Bader & Volpe Win It with Small Ball. Bullpen Holds ‘Em. NY 4 Houston 3

Anthony Volpe rips clutch 2-out single to right, scoring Harrison Bader from 2nd to put NY up 4-3 in the 6th.

Harrison Bader worked a 2-out walk in the 6th, stole 2nd, and Anthony Volpe ripped a clutch, 2-out RBI single to score him and put NY up 4-3. The Yankee bullpen of Michael King, Tommy Kahnle, and Clay Holmes took it from there — shutting out the Astros the rest of the way for the important 4-3 win, at Yankee Stadium on a Thursday night.

Earlier Giancarlo Stanton had led off the scoring with a 2-run bomb in the 1st, and Billy McKinney went back-to-back with a bomb into the upper deck in right to give NY a 3-0 lead against the tough Cristian Javier.

Clarke Schmidt pitched well, and left with a 3-2 lead after 5. But Wandy Peralta yielded a game-tying homer to Kyle Tucker in the 6th — a tie that Bader and Volpe untied in the bottom of the frame.

“Big, big walk by Harrison Bader,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Laying off some tough pitches there; stealing 2nd right away. Then Volpe goes the other way for the go-ahead hit. And just everyone doing their part. I thought Clarke was good; made pitches when he needed to. The bullpen came in and by and large did the job. Turned some key double plays. Good to get that one, especially coming off the good effort last night — to string 2 together is nice.”

NY improves to 57-52, 10 back of Baltimore, 8 behind Tampa, 2.5 behind Toronto, and .5 behind Boston. The Yanks are now 2.5 within a Wild Card spot. Houston is one of the teams the Yanks are chasing for the Wild Card. They fall to 62-48.

1. Giancarlo & McKinney Go Back-to-Back

Cristian Javier is a tough, 26-year-old, 6’1 righthander who gave the Yanks trouble in last year’s playoffs — a year that he went 11-9 2.54. He came into this game with a 7-2 4.33 record and the Yankees expected him to be filthy.

But Giancarlo Stanton got right to it in the bottom of the 1st, with Aaron Judge on board with a walk and 2 outs — Stanton hit a 430-foot missile to left center and it was 2-0 Yanks.

Next batter Billy McKinney launched a 401-foot homer to the upper deck in right and it was 3-0 NY.

2. Schmidt Good

Clarke Schmidt immediately gave 2 runs back in the top of the 2nd — a leadoff walk to Yordan Alvarez and single by Jose Abreu, then a wild pitch by Schmidt put 2nd and 3rd nobody out.

Schmidt struck out Chas McCormick but Jake Meyers grounded out for a run and Martin Maldonado got a 2-out single to make it 3-2 NY. Schmidt finally got Jose Altuve to ground out to 3rd to end the inning.

After that Schmidt got tough — pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd, and a shutout 4th and 5th. In the 5th, a 1-out single by Martin Maldonado put a runner on — and that runner became Jose Altuve after a fielder’s choice.

Altuve stole 2nd and went to 3rd on a wild pitch by Schmidt. But Jeremy Pena hit a sharp grounder to shortstop that Anthony Volpe made a slick play on to end the inning and strand Altuve on 3rd. PHEW.

Schmidt left after 5 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, and 82 pitches — in line for a win with a 3-2 lead.

3. Wandy Coughs Up Lead

Wandy Peralta came in for the 6th with tough lefties Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez due up. The move backfired when first batter Kyle Tucker hit a homer to right for a 3-3 tie game.

Wandy then got righty batting Alex Bregman to ground out but lefty batting Yordon Alvarez singled.

Michael King came in retire the rest of the side. The Yankees’ 3-0 lead was gone. It was all tied up.

4. Bader & Volpe Put Yanks Back on Top

But the Yanks came right back — with 2 outs in the bottom of the 6th, Harrison Bader worked a walk off Kendall Graveman, then stole 2nd, and Anthony Volpe ripped an opposite-field single to right to score him. Yankees 4 Houston 3.

5. King Shuts ‘Em Down

Michael King got into a bit of trouble in the top of the 7th: after a 1-out single Jose Altuve hit a grounder back to King, who spun and threw to 2nd but nobody was there — Volpe coming in from deep in the shortstop hole was well behind 2nd, and Gleyber Torres was close to 1st — so both runners were safe.

But King got a big Double Play — Isiah Kiner-Falefa taking it himself at 3rd and rifling a throw to Jake Bauers at 1st. Phew.

6. Kahnle Good Work

Tommy Kahnle pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th — fly out, line out, fly out.

7. Holmes for the Save

And so it was to the 9th the Yankees nursing the 4-3 lead, and Clay Holmes in.

Holmes got Jose Abreu to ground out, but yielded a single to Chas McCormick to put the tying run on.

Yandy Diaz lined out, but pinch hitter Mauricio Dubon reached on a nubber hit down 3rd to put 1st and 2nd, 2 outs.

Holmes then got Jose Altuve to hit a sharp grounder to Anthony Volpe at shortstop who fielded slickly and surely for the old ballgame.


Earlier in the day the Yankees announced they had discovered that Anthony Rizzo had been playing with a concussion since May 26, when his head was accidentally hit by the hip of Fernando Tatis Jr in a successful pickoff play at 1st in a game against San Diego.

Rizzo was batting .304 at the time. He batted .173 in June and it’s been downhill from there.

Rizzo was put on the 10-day IL, and Suzyn Waldman said “they’ve given (Rizzo) supplements and some brain exercises for lack of a better term”

Jake Bauers will be playing 1st — Waldman said Bauers was considered a terrific 1st baseman when he first came up with Tampa.

The Boxscore

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