Tag: Austin Romine Page 2 of 4

Game 145: Bye Bye Beantown!

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The Yankees take the series from The Guys In Beantown. They win the final game of the season series by the score of 5-0. The Team Named After Colorful Laundry are officially eliminated from the division chase. The Yankees are a season high 45 games above .500 with a record of 95-50. Their magic number to clinch the AL East is 9. You can check out the box score here. Here are the takeaways.

1. See Ya!: The Yankees broke the Team From New England’s front office last night and now they officially end their division hopes. Damn, that feels good as hell. The Yankees doing this in Fenway Park makes it even more satisfying. Outside of their home field pursuit, the Yankees main goal of the series was to push The Guys Who Wear Ugly Red Jerseys At Home closer to elimination from postseason consideration. The Yanks did exactly that.

I cannot tell you how satisfying it has been to see the Ex-Dave Dombrowskis turn into a dumpster fire. Over the last couple of years, they’ve turned into media darlings. They could never do wrong. They were the lovable winners. Now, they’re a disaster. They’re not making the playoffs and there is a very difficult offseason on the horizon. It is self-inflicted turmoil and I am here for it. Maybe they can sell tickets at Fenway and show the Yankees World Series run on the scoreboard in October. They won’t have any games to play so why not get that extra revenue. In any case, you can stick a fork in the Former World Champions. Good riddance.

2. Paxton Shines: James Paxton is now the Yankees ace. This is the pitcher the Yankees traded for in the winter. He is working with great tempo and confidence. James was fantastic against a strong lineup on the road. The key to his late season surge is the decision to mix up his pitches with more frequency. Paxton went with an interesting collection of pitches tonight that led to efficiency and great effectiveness.

James relied upon his four seamer, two seamer, knuckle curve and cutter tonight. He didn’t throw one slider according to MLB Statcast. I’m not sure if Paxton lasted an entire start without using a slider prior to tonight. He primarily relied on his four seamer and curve to mow down the Red Sox lineup. This approach may be a response to the terrible start he had in Boston back in July when the rotation was going through that rough patch. Whatever the reason, this largely two pitch mix was working tonight. Paxton had great command as well. Look at this chart:

This is a pitcher’s work of art. It is one thing to change your approach, but it’s not effective if you can’t locate the pitches. He kept the Red Sox hitters off balance all night because he had great command. David Cone made a great point that the unpredictability of Paxton’s pitch selection is making the fastball a more impactful pitch.

The lack of hard hit contact is a great sign for Paxton. His average fastball velocity was 95.8. The average exit velocity off that pitch was 88.6. This is a pretty significant difference. One under the radar result of Paxton’s new approach is the lack of quality contact he’s inducing. This is really important for Paxton’s playoff run. We all know the offenses the Yankees will see in October. A pitcher’s ability to limit damage will be key. Paxton is rounding into ace form at the perfect time. Here is a note from Seth Rothman:

Is that good?

3. Romine? Yeah, Romine: Austin Romine isn’t the most popular player around these parts. It is a testament to…something…that he has stayed with the Yankees for so long. To his credit, over the last couple of season he does have a stretch where he is a clear contributor. He had a good game offensively tonight and led the charge for the lineup. Eduardo Rodriguez was making quick work of the Yankees until Ro stepped up to the plate in the fifth inning:

It is important for Romine to contribute heading into October. There is a possibility that he gets a start behind the plate in one of the playoff games. A lot of things will depend on player health and postseason roster construction, but we do know the Yankees trust Romine behind the plate. If this does happen, Romine has to be productive in the batter’s box. He has been putting up pretty good numbers for a while now:

This will do from your back up catcher. Hopefully, he can keep this up. It just opens up a few more options for Boone if he wants, or needs, to be creative.


The Yankees continue this long road trip tomorrow in Detroit. The Yankees currently have their started listed as TBD. They will face Edwin Jackson. The game will start at 6:40pm. Have a great night everyone.

Game 145: Bye Bye Beantown!

Embed from Getty Images

The Yankees take the series from The Guys In Beantown. They win the final game of the season series by the score of 5-0. The Team Named After Colorful Laundry are officially eliminated from the division chase. The Yankees are a season high 45 games above .500 with a record of 95-50. Their magic number to clinch the AL East is 9. You can check out the box score here. Here are the takeaways.

1. See Ya!: The Yankees broke the Team From New England’s front office last night and now they officially end their division hopes. Damn, that feels good as hell. The Yankees doing this in Fenway Park makes it even more satisfying. Outside of their home field pursuit, the Yankees main goal of the series was to push The Guys Who Wear Ugly Red Jerseys At Home closer to elimination from postseason consideration. The Yanks did exactly that.

I cannot tell you how satisfying it has been to see the Ex-Dave Dombrowskis turn into a dumpster fire. Over the last couple of years, they’ve turned into media darlings. They could never do wrong. They were the lovable winners. Now, they’re a disaster. They’re not making the playoffs and there is a very difficult offseason on the horizon. It is self-inflicted turmoil and I am here for it. Maybe they can sell tickets at Fenway and show the Yankees World Series run on the scoreboard in October. They won’t have any games to play so why not get that extra revenue. In any case, you can stick a fork in the Former World Champions. Good riddance.

2. Paxton Shines: James Paxton is now the Yankees ace. This is the pitcher the Yankees traded for in the winter. He is working with great tempo and confidence. James was fantastic against a strong lineup on the road. The key to his late season surge is the decision to mix up his pitches with more frequency. Paxton went with an interesting collection of pitches tonight that led to efficiency and great effectiveness.

James relied upon his four seamer, two seamer, knuckle curve and cutter tonight. He didn’t throw one slider according to MLB Statcast. I’m not sure if Paxton lasted an entire start without using a slider prior to tonight. He primarily relied on his four seamer and curve to mow down the Red Sox lineup. This approach may be a response to the terrible start he had in Boston back in July when the rotation was going through that rough patch. Whatever the reason, this largely two pitch mix was working tonight. Paxton had great command as well. Look at this chart:

This is a pitcher’s work of art. It is one thing to change your approach, but it’s not effective if you can’t locate the pitches. He kept the Red Sox hitters off balance all night because he had great command. David Cone made a great point that the unpredictability of Paxton’s pitch selection is making the fastball a more impactful pitch.

The lack of hard hit contact is a great sign for Paxton. His average fastball velocity was 95.8. The average exit velocity off that pitch was 88.6. This is a pretty significant difference. One under the radar result of Paxton’s new approach is the lack of quality contact he’s inducing. This is really important for Paxton’s playoff run. We all know the offenses the Yankees will see in October. A pitcher’s ability to limit damage will be key. Paxton is rounding into ace form at the perfect time. Here is a note from Seth Rothman:

Is that good?

3. Romine? Yeah, Romine: Austin Romine isn’t the most popular player around these parts. It is a testament to…something…that he has stayed with the Yankees for so long. To his credit, over the last couple of season he does have a stretch where he is a clear contributor. He had a good game offensively tonight and led the charge for the lineup. Eduardo Rodriguez was making quick work of the Yankees until Ro stepped up to the plate in the fifth inning:

It is important for Romine to contribute heading into October. There is a possibility that he gets a start behind the plate in one of the playoff games. A lot of things will depend on player health and postseason roster construction, but we do know the Yankees trust Romine behind the plate. If this does happen, Romine has to be productive in the batter’s box. He has been putting up pretty good numbers for a while now:

This will do from your back up catcher. Hopefully, he can keep this up. It just opens up a few more options for Boone if he wants, or needs, to be creative.


The Yankees continue this long road trip tomorrow in Detroit. The Yankees currently have their started listed as TBD. They will face Edwin Jackson. The game will start at 6:40pm. Have a great night everyone.

Game 133: Ford Slugs 2 HR as Yanks Best Mariners 5-4

TFW the Yankees don’t stop winning

Remember when the Mariners were 13-2? Me neither. The wheels really fell off for them this year, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Yankees took advantage of the bad opponent, riding a big 2nd inning to a 5-4 victory. Aroldis Chapman came on in the 9th inning and locked down the save, preserving the win. Here is the box score as the Yankees improve to 86-47 on the season. They retain their huge AL East lead, as you know.

