The Yankees quickly get back in the win column with a very professional 5-1 win over their crosstown rivals. The team featured a well rounded performance with strong pitching top to bottom, impressive defense and timely hitting. Here are the takeaways.
1. Germán Returns in Impressive Fashion: After missing close to a month with a hip issue, Domingo Germán was fantastic in his return to the mound. You may not expect this result if you go by the first pitch of the night. The impressive Jeff McNeil wasted no time welcoming Germán back with a first pitch lead off homerun. Domingo struggled to settle down as his breaking stuff was up in the zone for the majority of the frame. He did end the first with a strikeout on a devastating breaking ball and Germán took off from there.
Going into the game with a pitch count of around 75, Germán was efficient and aggressive. This allowed him to have short innings and pitch deeper into the game than possibly anticipated before the game began. The most impressive thing about his start tonight was the effectiveness of his offspeed arsenal. Out of his 80 total pitches, Germán threw 49 offspeed pitches. The encouraging sign was the command. He was able to get 33 strikes from those offerings with 11 of those coming on a swing and miss. Prior to his injury, that command eluded him. Boone tried to downplay it, but maybe the injury contributed to a loss of control. Domingo was on his game as he ended his night with a line of 6IP, 5H, 1ER, 0BB 6K. A strong return for an important piece of the rotation.
While Germán did pitch well, he did get some help from his defense. This leads us to…
2. Urshela, The Most Happy Fella: Where would the Yankees be without Giovanny Urshela. He is having the season of his life. While his breakout is mainly a result of his improved offense, his glove is what gave him the opportunity to stick around in the majors. His gift was on full display tonight. Take a look:
We cannot overstate how critical the improved infield defense is to this successful season. One could argue that the 2019 Yankees would not be able to survive all of these injuries if they had the infield defense from 2018. Plays like the three featured above are inning and game changers. DJ LeMahieu is doing a lot to stabilize the infield, but Gio is making the infield defense elite. There aren’t many third baseman that can convert those chances. He has been incredible this season.
In addition to his stellar glovework, Gio hit a line drive out to left field for a home run. Heading into the final series of the first half, Gio is hitting .301/.351/.455 with a 113 OPS+. His previous OPS+ career high was 69 (!!!) last year with Toronto. He is an incredibly valuable piece to the team and he isn’t even a full time starter. The depth of this team is really impressive.
3. Not All Star Gleyber Torres Strikes Again: I’ll be writing a post on this soon, but it is absurd that Gleyber isn’t on the All Star squad. There are many deserving candidates, but Gleyber is towards the top of the list. He was once again the offensive star of the night. He knocked in two big two out RBIs to extend the lead in both the first and seventh innings.
Gleyber is displaying a very quiet confidence this year. We’re witnessing an extremely gifted player realizing that he is an elite and dominant player in the league. His approach at the plate is becoming refined as he continues to exhibit discipline with his game plan. He knows what he wants to do at the plate and he’s executing it. There is this nugget from Lindsey Adler:
It is really hard to believe this young man is only 22 years old. He is going to be the best player on this team in a short amount of time.
The Yankees took care of business with a very professional showing. The biggest takeaway from tonight was Germán’s strong performance. If he can return to his early season success it will do a lot to stabilize this inconsistent rotation.
The team now heads to Tampa for a big four game holiday weekend series. This is a huge opportunity to put a tight grip on the division. Tomorrow’s game will start at 5:10pm with J.A. Happ facing Yonny Chirinos. Have a great night everyone.