“Easy” Win — July 14, 2019: NY 4 Toronto 2

This was an “easy” win. Masahiro Tanaka — fresh off his completely unexpected All Star appearance (1 shutout inning) was terrific — and sailed into the 5th with a 2-0 lead off a Gio Urshela 2-RBI single in the 2nd — on a hot, sunny July afternoon at Yankee Stadium. But then in the 5th, rightfielder Randal Grichuk and 2nd baseman Eric Sogard hit homeruns to tie the game at 2-2.

Urshela Slide

But the game never seemed in doubt — the Yankees immediately got back the lead in the bottom of the 5th when Gio Urshela reached on an infield single, moved to 2nd on a walk to Austin Romine — failed to move a base when Mike Tauchman tried to bunt but popped it up for an out — moved to 3rd on a groundout by the slumping DJ LeMahieu, and then scored on a wild pitch by Marcus Stroman.

Urshela was called out at first as the ball bounced off the backstop and came right back to the catcher, but Urshela made a Terrific slide to evade the catcher — and was called safe on the review.

To Bunt or Not to Bunt

Meanwhile the Tauchman failed bunt became the talk of Yankee twitter for a few innings:

  • Suzyn Waldman said Tauchman certainly knows how to bunt, having spent so many years in the minors, and he appeared upset with himself for failing,
  • We speculated the lively baseball was at fault.
  • Others on Yankee twitter complained about the modern ballplayer not knowing how to bunt.
  • Still others said he should never have bunted. Swing away at all times say advanced analytics.

All of that became ironic two innings later in the 7th when Mike Tauchman homered for an insurance run — 4-2 Yankees. Ballgame. The Yankee bullpen shut the door tight — Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman for an uneventful 9th — 4 innings shutout ball in total.

Torres Errors

Tanaka pitched 6 strong innings, allowed 4 hits, those 2 runs, and won to go 6-5 3.81. He pitched even better than that — Gleyber Torres made two errors early in the game that Tanaka had to pitch around; a throwing error in the 1st and another throwing error in the 3rd to botch a possible inning-ending double play or at least a 2nd out — forcing Tanaka to get two more outs. But he was in full command, making you think this game was going to be an ‘easy’ win throughout the day.

And Torres made up for the errors with a spectacular play in the 6th.

Marcus Stroman was pitching against the Yankees and at the same time possibly showcasing himself to the Yanks as the rumors are ardent at this time that the Yanks will trade for him.


Aaron Judge went 2-3 with a walk to raise his average over .300 and his OBP to over .400 — he is now at 9-21-.302, .417 OBP.

But this was Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman’s game at the plate and in the field — both made some spectacular plays and provided the key offense.

Several Yankee regulars were given the day off — odd since it was only the 3rd day after the All Star game — but Aaron Boone said the Yankees were beginning a 17 games in 17 days stretch and wanted to give Aaron Hicks the day to make sure the bad back he’s had this season doesn’t come back to bite, Edwin Encarnacion had been hit in the hand with a pitch the night before, and Gary Sanchez got a regular catcher’s day off.

After the game you couldn’t help but look at the Yankee lineup On Base Percentages and be happy (except for Didi Gregorius, who at least has been playing great Defense):

The Boxscore


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