Also, before today’s game, I noted on Twitter that the Yankees had 20+ HR from every lineup slot except the 9-hole, so of course number 9 hitter Mike Ford went out there and mashed two HR to make it official. The Yankees are now the first team to have done this in consecutive seasons after becoming the first team in MLB history to do so last year. And they did it in August. They have a shot to get 30 (!) HR from each lineup if they stay hot. Unlikely, but not impossible.

Anyway, it’s 1 am in New York and I have work in the morning, so let’s get right to the takeaways.

1. A Mediocre Night for J.A. Happ: Look, was it a mediocre night? I don’t know. He gave up 3 ER in 5 IP to the lowly-Mariners, and he walked 3 of them. And yet Happ surrendered just 2 H and retired 7 batters by strikeout, so it wasn’t all bad. But, Happ being Happ, one of those hits was a big home run. Here is the video:

That one was a 3-run bomb to Dylan Moore, who is hitting just .207/.304/.402 (92 wRC+) on the season. That’s just what J.A. Happ is into these days. Here is the Yankees’ 2019 Home Run Leaderboard, for those keeping track at home:

  1. Gleyber Torres: 33
  2. J.A. Happ: 31
  3. Gary Sánchez: 29
  4. Domingo Germán: 28
  5. CC Sabathia: 22

As an old friend used to say…that is not what you want! Good grief. That is a lot of home runs. Listen, Happ is a good pitcher. He is the subject of some significant wrath these days, and I get it, but the man had a 3.44 (125 ERA+) across 3 seasons in the AL East, the majority of which he had to face both NYY and BOS. Hopefully, the non-juiced ball in 2020 will help him out, but who knows. He should also throw fewer fastballs, in my opinion.

Anyway, there was a new approach from Happ tonight, first noticed by Friend of the Blog™ Lucas Apostoleris:

He threw 2 more curveballs, which made it 5 on the night. Weird. I said before that Happ should throw fewer fastballs, so maybe this is the start of something? I’ll have to look into it more soon, but for now this is just going to get labeled Something to Watch™. I’m still going with a mediocre start, by the way. I’m in a generous mood. Here was the strike zone plot:

2. Gleyber Torres, Still Just 22: I’m sure you all know this by now, but it bears repeating: Gleyber Torres is 22-years-old. That’s it. And yet our man is still hitting .288/.353/.554 (133 wRC+) after his 1-4 night tonight. That also included this, which was his 33rd home run of the 2019 season:

That one left the bat at 108+ mph and traveled 438 feet to dead center, which is the very definition of power. Remember when Gleyber was supposed to be a 10-15 homer guy? So much for that. On a related note, check out the AL HR Leaderboard:

  1. Mike Trout, LAA: 42
  2. Jorge Soler, KCR: 36
  3. Max Kepler, MIN: 35
  4. Gleyber Torres, NYY: 33
  5. Nelson Cruz, SEA: 33

Our guy, who is 22-years-old, is 4th in the American League in HR as a middle infielder. Now, I know the baseballs are juiced and all that, and that really does matter. But you also just gotta tip your cap to Gleyber Torres, who just continues to improve in nearly every element of his game. He has most notably cut down on his strikeout rate, which now sits at 20.3% this year compared to 25.2% last year.

It’s pretty wild to me how quickly he became one of the Yankees’ best hitters. Gleyber Torres is going to be on the Yankees for a long time, and that’s as exciting a prospect as I can remember in some time because, again, he is just 22-years-old.

3. Mike Is Built Ford Tough: What more is there to say about the Yankees’ depth this season? The 27-year-old 1B has ably filled in for Edwin Encarnación, hitting .232/.330/.516 (115 wRC+) with 8 home runs in just over 100 plate appearances. It seems that crushing an all-time legend like Clayton Kershaw is good for the confidence, so Ford added two more home runs to the tally tonight, both of which traveled 399 feet. Here is the first, which was his 7th of the season:

And here was the second, which was his 8th:

Both big flies came off Malone (more on him below), which is interesting because Milone is a lefty. Before tonight, Ford came into the game hitting .438/.500/1.188 (322 wRC+) with 4 HR in 18 plate appearances, which is a tiny sample, so tiny as to be minuscule, but it’s worth noting.

