Game 82: Yanks Dominate in London

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What a ridiculous series, but hey, the results couldn’t have been better for the Yankees. They defeated the Red Sox 12-8 on Sunday morning afternoon, completing the 2 game sweep. They’re 6-1 against Boston this year and have a 12 game lead over the Sox in the loss column. The Yanks are 54-28 (.659) and have a 7.5 lead right now. It will either be 7 or 8 depending on what happens in Tampa. In either case, this is great. Things are coming up Yankees so far in 2019, despite the many challenges.

This was another long game (4 hours and 24 minutes) and all told, it was almost 9 hours of baseball for 18 innings in London. Let’s not waste any more time, in other words, and get right to it.

1. Stephen Tarpley Did Not Have It: After a scoreless top of the 1st, Stephen Tarpley made his first MLB start. After retiring Mookie Betts on a ground out, Rafael Devers hit a single. All hell broke loose after that:

3 homers in 4 batters, and Tarpley was chased from the game with this line: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 3 HR. Not good! A lot of people were saying that breaking balls aren’t moving as well in London and I wish I could look that up, but Statcast isn’t reliable in London. In any case, this was odd for Tarpley. Check this out, per YES’ James Smyth:

2. Fightin’ Spirit: Even down 4-0 right away, it just never feels like the Yanks are out of a game. It happened the other day, too, when Paxton put the Yanks in a quick 5-0. You just know they’re going to put up a fight.

Today, they answered back right away in the second. Encarnación walked (more on him in a moment), Didi hit a single, and Gleyber walked and the Yankees were in business with the bases loaded and nobody out. A run-scoring force out and a single from Gardner cut the lead to 4-2, but Rodriguez kept it at that. A bit frustrating not to get more out of that inning, but I don’t think they regret it too much. Nice job by the Yankees to immediately answer, as it feels like they always do this year.

Final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. I’ll take that, Luis. I’ll take that.

3. The Offense Comes Alive: That sure was a fun top of the 7th, huh? The Yankees were stymied all day by Eduardo Rodriquez despite getting some traffic on the base paths, but once they got to the Boston pen, they finally did some serious damage. The Yankees sent 15 — 15!!!! — batters to the plate in the 7th. 15 batters! They scored 9 runs. A lot went on here, and none of it was home runs. It was good stuff, and conveniently for me, there’s video of all of the runs. Check this out:

4. Cessa, Ottavino, and Kahnle Do the Job: Luis Cessa entered the game in the bottom of the 2nd in relief of Tarpley, and he was the stabilizing force for the Yanks on the mound. Just like we all drew it up, right? The Yankees were down 4-0 by the time he entered the game, and when he left it 4 innings later, they were down only 4-2. He held Boston in check and helped alleviate some of the bullpen stress following yesterday’s weird game.

That was followed by 2 scoreless for Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle, who really struggled yesterday. Their combined line: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. That will do, guys.

All told, after the Yankees bullpen inherited a 4-run deficit after the first inning and responded like this: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. That’s a hell of a job by the ‘pen, and it allowed the Yankee offense to go to work and get the Yanks the lead. Very good stuff.

6. Death By Two-Out Runs: Yikes did the 8th inning get interesting. Way, way too interesting. Chance Adams came on and he wasn’t great, though he didn’t really seem to get hit all that hard. Nevertheless, the parade of 2 out runs from Boston continued. It’s infuriating. All with 2 outs (there were 2 singles in the inning before the 2nd out), Boston did this:

  • Christian Vazquez single
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. single
  • Eduardo Nunez double

Zack Britton then came on in relief, and this happened:

  • Sam Travis single
  • Mookie Betts walk
  • Rafael Devers groundout

All told, 4 runs all with 2 outs. Britton seemed to get squeezed in the Mookie AB and the Travis single was a weak seeing-eye grounder, but still. Very frustrating, and it meant that Chapman had to come on in the 9th, but he didn’t allow a run. Closer than it should have been, but oh well. A win is a win.

Leftovers

  • Strike Zone: It really felt like home plate umpire Carlos Torres’ zone was huge all day, didn’t it? There were multiple at-bats for Judge where the zone was enormous (continuing a trend for him throughout his career). Another for Gary Sánchez in the 5th, where the first 5 pitchers were balls but Gary somehow didn’t walk. He ended up popping out, so that was kind of frustrating.
  • Didi’s Defense: Didi made a great play to end last night’s game, and today, he made several other phenomenal plays, too. He really is such a complete player, and he’s so easy to root for. The Yankees sure did have success without him, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that the team is better with him. Didi made a fantastic, bare-handed play crossing 2nd later in the game, too, but check out this double play he initiated in the 4th:
  • Encarnación is struggling: Since joining the Yankees, Encarnación has 3 home runs, but that’s about it. He was 4 for 66 coming into today, with 3 of those 4 hits leaving the yard. That amounts to a .154/.250/.436 (76 wRC+), which is definitely below expectations. He was 0-4 today but with 2 walks, so hopefully, he’s starting to see the ball better and will get back on track soon.
  • The Streak is Alive: The Yankees have now hit a home run in 31 consecutive games, which is insane. It’s something like over 170 games in a row without being shut out, too. That’s good! The streak seemed in jeopardy as late as the 8th inning today, but our man Didi did this to keep it alive. What a shot. Check it out:
  • Boston’s Bullpen Is Trash: Good grief is the Boston bullpen struggling. These numbers have changed a bit since this (it was in the 7th), but mostly for the worse due to the above Didi home run. This is, and I don’t know how else to say it, very bad. Almost like they should have signed Kimbrel. Oh well!

Up Next

The Yankees mercifully fly out of London today and head back to New York. They’re off tomorrow but will take on the Mets at Citi Field for the first of a two-game set on Tuesday night. James Paxton (5-3, 4.34 ERA) will take on Jason Vargas (3-3, 3.66 ERA). The game will be at 7:10. You can check it out on MLB Network nationally and PIX 11 for the local broadcast. Radio, as usual, will be on 660 WFAN. Enjoy the rest of the day, everyone.

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12 Comments

  1. CountryClub

    In less games than the teams behind them, Yanks now lead MLB in runs.

  2. CountryClub

    Wow, neither Voit or Torres made the AS team. That’s ridiculous.

  3. CountryClub

    Who makes the AS team tonight?

  4. Wire Fan

    Adams pitched better than the line looked. The first three singles were all bloopers with the hardest hit of the three at something like 74 mph. Yes you need to get that last out and pitch around some bad luck, but if even just one of those three don’t luckily drop in, it’s a scoreless inning.

    Outside of Tarpley, the pitching was relatively good today.

  5. SM

    The story of the season in a nutshell: great offense, bad starting pitching. The only trades I wouldn’t hate would be those that add quality depth to the pen. I can see no reason to believe Cashman can fix the rotation through trades. So just keep promoting from within.

    • CountryClub

      In this era of baseball, they may be able to win it all with a dominant lineup and dominant pen. They just may be able to do it. KC did something similar. Their lineup wasn’t dominant, but they were a pain in the rear end.

  6. dasit

    28 pitching changes in 2 games
    english fans must think pitchers are allowed 2 innings maximum

  7. Your a Looser Trader FotD

    Imagine if we had Corbin? Or a healthy Sevy. Jeez. Coulda been look out 1998.

    • RetroRob

      Corbin’s ERA (and FIP) in the NL is near 4.00 and he’s already given up nearly as many HRs as he did all of last year. That wouldn’t translate all that well to the AL East and Yankee Stadium. I wanted him on the team, but not sure how much better they’d be. He’s a decent pitcher, but not great.

      • Better than Happ. 123 era+ vs. 87 era+. He’d be a big upgrade.

        I wanted him and Machado. Still do. Also had the same reservations about Corbin as you did. Sometimes you have to take a chance.

        Glad that London nonsense is over. Manfred and the dirty 30 won’t be happy until they control every dollar, euro, yen, yuan, bead, shell in existence.

  8. CountryClub

    Giddy up

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