Bully for the Yankee Bullpen! NY 4 Detroit 2

Clarke Schmidt with 3.1 shutout innings and 6 strikeouts in Detroit.

Clarke Schmidt and the Yankee bullpen came to the rescue of another horrible Gerrit Cole start — with 7.1 shutout innings after Cole couldn’t find the strike zone in the 2nd inning. Meanwhile Detroit gifted the Yankees 2 runs in the 1st by dropping a bases-loaded, 2-out popup by home plate, and the Yanks tagged on a small-ball Isiah Kiner-Falefa run in the 2nd, and an insurance run late for the 4-2 victory.

On a cold Monday night (45-degree temps) in Detroit.

The win got NY to 6-5, and a tie for 1st in the AL East.

1. Detroit’s Gift

The Yankees may have not won this game if not for Detroit’s gift in the 1st. With Aaron Hicks (led game off with single), Anthony Rizzo (walked), and DJ LeMahieu (walked) on base with 2 outs, Josh Donaldson popped the ball up in front of home plate for the 3rd out. Except the ball was not caught by anyone — Detroit starter Tyler Alexander had a hand on it but dropped it and 2 runs scored.

2. Kiner-Falefa Small-Ball Run

Isiah Kiner-Falefa was hot in Spring training, started the season cold, and is now warming up again. In the top of the 2nd, he led off with a walk, stole 2nd, went to 3rd on a wild pitch by reliever Garcia, and scored on an Aaron Hicks sac fly.

Small ball. So easy.

3. Cole Walked His Way Out of the Game

Gerrit Cole struck out 3 in the 1st inning, and staked to a 3-0 lead — all was looking good when he took the mound in the bottom of the 2nd. He allowed a leadoff single, then got a line drive out. Then walked centerfielder Akil Baddoo, catcher Tucker Barnhart, and shortstop Willi Castro to force in a run, making it 3-1. Right fielder Robbie Grossman knocked in a run with a sac fly to make it 3-2 NY, and when Cole then walked left fielder Austin Meadows to load the bases again — manager Aaron Boone came out for the quick HOOK.

Cole was at 68 pitches.

4. Schmidt for the Win

Clarke Schmidt came in and struck out 2nd baseman Jonathan Schoop to end the inning. Schmidt then pitched 3 more shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits, and striking out 6. He was the star of the game.

Schmidt has been a top pitching prospect for years with the Yanks and is now 26 years old. It is make-or-break time for Schmidt and he is making it.

5. 2-Out Insurance Run

The Yanks got an insurance run in the top of the 9th when Hicks walked, Rizzo walked and with 2 out, DJ LeMahieu singled to make it 4-2. Beautiful baseball.

6. Bully for the Rest of the Bullpen

The Yankee bullpen shut out the Tigers the rest of the way. Schmidt’s 3.1 shutout innings were followed by Wandy Peralta with 1.1 shutout innings, Clay Holmes with .2 shutout innings, Miguel Castro with a shutout 8th, and Aroldis Chapman with an easy, shutout 9th inning for the save. Overall, 7.1 shutout, 3-hit innings by the Yankee pen.

 The Boxscore


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