Anyway, that’s now 6 homers off lefty pitchers for Ford, who is giving the Yankees some much-needed lefty-on-lefty pop. It’ll be worth tracking how Ford does against southpaws going forward, in any case.

4. High-Leverage Nasty Nestor: After some weirdness in the bottom of the 6th with Cory Gearrin (more on that below), Boone turned to Nasty Nestor Cortes Jr. with one out and runners on 1st and 2nd in a 2-run game…and Nestor rewarded him (mostly). He got Omar Nervaez to pop up to Torres at short and induced a weak fly ball to Judge from Jake Fraley to escape the jam and preserve the lead.

In the 7th, though, he ran into some trouble. Specifically, he ran into Mallex Smith, who did this:

But all things considered, that’s a solo home run. It’s not the end of the world, even if it’s not ideal. Cortes recovered, and his ultimate line was 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K. On the season, Nestor has 54 K in 55 IP, but also has 20 walks and 11 HR allowed. He’s been a relatively mixed bag, but I have to admit that I love watching him pitch.

Anyway, taht was an appearance that could have gone much differently, but instead, Cortes kept the Yankees in the lead and passed the game on to the big relievers in Kahnle and Chapman. That’s the name of the game for a guy like Cortes.

Leftovers

  • Tommy Milone, (Former) Yankee Killer: Remember when soft-tossing lefties like Tommy Milone were the kiss of death for the Yankees? Me too. Tommy Milone probably wishes he does, too. Coming into tonight, Milone owned a 2.70 ERA in 23.1 IP against the Bombers in his career (though the Yanks had won some games against him despite it). Tonight, though, it was all Yanks. The Yanks tagged him for 5 runs in 3.0 innings. They slugged 3 HR off him (you saw them above). Great stuff, guys.
  • Balkin’ Cory Gearrin: Pretty weird scenario in the bottom of the 6th. First of all, going to Gearrin there–it was a relatively high-leverage spot in a 2-run game–is just another example of the Yankees not using guys on 3 consecutive days. Anyway, Gearrin does a weird double toe-tap thing from the stretch that became an issue in the 6th. With a guy on 1st, the umpires stopped the game to warn Gearrin, evidently, Boone came out to discuss, and he threw some warm-up (?) pitches in the middle of the inning. All to avoid a balk, which of course he then did a few pitches later. It seemed to really get with Gearrin, too, who walked Seager after the balk. He would recover to strikeout Tom Murphy and Boone took him out, but yeah. That was a weird one.
  • Tommy Kahnle is So Good: After all that with the no three-days-in-a-row rule, the Yankees still managed to turn this game over to Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman with a 1-run lead going into the 8th inning. Kahnle even got to face Seattle’s 3-4-5 hitters. That’s pretty much just how you drew it up. Anyway, Kahnle retired Nola on a disgusting changeup (I have a post in the works on the pitch, which is just filthy), retired Seager on a weak grounder to short, and retired Murphy on a series of even more disgusting changeups. He is striking out nearly 14 men per 9 (37%) and has a 2.77 ERA in 52 innings pitched this season. He’s been unreal.
  • Rakin’ Romine: Everyone’s favorite backup catcher Austin Romine has done it again, with 1-4 night. He’s now up to .270/.292/.410 (81 wRC+) somehow, in large part thanks to a .338/.362/.585 (144 wRC+) line in about 70 plate appearances since the All-Star Break. Tonight, his 1 hit drove in Mike Tauchman (nice baserunning), and the video is here, so check it out:
  • Small Ball Aaron Judge: After a weekend with a power display, we saw a little bit of small ball Aaron Judge tonight. In the 4-run 2nd inning, in which the Yankees batted around, Judge beat out a soft grounder off LHP Tommy Milone and then promptly stole second base. You just can’t predict baseball, Suzyn (but seriously, just is so much more than a simple power hitter).
  • Let Brett Bang Celebration Continues: Seems like the “Let Brett Bang” celebration is going to be one that sticks, huh? It’s been going on since the ejection last week, and it feels like the sort of thing this team is just going to run with. I personally enjoy this kind of thing, and plus this one is just objectively hilarious. I mean:

