defense in this game. My favorite play was a slick double play from Rougned Odor, who also had a nice night ofensively. Check this out, though:
  • Aaron Judge Mashes: Four more hard-hit balls from Aaron Judge today, who was 2-5. He’s been carrying the team so far.
  • Gio Urshela Rules: I can’t believe how good Gio Urshela is. His double in the 4th inning came as part of a 9-pitch at bat with I think 5 two-strike foul balls. It’s been two plus years now, but I still can’t believe it. How is this guy so good?
  • Awful Stadium: The new Rangers park is just awful to look at, isn’t it? I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m not enjoying it aesthetically at all. The turf is distracting, and it feels like the ball really carries. I don’t know. It was a long day at work and I’m tired. Maybe I’m just grouchy right now, but I’m not enjoying watching games in this park at all.

The Yanks and Rangers will play the third of this four-game set tomorrow night at 8:05. Corey Kluber (3-2, 3.48 ERA) will take on a to-be-announced starter from his former team. Have a great night, everyone.

Advertisements

Previous

DoTF: Dermis Garcia Slugs Go-Ahead 9th Inning Blast to Give Somerset a Win

Next

Game 43: Corey Kluber Throws A No-Hitter

10 Comments

  1. DZB

    I said this after his last start and I’ll say it again. I feel like they should use Taillon’s last option and give him some starts at AAA while Deivi takes his turn in the rotation. With his service time and remaining control, there is obviously no reason to save the option, and he seems to rusty to stay at the MLB level. He’ll be back since he had great stuff

    • Mungo

      Maybe. If they believe that will help, I’m all for it. In pretty much every game, he looks great for a couple innings, and then looks like total crap. There seems to be no in between. It will be interesting to see who gets bumped from the rotation when Severino returns, and/or if Deivi keeps up his good pitching of late. I’m also a bit surprised the Yankees didn’t insert a sixth starter during the recent 13-game stretch without a day off. We’ll be into uncharted territory post game 60 this year as no pitchers had a regular season in 2020.

  2. Brad T

    On the aesthetics of the park, I think the zoomed out camera in CF helps make it feel funky too. I really enjoyed their old ballpark, both in person and on TV, and feel like they did a poor job replicating that feeling in the new park.

  3. Gerreddardit Cole

    I thought it was the best win of the season, Bobby. Odor is such a breath of fresh air. He gives us a boost of energy every time he plays. Huge upgrade over Wade. When Gleyber returns tonight I really hope they send Wade down and not Miggy. You saw Miggy get some hits last night. He can get on a roll and help us. He can DH with Stanton out or spell one of the OFers like he did last night or backup 1B/3B. Keep him up here for good. When Stanton returns they can send Ford down. And their 5 run rally was nice to see. No HRs, just strung some hits together. That’s how the game is supposed to be played.

    I agree about the Rangers Stadium. It’s too slick for me and doesn’t remind me of baseball. And I don’t like those creepy people behind the plate sitting there like it’s a bar. The turf is fake. I liked Arlington a lot more than whatever this is.

    Tallion is not a major league starter. Hurry back, Sevy. I’d give Deivi a shot up here if Tallion fails again. Or at least open with Green and then go to Tallion for 4-5 innings.

    • Brian

      I never went to a game in Arlington, but it looked like a perfectly cromulent ball park from TV, though day games were probably brutal in July there. It had a decent aesthetic. They didn’t need a new stadium.

      They claim they needed a new ballbark with a roof because the weather, but maybe… just maybe… if the Rangers actually good and competitive more than a handful of seasons (they did have good attendance in their WS years) people would want to go to the games.

  4. DZB

    Good comment about the stadium, it looks very odd to me, and it feels like it plays ‘big’, like balls into the gap or the corners felt like they had so much space. Not sure why, maybe it was partly how fast the ball continued to move after making contact with the turf.

    So nice to see the team putting together some hits. But I agree with the comments that the lineup construction makes no sense. The thin lineup and holes are partly due to injury, but also reflect the maddening cost savings approach of the richest team in the sport.

  5. MikeD

    Nice game. The type of game you’d expect the Yankees in recent prior years to win, even when they’re down a few runs, but somehow often feels insurmountable today. They’ve overall been playing well the last few weeks, but they’re still frustratingly inconsistent. All the recent injuries aren’t helping. Just as Voit returns, they lose Stanton, Hicks and Gleyber. At least the latter will be back tomorrow, and there’s hope the former will return next week. I have no idea what to expect form Hicks health wise.

    Regarding the new park, I feel like it plays large in the OF, but the turf is very fast. I can see lots of doubles and triples there. The camera angle also seems elevated, for whatever that’s worth.

  6. Wire Fan

    On the ESPN broadcast they said Gary had leg cramps (did not say what part of the leg)

    Nice game by Odor. Yeah he should have let the ball travel to the bag, but it seems like every Yankee not named Torres does that. I have seen both DJL and Wade do the same thing (catch the ball 3-4 ft in front of the bag and then try to swipe backwards). You’d think this is something professional coaches would pick up on and address? it has happened a bunch this year.

    I get giving Judge a day at DH every once in a while, but he has DH’d 3 of the last 4 games. Unless he is banged up, I don’t understand DH’ing a gold glove caliber right fielder so Andujar can play OF (he should be DHing).

    Brett Gardner and his .520 OPS hitting 2nd is ridiculous and defies all modern analytics that the Yankees are supposedly big on. This only is about him being lefty and platoon stupidity. I wish the press would ask Boone about this.

    Taillon needs an opener. His splits the 2nd time thru the order are horrific. Let a reliever face the first 4-6 batters, then when Taillon gets to the 2nd time thru the order it is the middle to the bottom of the order (lesser hitters)

    • Mungo

      Monty needs an opener also, although it’s unclear if that will help him. He may need that first inning to find his rhythm, so giving him an opener may simply delay his 1st inning problems to the 2nd or the 3rd. Don’t know, but they probably should be trying something different. For all the Yankees investment and belief in analytics, they seem to at times both underthink and overthink obvious solutions. The Rays definitely would be trying to figure out how to best maximize Taillon’s and Montgomery’s strengths, while it feels like the Yankees simply stick to a script when it comes to their starters and relievers. That is, unless it’s game 2 of a pivotal postseason series, then they go totally off the script, which gets back to my point that they either overthink or underthink the solution at times.

      As for Gardner, my guess it’s a one-off. I’m not big on lineup construction beyond the obvious of getting the better hitters up toward the top as an overall trend. One game with Gardner batting second? Ehh. Doesn’t bother me, especially with a few injuries. Gardy is very streaky. There is some evidence he’s breaking out of that, so Boone may have been trying to get the hot hand up at the top for a game. That looked like the correct choice last night.

      There is evidence Judge is dealing with some lower body issues. You can still see it in the way he moves. Judge has not been that gold glove-caliber RFer this year, and I think it’s because he has some issue. With Stanton out, give him the DH spot if it helps him recover, at least doesn’t aggravate whatever is going on. I’m fine with Andujar in left. Give him on-the-job training. He’s improving. I’m growing frustrated with Clint, so let’s see if Miggy can be a solution.

  7. Idaho Nuke

    Will Chapman give up a run this season?

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén