The Yankees won this one 4-2 to salvage the day’s game and get back over .500 on the season. Hard to say that this was a good day – far from it! – but it honestly could have been a lot worse. I thought it was going to be a lot worse based on the 7th inning in game 1, so I’ll take it.
Let’s get right to the takeaways.
1. Nasty Nestor Gets It Done: Nasty Nestor gave us shades of 2019 with that performance today. He went 3.1 IP in his longest outing of the season, allowing just 2 hits and a run. He struck out 4 and didn’t walk anyone. Here is his pitch plot from the game, which about tells the story:
There’s a lot of white space around the middle there and you can see him working down in the zone on both sides of the plate. An effective strategy, that is. He got 9 whiffs on 28 swings (32%), induced tons of soft contact (85 mph average exit velocity), and was fastball heavy (46%). Cortes and his abnormal deliveries have been one of the few bright spots in the 2021 Yankees’ season, and tonight was no different. He’s been very, very good, and he was again.
2. Darren O’Day Does Not: Unfortunately, Aaron Boone removed Cortes from the game in the 4th inning after he surrendered a double. Let us say that this did not work out super well for him, as most recent decisions have not. He went to Darren O’Day, who I continue to be excited about, so I’m not criticizing Boone too much. It’s just that Cortes was pitching well and O’Day threw a pitch here:
To Pete Alonso, who sent it deep into the right-field seats. That made it 3-2, and it charged a run to Cortes. Gah. He then walked back-to-back batters before settling in and closing the door. He preserved the lead, but it was really emblematic of the season. Really, just nothing is working out for the Yankees these days. Pitching decisions, lineup decisions, bullpen management. Nothing. This was another example, even if it didn’t ultimately result in disaster.
3. That Said, Chad Green Rules: Ah, Chad Green. My favorite. Our man came in and slammed the door shut in this one. He did not have any of the Darren O’Day issues. That’s for damn sure. He pitched 3 perfect innings in relief, striking out 6 in the process. It was a great, great performance from him. The Mets never stood a chance against everyone’s bullpen son Chad Green, and it was glorious. Here’s his pitch chart:
He had a ridiculous 40% whiff-per-swing rate, including 38% on his fastball. In multiple innings. Just a totally vintage 2017 Chad Green game.
4. The Offense Does A Little But Enough: Not a great night for the offense, but they did enough to get the job done. The second inning was when most of the damage was done. It started with a leadoff double from Luke Voit and a bunt single from Rougned Odor. That brought up Gio Urshela, who somehow hit this pitch:
Into the right-field seats. That made it 3-0 Yankees and it would have been enough to win the game. Urshela has been a bit middling in 2021 offensively – .274/.316/.452 (109 wRC+) on the season – but that was a big home run to get them the lead after a debacle of a game this afternoon. A huge hit at the right time. It’s an example of capitalizing when you have a chance, which is happening too far in between this year in 2021. Oh well. This was a good win, at least.
- Brett Gardner’s Wheels: Brett Gardner scored the 4th Yankee run on a wild pitch. His wheels paid off for the Yankees in this one. He was 0-1 with a walk and a run.
- Power Vacuum: Rough night for Judge, Stanton, and Sánchez. They went 0-9 with three strikeouts.
Mercifully, the Yankees are off tomorrow. That means we are able to not watch them! Good news all around. They’ll be back on it on Tuesday, when they go to Seattle for a west coast trip. Jameson Taillon (3-4, 5.43 ERA) will take on Justus Sheffield (5-7, 5.88 ERA) in that one. Enjoy your night, everyone.