Up Next

The Yanks will continue their West Coast trip tomorrow night for the second of this three-game set against Seattle. Masahiro Tanaka (9-7, 4.68 ERA) will take on Yusei Kikuchi (5-8, 5.19 ERA) in another 10:10 pm start. I’ll be up with you, and we’ll have you covered every step of the way. Enjoy the rest of your night, everyone, and be sure to enjoy your extra cup of coffee tomorrow morning.

Game 121: Yanks Destroy Lowly Orioles, Win 8-3

The Yankees bludgeoned the Orioles 8-3 tonight because of course they did. They improve to 80-41 on the season and their lead remains enormous. Things are good. Every Yankee had a hit tonight, which makes sense because they’re playing a glorified Minor League team.

Let’s get right to the takeaways.

1. Domingo Germán Keeps Rolling, But Could Use a Break: What a performance–again!–from Domingo Germán tonight. Here is the line for the Yanks’ fill-in ace: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K, with 65 of his 93 pitches (70%) going for strikes. He attacked the Orioles Quadruple-A lineup with authority tonight and he was rewarded for it:

That’s how you should approach a team that is as absolutely atrocious as the Orioles: just throw it over the plate and make them do something with it. Odds are they can’t. It also excuses the 2 HR, in my opinion. Yes, Germán gives up too many of them (he’s in the top 5 by HR/9) but tonight is excusable, at least to me.

Despite the success, though, it’s going to be essential that the Yanks give Germán a spell of rest as they prepare for the postseason. As Mike Axisa pointed out this morning, his velocity is really dropping as the season goes on. Check it out:

It is worth noting that Germán was sitting 93-94 on his fastballs tonight, topping out at just over 95 mph. His vertical release point, too, is also changing:

The release point stuff really worries me. I wrote about how the changed release point on his changeup helped make him a much more effective pitcher so far this year, so this is something I’ll be watching closely moving forward.

But hey, the Yanks can help get Germán get the rest he needs because of the fact that they have a huge lead in the division. That lead, of course, is there in large part because of Germán’s fantastic performance. A virtuous cycle, this is.

2. DJ LeMahieu, Leadoff Hitter Extraordinaire: Another game, another section devoted to DJ LeMahieu. The 2019 Yankees, as we all know, often feel like an unstoppable freight train–and a huge, huge reason for that is because of LeMahieu’s presence atop the Yankee order. Coming into tonight, DJ had led off 88 of his 107 games played (82%), hitting .321/.398/.551 with 4 home runs as the Yankees’ first hitter. If you’re wondering, that is a 107 tOPS+, which means that, when compared against himself, LeMahieu is performing 7% better than expected as the leadoff guy.

That is such a luxury. It really is. A leadoff guy who gets on base and keeps the pressure on the opponent right away is a huge luxury, and honestly, it reminds me a lot of 2009 Derek Jeter’s leadoff presence. Check it out:

  • 2009 Derek Jeter: .381/.415/.547 (.962 OPS)
  • 2019 DJ LeMahieu: .321/.398/.551 (.949 OPS)

So, yeah. Jeter was otherworldly good in 2009, but LeMahieu isn’t too far off his mark. Here’s how his overall season, not just limited to leading off, compares to Jeter:

  • 2009 Derek Jeter: .334/.406/.465, (.871 OPS)
  • 2019 DJ LeMahieu: .338/.386/.530 (.916 OPS)

Pretty good company, if you ask me. Anyway, this little diversion is brought to you by the trainwreck that is the 2019 Orioles, because, honestly, it was more interesting to look up this imperfect comparison than it is to watch the Orioles. To bring this all home, these figures for LeMahieu are only going to go up, because DJ did this to start off the game (on the very first pitch!):

That baby traveled 446 feet and left the bat at 110 mph, with a Statcast xBA of .990, the highest possible. Just another thing that LeMahieu does well. What a signing.

3. Hammerin’ Cameron Keeps it Rolling: These Yankees are extremely fun, extremely good, and extremely easy to root for. But I’m not sure I have an easier time rooting for anyone on the team than I do for Cameron Maybin, who just seems like a genuinely awesome guy that his teammates love. It sure doesn’t hurt that our man is absolutely crushing it right now. Check this out from YES’ stats guru and Friend of the Blog™ James Smyth:

Amazing. Remember, Maybin is a career .257/.325/.376 (94 wRC+) hitter in over 4,000 plate appearances including this year. Everyone knew who Maybin was. This wasn’t a minor league hideaway or a player who hadn’t ever really been given a chance. Maybin was a known commodity. And yet, despite that, he is hitting .314/.389/.529 (142 wRC+) in about 200 plate appearances as a Yankee. He got hurt and returned without missing a beat. It’s incredible. It really is. The 2019 Yankees, man.

Anyway, Maybin extended the Yankee lead from 1-0 to 3-0 when he did this with two on:

You just love to see it. The “next guy up” mantra is a bit cliche, but it’s absurdly true when it comes to this year’s Yanks. They simply don’t ever miss a beat. I think it’s time for Marcus Thames to get a raise.

4. Gio Urshela Keeps it Going: Much like I almost always am with LeMahieu, I just feel compelled to include Gio in one of these takeaways basically every single night despite the fact that I am a broken record when talking about him. What more can you even say? I wrote last week about how incredible he is in one of these, so check that out for some context. For now, though, let’s all just marvel at how insane Giodude really is. Honestly. Just look at how beautiful this is:

As good as Giodude was early on in the season, you can really just see how capital-I Insane he has been over his last 75 plate appearances or so. He continued his hot streak tonight, going 3-5 with an RBI and a run scored, bringing his season line to .335/.379/.588 (150 wRC+) on the season. Yep. That’s yet another 3 hit game for Gio Urshela. What a just absolutely incredible storyline this has been so far. I hope it never ends.

Leftovers

  • Austin Romine, Perfectly Cromulent?: The Yankee backup catcher now has an 83 wRC+ on the season, which isn’t fantastic by any stretch, but is a far cry from where he was a few weeks ago. Romine, who is far from my favorite Yankee, has been extremely solid of late, hitting .333/.369/.600 (149 wRC+) in 65 plate appearances since July 1. He went 3-4 tonight, obviously.
  • The Return of the Kraken: Sure was nice to see Gary rip a double in the 4th inning, wasn’t it? He split the gap over short and drove in Gio to make the score 7-1 Yankees. He added another bullet single in the 6th inning, and he hit the ball hard all night. It’s no secret that Gary was struggling mightily before his injury–he fell all the way down to basically league average after his torrid start–but hopefully the time off got him healthy. The Yankees are rolling, but a healthy, effective, and locked-in Sánchez is vital to their championship hopes. Here’s the video of the double:
  • Aaron Judge, Slump Buster: Judge’s recent struggles have drawn a ton of attention, obviously, so there’s no need to dive deeper into them here. Judge, who will be fine, showed a glimpse of his true self tonight as he drilled a 2-run double to make the score 6-1 Yanks. He went 1-5, but he also hit the ball hard a few times, too. Check out the video of the double, simply because it rules watching Judge look like Judge:
  • Mike Tauchman, just LOL: Mike Tauchman is now hitting .296/.378/.571 (147 wRC+) on the season. He went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored, adding this RBI double:
  • Adonis Rosa’s MLB Debut: The 24-year-old Rosa made his MLB debut tonight on the back of a 1.69 ERA in his last 3 Triple-A starts, and he retired the side in order in the 8th inning. He struck out the first man he faced. He did surrender a home run with an out in the 9th, but whatever. Who cares. A nice debut for the kid.

