“Dr Sticks” McKenzie Out Duels Monty. Cleveland 2 NY 0

The Yankees got 1 hit.

Triston McKenzie — a 24-yr-old, lean 6’5, 160-lb righty nicknamed Dr. Sticks — showed why they call him Dr. Sticks by utilizing a wicked curveball, 87-MPH slider and 92-94 MPH fastball to throw 7 innings of 1-hit baseball.

On the other hill — Jordan Montgomery getting the short end of the Yankee offensive stick again.

And yet, in the 9th, the Yankees rallied.

1st and 2nd, 2 outs — and here came Aaron Judge to pinch hit against Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase. Leading to the tweet:




Judge walked, bringing Aaron Hicks to the plate. Bases loaded, 2 outs. Yanks down 2. A basehit would tie it. Tension ratcheted up.

But Aaron Hicks grounded out to 2nd for the old ballgame.

That’s baseball, Suzyn.

1. Monty Good

Jordan Montgomery made one mistake — allowing a homerun to Cleveland’s monster homer hitter Franmil Reyes in the bottom of the 4th. It was only his 6th homer of the year (he hit 30 last year).

Otherwise Monty pitched well. But he threw too many pitches — leaving after 5 innings, with 8 strikeouts and 94 pitches thrown.

“I thought he mixed well,” said manager Aaron Boone about Monty afterwards. “I thought his curveball today was pretty good too. So he had his fastball, cutter that he works a little bit at the top, and he was able to slow down effectively and use his breaking ball. He had a good spread as far as change of speed.”

Had Monty stayed longer in the game it wouldn’t have mattered per him getting a win or not as the Yankees never scored a run.

Monty was helped by Aaron Hicks — who made a terrific sliding catch in centerfield in the 2nd. Hicks was back in center with Aaron Judge getting the day off.

2. Falefa’s defense

Monty in turn picked up Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who made an error on a throw that would have ended the 3rd. Instead the inning continued and it was 1st and 3rd, 2 outs. Montgomery walked the next batter to load the bases, but struck out Gabriel Arias on 3 pitches to end the frame. A HUGE strikeout at the time.

The error was Kiner-Falefa’s 9th on the season, which turned the fickle finger of blame in his direction. He had earlier made a terrific play in the field — but now Yankee Twitter pointed out that was way too many errors halfway thru the season and maybe the Yanks needed a better defensive shortstop. This conversation was picked up on post-game talk radio in NY.

3. Sears Good

JP Sears relieved Monty and pitched a 1-2-3 6th inning and an easy shutout 7th, but ran into trouble in the 8th — consecutive singles to lead off the inning put 1st and 3rd nobody out.

But the Yankee infield helped Sears out — a grounder by Gabriel Arias to 2nd had Gleyber throwing home to catch the runner Steven Kwan in a rundown that the Yanks executed immediately then threw to 2nd to get another rundown between 1st and 2nd of Arias — a double-run-down double play!

“And that is the Honda Cooper-Bowman Play of the Game” said Suzyn Waldman on the radio.

But with 2 outs Franmil Reyes (again) ruined it by ripping an RBI single just past Gleyber at 2nd to make it 2-0 Cleveland.

4. McKenzie Great

McKenzie came in with a 4-6 4.03 record so his terrific performance was a little surprising. He was the 3rd ranked prospect in the Indians organization in 2020 — when they were still named the Indians. He’s been an Indian his whole career until this year when he became a Guardian.

But there is a reason why they call him Dr. Sticks. McKenzie is a LEAN 6’5 — listed at 160 lbs. He used mostly a 92- to 94-MPH fastball, an 88-MPH slider, and a wicked 77-MPH curve to get the Yankees out.

5. Yanks Try to Rally in 9th

The Yankees came close in the 9th against Cleveland closer Clase but couldn’t chase him.

A lead off walk by Anthony Rizzo and an error by 1st baseman Owen Miller allowed Giancarlo Stanton to get on base. 1st and 2nd nobody out.

But Clase got Josh Donaldson on a fly and struck out Gleyber Torres, bringing Judge up as the pinch hitter.

Clase pitched carefully to Judge — walking him on 6 pitches. And that brought up Aaron Hicks with the bases loaded. A hit would tie it.

Clase got 2 quick strikes on Hicks before Hicks rolled over a 92-MPH slider for a groundout to 2nd base and the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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