The Yankees have won 2 of 3 and are one of the HOTTEST teams in baseball. Long gone is the 5-game losing streak. Instead the Yanks are rolling a 7-11 record and are on the move upwards — coming off a game that started Horribly — possibly their nadir for the season — but ended up with the Yanks doing Everything right — on a COLD, WINDY Thursday night by the lake in Cleveland.
1. German Wins the Day
The Nadir of the season may have been the bottom of the 1st inning, when Domingo German had to get 6 outs to get out of the inning with the Yankees playing like Bad News Bears in the Freezingly Cold, Windy environment. I wasn’t there so I don’t know how cold it was but man it looked cold — with temps in the 40s and all the players bundled up.
German struck out the first batter then allowed a single, and then
- A short fly ball over shortstop into left — Brett Gardner raced in for it, made the catch, then dropped the ball. The hitter Jose Ramirez raced to 2nd — they ruled it a hit so he got a double.
- With 2nd and 3rd, 1 out — leftfielder Eddie Rosario hit an easy grounder to 1st that Mike Ford botched (looking to throw home before he caught the ball). It incredibly was also ruled a hit.
- Then a comebacker to Domingo German — and he botched it, again looked like he was thinking of throwing home.
At this point many on Yankee Twitter were calling for the Yanks to “dump the wife beater”, etc. People can be vicious. But German settled down — getting a pop up to 3rd that DJ LeMahieu had trouble with in the strong cold Wind but caught, and then a strikeout.
And the nadir was over. German pitched vintage German the rest of the way — working the strikezone with a variety of pitches, his curveball curving beautifully. He is an artist at work when he is pitching well.
He mowed down Cleveland batters thru 6 innings (really 7 if you count the 6 outs he had to get in the 1st): 6 IP, 7 hits, 6 K’s, 2 walks, 2 ER’s (should have been 0) — lowering his ERA from 9.00 to 6.23.
Domingo German showed how and why he gets wins (only 1-2 so far but he’ll get more) and is an example of why the win is an important stat. The Win measures a pitcher’s ability to hang tough, go deep in game, and get thru a lineup 3 times. So many make fun of the win as a stat — but it is more “big data” than many stats.
2. Yanks Get CLUTCH, 2-Out Hits
In the 3rd the Yankee offense got going against Aaron Civale, a heralded young right handed pitcher for Cleveland who came in at 3-0 2.18.
Kyle Higashioka led off with a double, and scored on a 1-out single by DJ LeMahieu. With 2 OUTS — Mike Ford worked a walk (he is very good at doing that) and Gleyber Torres — again with 2 OUTS — hit a line drive to right center for a base hit that the right fielder Josh Naylor muffed — it went off his glove ricocheting to center (probably that cold, windy weather again) and went all the way to the wall — allowing 2 runs to score to tie the game 3-3.
3-spot in the 3rd 💪 pic.twitter.com/C0vQFTfYwz
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 22, 2021
In the 6th the Yankees loaded the bases after 2 were out, but Brett Gardner grounded out.
In the 7th however, against Nick Wittgren, an Aaron Judge walk, a TWO OUT single by Gleyber Torres, and a walk to Aaron Hicks loaded the bases — again with TWO OUTS — and Rougned Odor got a huge 2-out single to score 2 runs and make it 5-3 NY.
Rougie delivers 👏 pic.twitter.com/QcBqYDgdt7
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 23, 2021
Higashioka hit an insurance homer in the top of the 8th for the final score, 6-3 NY.
Higashioka! The home run stroka! pic.twitter.com/EZ2HgPDZnG
— John Sterling Calls (@JSterlingCalls) April 23, 2021
3. Yank Bullpen HOT
Jonathan Loaisiga, Chad Green, and Aaroldis Chapman threw SMOKE with a scoreless inning each for the win. Chapman has established a new pitch this year — a split finger fastball — that is making him better than ever.
4. Yanks Looking Up
The Yankees are now 7-11 but things are shaping up well for them:
- Gerrit Cole — dominant
- Jameson Taillon — looking good
- Corey Kluber — looking pretty good
- Jordan Montgomery — looking good
- Domingo German — looking good
- Michael King — a bonus — looking good
- Aroldis Chapman & the pen — looking very good
The offense will wake up as the weather gets warm. In this game, the Yankees got 11 hits. Gleyber Torres went 3-5 to raise his average to .219. The Yankee catchers — Gary Sanchez and (in this game) Higgy — are both doing well. Aaron Judge walked 3 times in this game (0-2 otherwise).
Give this team time. I still have not modified my 105-win prediction.
Before the game we ran a poll on whether Aaron Hicks should change his number from # 31 to # 88, so that the Yankee outfield would be Frazier #77, Hicks #88, and Judge #99 left to right. Over 60 percent of 132 responders said yes he should.
Aaron Hicks is #31.
Should he change it to #88 so that Yank outfield would be Frazier #77, Hicks #88, and Judge #99 left to right?
— Yankees.Blue (@Yankees_Blue) April 21, 2021