Up Next

Unfortunately for the Yankees, tomorrow’s matinee will be the final matchup against the Orioles in 2019. J.A. Happ (9-7, 5.48 ERA) will take on Dylan Bundy (5-12, 5.04 ERA) at 1:05 pm tomorrow in the Bronx. As usual, you can catch the game on YES locally or on WFAN for the radio broadcast. Have a great night, everyone.

Game 115: Yanks Crush Blue Jays En Route to 9th Straight Victory

Embed from Getty Images

Good baseball game is good. The Yankees trounced the Blue Jays 12-6 on Thursday night, winning their 9th in a row, which is their longest winning streak of the season. Their lead in the division remains huge, and their magic number creeps lower every day. Sure, the injuries have been awful and frustrating, but 2019 has been one hell of a season so far.

Let’s get right to the takeaways on this one.

1. A Tale of Two Germáns: Well that was a disappointing start for Domingo Germán. Here is his final line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR. 64 of his 90 pitches (71%) were strikes, which sounds nice. But remember, in baseball, context is everything. Here is where those strikes were located:

That is bad! Those are a lot of balls way, way off the plate or right over the heart of it. Look at that cluster of orange and green on the lower/middle-middle part of the plate. Brutal. The Blue Jays, despite the fact that they cannot pitch, actually can hit–their .255/.319/.467 (106 wRC+) ranks 13th in baseball since July 1–so you cannot be making mistakes like that to them. And they have power, too. They showed it:

Even though all of Germán’s runs allowed came in the 5th inning, which was his final, it’s pretty clear that he didn’t have his best stuff. Couldn’t locate, was getting pounded, etc. Not what you want to see. His 25% whiff-per-swing rate, which not atrocious, is well below what you expect to see from Germán at this point. And yea, for those of you wondering, Bo Bichette absolutely demolished that ball off him. This recap wouldn’t do the game justice without including it:

Good grief that is majestic. That kid can play, for real. I’m telling you, if the Blue Jays don’t screw this up, they have the core of a team that can win coalescing there. They have real talent. Good news for the Yanks is that they will absolutely screw this up.

As for Germán: oh well. He’s been so good that you can excuse this start. There’s another one in 5 days.

2. Giodude Is Real, And Strong, And He is Our Friend: Gio Urshela is just, just below the threshold for qualified hitters–you need 3.1 plate appearances per team game, meaning a Yankee would need 356 plate appearances to qualify. Gio Urshela has 328 (through 5th). Why do I bring that up? Well, I think we all know: our man is hitting .322/.366/.568 (142 wRC+) on the season, with 16 home runs, 54 runs scored, and only a 15% K rate.

That he is putting up those numbers while so close to qualifying just really hammers the point home that we’re at the point now he has stopped being a fluke and begun to be a guy just having a damn good year. I mean, check out Gio’s stats and rankings among the 205 batters with at least 300 plate appearances:

  • Batting Average: .319 (11th)
  • On-Base Percentage: .363 (45th)
  • Slugging Percentage: .547 (20th)
  • wOBA: .377 (25th)
  • wRC+: 136 (22nd)
  • Strikeout Rate: 15.5% (44th lowest)

That is just insane. It really is just insane. That’s top 10% of the league material right there. Let’s just remember, this is a guy who hit .225/.274/.315 (57 wRC+) in 499 career plate appearances before 2019. He was a defense-first guy–please, I am begging you, do not cite his poor UZR/DRS to me–and that’s why he was around. This year he is doing this. Just amazing, really. Feels like one of those years for the Yanks.

Anyway, here’s the video of Giodude’s two home runs tonight (he also added another hit), which drove in 4 runs total:

3. LeMahieu. It’s French for “The Mahieu”: I really don’t know what else to say about DJ LeMahieu any more. I really just don’t. But he’s just so good that I have to include him, basically every night, as one of the main takeaways. He is everywhere.

Tonight, DJLM went 3-4 with a 2B, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored, raising his line .339/.387/.536 (142 wRC+) on the season. He has been worth over 4 wins, per FanGraphs. DJ gets hits to start games, like he did tonight with a leadoff double. He gets hits with runners on base, like he did right here, capitalizing on a Blue Jays outfield blunder:

The moral of this story is this: do not make mistakes in front of DJ LeMahieu. You will regret it. The Machine will make you pay.

