It seemed like the Yankees might never lose again — but luck and hot A’s starter Frankie Montas defeated them 3-2 on a Saturday afternoon in Oakland, breaking the Yanks’ 13-game winning streak.
Judge Gave Yanks Hope in 9th
Montas pitched 7 innings of 2 hit, shutout baseball, besting Nestor Cortes Jr. And yet the Yanks almost tied it in the 9th — with Aaron Judge‘s 2-run homer leaving Yankee fans to wonder if only DJ LeMahieu‘s leadoff line drive wasn’t snared by Matt Chapman at 3rd base — would his homer been a game-tying 3-run job.
Controversial Balk Also Hurt Yanks
Yankee fans were also left thinking about a controversial balk called by the 3rd base ump in the 2nd inning, that allowed a run to score that wouldn’t have otherwise.
Worse yet Tampa won again, and Boston won — so after all that Yankee winning of 13 in a row — they drop to 5 games back of Tampa which has now won 10 of 11, and are 2 games ahead of 3rd place Boston. The 76-53 Yankees need to start another long winning streak.
1. Cortes Good — Done in By Controversial Balk
Nestor Cortes Jr.pitched a decent game: 5.1 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs, 4 K’s, 3 BB’s but absorbed the loss to go 2-2 2.70. “He was real competitive. He kind of settled in. I thought he finished the game pretty strong, and gave us a chance. I thought he threw the ball ok,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards.
The Balk Call
It was in the 2nd inning that he was done in by the controversial balk call. With 2 outs, a double, walk, single by 2nd baseman Tony Kemp scored a run to make it 1-0 and put runners on 1st and 3rd.
Cortes threw to 1st to check the runner Kemp, but was called for a balk by the 3rd base ump — rather than the 1st base ump or home plate ump who typically call balks on throws to 1st. It scored a run to make it 2-0, before Cortes got the final out on Josh Harrison foul out to 1st.
Trolling the 3rd Base Ump
Matt Chapman hit a homer to lead off the bottom of the 4th to make it 3-0 Oakland. Chad Pinder walked with 1 out, and Cortes threw to 1st to check him — then snapped his head back to look at the 3rd base ump to make sure it was ok with him. This caused some more controversy as the home plate ump came out and warned Nestor not to do that.
The balk call is covered starting at the 3:30 minute mark of this video:
Back to back wrong calls, an ejection and Nestor trolls the umpire, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/y6viFJQGbS
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) August 29, 2021
2. Montas Mowed Down Yanks
Frankie Montas mowed down the Yanks all afternoon with his 97 MPH fastball, 91 MPH slider, 89 MPH splitter, and 96 MPH sinker. The 28-yr-old 6’2 righty improved his record to 10-9 3.66. Oakland acquired him from the White Sox in 2015 and his breakout year was 2019 (year before Covid) when he went 9-2 2.63.
“His strike throwing and his ability to get ahead in counts for the most part against everyone made it a tough day for us against him,” said Manager Aaron Boone afterwards.
3. Judge Gives Yanks a Chance in 9th
Montas left after 7 innings, but reliever Andrew Chafin pitched a shutout 8th and it looked like the Yanks were done — but in the 9th against Sergio Romo, LeMahieu hit a lineout to 3rd base that Matt Chapman snared — then Anthony Rizzo singled and Aaron Judge put the Yanks back in the game on one swing — his 29th homer of the year to make it 3-2.
Judge hits a 2-run 💣 in the 9th!
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) August 28, 2021
- The Yanks only got 5 hits and Aaron Judge got 3 of them — the other 2 were by Luke Voit and Rizzo.
- Aaron Judge went 3-4 with the homer to raise his slash line to 29-72-.295 (.386 OBP, .929 OPS). He is 8th in the American League in batting average and now 2nd in OBP behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and 3rd in OPS. Judge is tied for 11th in homers — but one more (30) would put him in a tie for 6th. He is RED HOT.