In a mere 2:39, the Yankees walk away with a clinical and dominant win this afternoon over the San Diego Padres by a score of 7-0. They featured fantastic pitching, trademark power and some flashy defense to earn the series win. It is the 8th straight series win for the Bombers. Let’s get right into the takeaways.
1.Welcome Back Big Maple: That was an impressive return for James Paxton. It would be fair to say Paxton could have some rust after spending 26 days on the IL, especially considering the role of the lower body in pitching mechanics, but that was clearly not the case today. Armed with a fastball consistently sitting between 95-97 MPH and a frightful curve, Paxton opened up the game with two strikeouts en route to a line of 4IP, 0H, 2BB, 7K. Going into the game aware of his 70-75 pitch limit and looking to drive his pitches, Paxton was aggressive in the inner third of the zone to both righties and lefties. That aggressiveness led to a lot of swing and misses in a short amount of time. As Friend of the Blog Katie Sharp tweets:
Paxton appears to be a big fan of pitching in Yankee Stadium. Outside of his issue with the clay on the pitcher’s mound, he has been dominant in his home starts this year. YSIII looks favorably upon lefties and James is taking advantage. We get this nugget from ESPN’s Coley Harvey:
All of us will take that for a couple more seasons. Boone took Paxton out after 66 pitches and four innings, which one could argue was a bit premature, but you want to protect one of your top starters so it makes sense. In any case, it was a nice return for Big Maple.
2. The Bronx Bombers Strike Again: Padres rookie pitcher Chris Paddack entered today’s start allowing only 28 hits, 4 of them homers, over the course of 51.1 innings. Paddack features a low to mid 90s fastball with strong command and a plus change. He is in the 80th percentile or above in K%, hard hit% and exit velocity. Paddack has been a stud in 2019. He had yet to give up a home run to a right handed batter this season. So naturally, the Yankees open up the bottom of the first inning with this:
And then they did this:
And followed that up a little later with one of these:
It feels like almost every game this team does something new to impress you. They’re beating up on mediocre to bad pitching (last night notwithstanding) and competing against strong pitching with successful results.
Beyond the power, the Yankees are scoring runs in multiple manners. In the fifth inning, after DJLM beat out a potential double play at second base and advanced to third on a Gleyber single, Gardner knocked him in with a sacrifice fly. Then in the 6th inning, Cameron Maybin singled, stole two bases and scored on a throwing error from Austin Hedges. It’s great to see these guys looking for every way possible to put pressure on the defense and score cheap runs. Home runs will always be the best, but supplementing them with manufactured runs makes an offense relentless.
3. Bullpen Concerns For The Boston Series: We knew coming into today the team wasn’t going to get much length from James Paxton due to his pitch count limit. The bullpen is obviously taxed. Even if you remove the games where the team goes with an opener, the pen has taken up the majority of the innings over a long stretch of time. This may come to a head during the Boston series. Boone has done a pretty good job of managing innings for his top relievers lately, but we all know how these Boston series go. Every game is treated like Game 7 of the playoffs and I don’t think Boone will go with the likes of Joe Harvey many times this weekend. It is imperative that J.A. Happ and Domingo Germán give the team length in their starts. They will have at least one bullpen game and who knows what CC will be able to provide if he starts Sunday. Boone and Rothschild are going to have to work some magic with the pen this weekend.
4. The Yankees Are Flat Out Good: When all of the injuries were hitting the team there was understandable frustration and despair. Fortunately, the team didn’t believe that and kept competing. They won a bunch of games, but some throughout the sport were wondering when the other shoe was going to drop. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Take a look at this from James Smyth of the YES Network:
Yeah, this team is good.
5. Big Boy Energy: I couldn’t find a .gif of Luke Voit’s triple before writing this. Someone please do us all a favor and drop it in the comments. We all need to celebrate that big boy energy rumbling around second base.
This is a nice way to head into the big series this weekend. The Yankees have a great chance to create significant distance between them and the Red Sox. Yes, there is plenty of season left to play, but why not make it as tough for them as possible. Tomorrow’s match up is J.A. Happ versus Chris Sale. I know what all of you are thinking, but that’s why they play the games. Have a great night everyone.