Down 5-0 pretty quickly, this game was starting to look like the Yankees’ only other loss in recent memory. The Astros broke it open quickly against JA Happ last week, but today wasn’t the same story. Instead, the offense climbed back to take the lead, though Zack Britton ultimately couldn’t notch the save in the ninth. It was no big deal though, because the Yankees won it on Gleyber Torres’s walk off single.
James Paxton just doesn’t look right. Since returning at the end of May, the lefty hasn’t been his dominant self. There’s been plenty of speculation that the knee that put him on the injured list is still barking, which is a fair thought considering how Paxton has pitched since returning.
Today, Paxton put the Yankees in a hole right away. The game started as follows: walk, walk, three-run home run. Lourdes Gurriel did the damage, and actually hit a second dinger in the fifth inning that essentially put an end to the southpaw’s day. The other big blow against Paxton was Danny Jansen’s two-run shot. Paxton’s final line: 4.1 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs, 4 walks, 3 homers, and 3 strikeouts.
From watching, it looks like Paxton’s fastball is either right down the middle or way out of the zone. It’s very possible that his knee is making it harder for him to throw the ball where he wants. Mike Axisa’s RAB Thoughts Patreon explored that very issue today:
A five run game isn’t out of reach for this lineup. Toronto’s starter, Trent Thornton, is about as herky jerky as they come on the mound. His motions has arms and legs flying everywhere and reminds me of Tyler Clippard a little bit. Anyway, it didn’t seem to bother Yankees’ hitters, who got to Thornton in the second and fourth innings.
In the second frame, Didi Gregorius opened the scoring for the Yankees with a solo shot, his second homer of the season and first at Yankee Stadium. Oddly enough, he’s hit much better on the road (125 wRC+) compared to Yankee Stadium (5 wRC+) this season. There’s nothing meaningful to take from that; just thought it was an interesting nugget. Didi’s dinger extended the Yankees’ games with a home run streak to 29, adding another game to the record they set last night.
Later in the second inning, the Yankees loaded the bases for Aaron Judge with two outs. Judge cut Toronto’s lead to two with a single through the left side. The Yankees ultimately tied the game thanks to none other than DJ LeMahieu, whose two-run tater leveled the score in the fourth. I mean, who else could it have been?
The offense had more runs in them, scoring one a piece in the fifth and sixth. Aaron Hicks’s sacrifice fly tied it up once again in the sixth and Luke Voit’s RBI single gave the Yankees their first lead. From there, it was a matter of the bullpen holding true.
Tarpley has been a big boost the past two days. After Adam Ottavino did his thing in the seventh, the Yankees didn’t go to their usual eighth inning guy, Zack Britton. Aaron Boone was saving him for the ninth inning since Aroldis Chapman was unavailable after throwing more than twenty pitches each of the last two nights.
With an assist from Gary Sanchez’s arm, Tarpley delivered a clean eighth inning. Last night, the rookie left-hander pitched a clean seventh with a one run lead. Nice work from him, especially when getting thrown right into the fire after replacing Jonathan Holder on the roster.
Britton had a bit of a tough luck blown save. There really wasn’t much hard contact against the sinkerballer, but the Jays capitalized anyway. Danny Jansen lofted a soft liner into right to lead off the inning with a single and subsequently moved to second on Gary Sánchez’s passed ball. Gary reached across his body but failed to snag a sinker. Immediately after, Cavan Biggio lined a single to left field to tie things up.
Britton ran into even more trouble after that, but managed to escape. He worked around a Gleyber Torres throwing error on a tailor made double play that left the Jays with first and second and still nobody out with the score 7-7. Britton held it down from there.
Extra innings on getaway day are no fun, so the Yankees wasted no time walking this one off. Although Toronto tied the score in the top half of the ninth, they couldn’t force extra frames. Nick Kingham entered to keep the score even, but it didn’t take long for the Yankees to put a little rally together. Kingham notched one quick out, but then gave up a single to Gregorius and walked Aaron Hicks. Gleyber, you do the rest:
That’s it for Yankees baseball until Saturday. They’re off tomorrow and Friday before playing the Red Sox out in London.