The start of this game was all about the team consecutive-game homerun record — which the Yanks had tied with the 2002 Texas Rangers going in (at 27 straight games). Yankee fans were taking bets all over as to a) if the Yanks would hit a homer to break the record and b) who it would be.
LeMahieu ended the suspense as the first batter in the game for the Yanks — a leadoff homer in the bottom of the 1st on the 6th pitch to him from Clayton Richard. Aaron Judge, up next, hit a homer on the 3rd pitch to him. In the 2nd, Gleyber Torres hit a homerun for good measure — making it 3-0 Yanks. It seemed like a good old fashioned blowout was at hand.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 25, 2019
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 26, 2019
Cortes Conquers the Blue Jays
On the Yankee hill, “Opener” Chad Green pitched a scoreless 1st. He only pitched the one inning since he had relieved the night before (facing 4 batters). In came Nestor Cortes Jr.to shut down another lineup with his off speed multi-angled delivery. Cortes pitched shutout ball into the 6th, when Toronto got to him for 2 runs. He struck out 5; walked no one. And you come away from this game thinking, with Cortes the Yanks can go far. He alleviates the need to pay a lot for a big-name starter. He gets people out, and has done so at every level of the minors. Cortes is becoming an interesting underlying story for the Yankees.
After Cortes came Tommy Kahnle, Stephen Tarpley, and Zack Britton for some wonderful shutout relief pitching. Tarpley looked good again. He looked great earlier in the season but was sent down by a numbers game; he’s back up. Another interesting underlying story for the Yanks.
Edwin Encarnacion added an insurance run with a homer in the 8th — giving the Yanks a 4-2 lead into the 9th. It was a HUGE insurance run as Toronto got a run off Aroldis Chapman but he got the final groundout with the tying run on 2nd for the ballgame. Another Phew.
The Yanks started this game with their most awesome lineup of the season — everyone healthy and in place. That changed in the 4th when Giancarlo Stanton slid into 3rd base and was spiked on the hand and was removed from the game. Later it was revealed he actually hurt his knee on the slide into 3rd or into 2nd on the previous play and was going for an MRI. Brett Gardner replaced him having some on Yankee Twitter chagrined that Gartner finds his way into the lineup no matter what.
For the Yanks — DJ LeMahieu got a second hit (2 hits on the day) to raise his league-leading average to .333. If the season ended now, he might be the American League MVP. Aaron Judge ended up 2 for 3 with a walk to raise his average to .267 — that was good to see.
So the story at the end of this game was: Stanton’s injury and what the results of the MRI will be, the homerun record, LeMahieu for MVP, Cortes Jr, Stephen Tarpley, and Aaron Judge getting into hitting form. And, as Stephen Palleschi added, “Eddie’s a gamer too.”