4. How is Mike Tauchman Doing This: I don’t know what to say about Mike Tauchman, either. I’ve said it so many times already. This is interesting, though. 233 players have taken 70 plate appearances or more since the Fourth of July. Here are Mike Tauchman’s statistics during that time, with his rank among those players in parentheses:

  • Batting Average: .443 (1st)
  • On-Base Percentage: .481 (1st)
  • Slugging Percentage: .803 (4th)
  • wOBA: .520 (1st)
  • wRC+: 233 (1st)
  • fWAR: 1.7 (6th)

I have one reaction to that list: LOL. Okay, I lied. I have two reactions. The other is that I really, really wanted to write “Mike Tauchman is the best Mike T” in baseball but, alas, Mike Trout is too damn good. He has been more valuable. In other words, you can hit .443/.481/.803 for a month still be outplayed by that guy. What a legend.

Anyway, back to Tauchman. Our guy went 2-5 tonight with 4 RBI. He made one of them really count, just absolutely demolishing this ball:

Folks: you love to see it. You really do.

Leftovers

  • Chad Green Is Good Again, Run Be Damned: Chad pitched 1 inning, allowing 1 run but striking out the side anyway. By my count, Green has now had one (1) truly bad appearance since returning from Triple-A Scranton a few months ago. Since May 12, his return, he has a 2.43 ERA (2.51 FIP) in 37 innings pitched, fanning about 32% of the batters he faces while only allowing 4% of them to reach base via base on balls (stats from before tonight). We’ve written a lot about Green on this here website, so I won’t beleaguer the point, but what a luxury it is that he’s good again.
  • Luis Cessa Has Been Good: Did you know that Luis Cessa has a 3.47 ERA in 2019? I did not. He surrendered a home run tonight, which has always been a problem for him all year, but was otherwise quite solid, pitching 3 innings and striking out 5 Blue Jays. He even made Vlad look like a fool in the 9th. In his last 24.1 IP before tonight, Cessa has a 1.11 ERA with 27 strikeouts and only 17 hits allowed. FIP hasn’t loved him, but hey. He’s basically the last guy in the bullpen. This production is welcome. It keeps the Yankees in the game and generally keeps them ahead when they have a big lead. Keep it up, Luis. Maybe someone will say something nice on Twitter about you for once. Wouldn’t that be nice?
  • Austin Romine, Because of Course: I’ve long thought that Austin Romine’s one true skill is having a 3-4 night right when his defenders are about to give up on him, and while I still think that’s true, even I have to admit that the Yankee backstop has been downright impressive of late. Maybe I need to amend the rule to “will get hot right before Gary returns” because that feels like it happens all the time now. Anyway, here are his numbers during the last month, before tonight: .386/.429/.750 (201 wRC+) with 4 home runs in 50 at-bats. I do not think a single thing epitomizes the 2019 New York Yankees better than that. Not Tauchman, Maybin, Urshela, anyone. Sánchez goes down? No problem. Someone else will step right into it. He went 2-5 tonight, obviously.
  • Cameron Maybin is Great: I love Cameron Maybin. He is so easy to root for, and he’s also hitting .335/.411/.555 (155 wRC+) on the season after tonight’s 3-5 performance, during which he scored 2 runs and drove in 1. The Yankees are so, so good, and the continued, steady performance like Maybin is a huge part of the reason why. If the Yankees’ season ends the way we all want it to, we’d all better remember that simple fact.

Up Next

The Yankees and Jays will meet again tomorrow to play game two of this four-game set. That game will take place at 7:07 EST. J.A. Happ (9-6, 5.24 ERA) will look to turn in a strong performance against his former team, who will be led by Sean Reid-Foley (1-2, 2.49 ERA). The Yankees will try to win their 10th in a row and keep the good times rolling. Check it out on MLB Network nationally, YES locally or WFAN for he radio call. Have a good night, everyone.

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