Great Win! In Tampa! 5 Reasons Why Yankees 3 Tampa 1 on 5-11-21

What a neat little, nicely wrapped win. In Tampa! To send the Yankees to a 19-16 record that, combined with a Red Sox loss, puts the Yankees in 2nd place, 2 games behind Boston.


1. Monty Pitched Great

Jordan Montgomery set the tone for this great win by pitching great. He sailed through 6 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 9 strikeouts. His lone mistake — going to 0-2 on catcher and homerun hitter Mike Zunino, then missing with a few pitches to go 3-2, then allow a homerun ball to Zunino (his 7th) — to make it a 2-1 Yankee lead in the 3rd.

John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman talked about this obsessively for at least 2 innings — how Monty should have put Zunino away by going right after him; and how other pitchers didn’t believe in wasting pitches; it was as if they had both been star major league pitchers themselves. The name of Greg Maddux was brought up and how he never believed in wasting pitches (“his balls looked like strikes; his strikes looked like balls”).

All of this conversation going on while Montgomery continued to mow down Tampa batters, tying his career record for strikeouts in a game with the 9 strikeouts, 1 walk on 85 pitches in the 6 innings. He got the win and is now 2-1 3.96.

“I thought he was in pretty good control for the most part,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards.” When he did need to make a big pitch, 3-2, he seemed to make it, and for the most part was on the attack with all his pitches.”

2. Judge Homer, 2 Hits

Aaron Judge provided the game winner with a homerun in the 1st inning off Tampa starter Luis Patino, a 6’0 righter. Judge later added a single to go 2-4.

The Yankees added a 2nd run in the top of the 3rd when, after a DJ LeMahieu single and Giancarlo Stanton walk, a Zunino wild pitch allowed both runners to move 2 bases — LeMahieu scoring and Stanton going to 3rd.

Judge hit a line drive to left that was caught and Gio Urshela hit a line drive to right that was caught to end the inning.

3. Sanchez Homer

Gary Sanchez hit a homer off Josh Fleming in the top of the 7th for an insurance run.

4. Loaisiga Great in Relief

Jonathan Loaisiga came in for 2 shutout, 1-hit innings. Again drawing comparisons to a young Mariano Rivera. He had one bad game last week; that’s been the only bad appearance of the year. His ERA is at 2.61.

5. Chapman Dominant Again for the Save

Austin Meadows led off the bottom of the 9th by reaching 1st on an error by Gleyber Torres. But then Aroldis Chapman threw a wild pitch that bounced off the wall behind home plate and right back to Gary Sanchez who threw out Meadows trying to take 2nd.

Chapman then walked Yandy Diaz, to again put the tying run at the plate — and at one point looked in discomfort on the mound, causing a mound visit. But Chapman got Kevan Smith to hit a soft lineout to Gleyber Torres at short, and then then struck out Brandon Lowe for the final out. After the game manager Aaron Boone revealed Chapman was having trouble with a finger nail.

Chapman has not allowed a run yet this year in 14 innings; 8 saves. His new split fingered fastball, added to his arsenal, has made him better than ever.

The Boxscore

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