Now that’s more like it! After last night’s crazy walk-off win, today was exactly what you want to see the Yankees do against the Royals with a nice, calm, and easy victory with great pitching and hitting. The Kraken hit a huge 3-run homerun in the 6th to put this one out of reach, giving the Yankees a 8-1 victory behind Jameson Taillon’s best start in pinstripes. This moves the Yankees to 40-34 on the year, and just 4 back on the Red Sox who play the Rays later tonight. It’s their 3rd straight series win and they have won 7 of their last 9. To the takeaways:
No sticky stuff, no problem for Jamo. Jameson Taillon was one of the pitchers who spoke in favor of the new crackdowns on illicit substances, and he backed that up today with a fantastic start. And for those wondering, Taillon’s spin rates were only down about 20 rpm compared to usual, which is basically no change. Interpret that however you like. Over 6.1 IP, he gave up 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6. His pitch plot tells the story:
Look at all those four-seamers up and curveballs and sliders low and away to right-handed hitters. In addition to those 3, Taillon also worked his sinker and changeup in effectively in limited duty to keep hitters honest. The slider made the difference for Taillon today. On the season, he has a 20% whiff rate on it, but today the pitch garnered a 33% whiff rate. The knock against Taillon thus far is that he has a strong fastball and no solid off-speed pitch, and today he showed promise that his breaking balls are coming around. On the day, he had a 30% CSW rate on his four-seamer, curveball, and slider. That’ll get the job done.
The biggest encouraging sign today was how Taillon finished his start. He was dominating through 4 before running into trouble in the 5th, giving up back-to-back hits with the top of the order coming up for the 3rd time. On the season, Taillon has been abysmal the third time through, with hitters batting .400 against him with a .800 slugging. Not today though. Third time through batters went 0-5 with 2 walks and a K against him. That allowed Taillon to pitch into the 7th for only the second time this season. We talked on the podcast last week about how it was going to take Taillon time to adjust to new mechanics and pitch selection, and hopefully today was the start of that turnaround. Here are his strikeouts on the day:
The Bronx Bombers are coming around. Although they only scored 4 runs against Brian Keller in his 5 innings, the Yankee hitters dominated him. They made him throw 114 pitches to get through 5, and had 10 hard hit balls against him. The Yankees lead the league with 4.08 pitches seen per PA, and in this series that number was all the way up to 4.53. That tells us they are seeing the ball well and laying off bad pitches. Although they only had 4 walks after 11 last night, they worked deep counts and made Keller and the Royals relievers pay.
All of that is burying the lede. Please sit back, relax, and enjoy these homeruns from Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, and the scary Gary Sánchez.
This came after Voit joked last night he needed to hit the weight room after thinking he hit home runs that instead hit the wall the past two days.
The scary Kraken is now hitting .240 with a .847 slugging on the season. Take a look at his rolling wOBA chart on the year:
In June he is hitting .305/.369/.712 (184 wRC+). Unreal. Get that man to the All-Star game.
On the day, the Yankees had 16 (!) hard hit balls, a .321 expected batting average, and an unreal 55.2 hard hit %. The top 5 (LeMahieu, Judge, Sánchez, Stanton, and Voit) went 10-22 with 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, and 7 runs. The Bombers are here to bash.
- The legend of Rougned Odor grows. After a huge 2-run hr last night, Odor was 3-4 with a double today.
- The bottom of the order went hitless with Frazier, Gardner, and Wade failing to reach via hit. Frazier and Wade each had a walk though.
- Nasty Nestor Cortes closed this one out with a solid 2.2 IP and 5 K. He has a 1.20 ERA on the season.
The Yankees head up to Boston for a pivotal series against the Red Sox looking to win their fourth straight series. It’ll be Domingo Germán (4-4, 4.17 ERA) against Martín Pérez (5-4, 4.32 ERA) at 7:05pm eastern tomorrow.