Yankees Complete Weekend Sweep of Angels (Recaps)

Coming into the weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels, the Yankees were coming in hot off a sweep of the Seattle Mariners. Just a half-game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees extended their lead with a weekend Yankee sweep of the Angels.

GAME ONE (6/5)
NYY 8 VS. LAA 7
Starting off the weekend series, two pitchers on polar opposites of the spectrum faced off with each other in Nathan Eovaldi verses Jared Weaver. A flame throwing right-hander in Eovaldi whose fastball reaches the upper 90’s against a soft throwing Weaver whose fastball reaches the mid 80’s was certainly interesting. Nathan Eovaldi pitched well up until the 6th inning when he suddenly couldn’t find the strike zone. He ended up walking 3 guys that inning ending with a final line of 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 4 BB and 4 K’s. Chasen Shreve relieved Eovaldi and got out of the bases loaded 1 out jam by allowing just one run to come across.

The scoring got started in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a 2-run home run off the bat of Stephen Drew. Drew’s hot hitting by his standards would continue with another home run in the sixth inning, a solo shot. Mark Teixeira added his 17th home run of the season on a 2-run shot in the third inning. Alex Rodriguez also drove in a run on his 4-5 night with Didi Gregorius and Chris Young also driving in runs.

Going into the ninth with a comfortable 8-1 lead, Joe Girardi turned to Esmil Rogers to get the final three outs. Unfortunately, Rogers couldn’t record a single out as he was incredibly ineffective with 4 hits allowed, 5 runs (all earned) and 1 walk all without recording an out! The Yankees then turned to Dellin Betances in order to ensure a victory but he was all over the place as he was as sloppy as I’ve ever seen him. In all, Betances got the job done allowing 1 hit, 1 run (earned – his first ER allowed on the season), 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Betances recorded the final out via strikeout with the tying run just 90 feet away.

GAME TWO (6/6)
NYY 8 VS. LAA 2
Game two featured yet another offensive outburst from the Yankees in the first inning as the team put up a 6-spot in the first inning. Angels starter Garrett Richards was wild walking two before allowing a 2-run blast to the hot hitting Brian McCann. That pushed the score to 4-0 before Brett Gardner notched a 2-run single to give the Yankees a 6-run first inning. The team would score one more run thanks to the good ole RBI walk to Mark Teixeira with the bases loaded.
Adam Warren continued pitching well with a good start where he pitched into the seventh inning. Warren’s final line was as follows: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB and 2 K’s. Although he didn’t strike out many, Warren did a good job of keeping Angels hitters off balanced and was helped by some strong defensive play. Justin Wilson came in putting together what was possibly his best outing of the year where he went 1.1 innings allowing just one hit and striking out one. Chris Capuano finished the game off pitching a perfect ninth inning striking out 2 batters. It was nice to see the Yankees grab a win without using DnA, Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller.

GAME THREE (6/7)
NYY 6 VS. LAA 2
Game three of the series couldn’t have started any worse for the Yankees. CC Sabathia gave up back to back solo home runs to the future Yankee, Mike Trout (I kid) and the future Hall of Famer, Albert Pujols in the first inning to allow LAA to jump out to a 2 run lead. However, CC settled down to turn in a nice outing of 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB and 7 K’s. It was a quality start that lowered his ERA to 5.25.

Following the sixth inning, CC Sabathia’s day was likely finished anyways, but he became incredibly heated and was ejected from the game. Backing up his starting pitcher, Joe Girardi was also ejected in one of the most entertaining arguments all season. Sabathia had to be restrained (by about 3 players) while Joe Girardi kicked dirt. After many expletives, the two left the game and the team was even more fired up than they already were.
The Yankees got on the board thanks to a leadoff double from Jose Pirela, a sacrifice fly to get him to third and good situational hitting by Didi Gregorius to drive him in. Chris Young then tied the game in the big Yankees fifth inning with his 7th home run of the season. Brett Gardner then hit a rocket home run, a 3-run shot to break the tie and make it a 5-2 game. Adding an insurance run was Jose Pirela who stayed hot with a solo home run, the first of his career. He was all smiles and certainly enjoyed a good day at the plate.

MY TAKES
Game one was completely comfortable through 8 innings of play. The bats were alive as the team collected 14 hits and 8 runs and my favorite, Stephen Drew lead the way with 2 home runs which was nice to see. In fact, everyone who came to the plate for the Yankees recorded a hit except Didi Gregorius. Eovaldi pitched fairly well aside from his wildness in the 6th inning and Chasen Shreve continued to show why he’s the best Yankee reliever not named Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller. Esmil Rogers has hit rock bottom – literally – as he’s as bad as I’ve ever seen him. Now owning a 6.39 ERA, the only reason he’s still on the team is due to the fact that he’s the only other right hander in the bullpen besides Betances. Ivan Nova can’t get back soon enough so Rogers can be designated for assignment because that’s exactly where he’s headed.

The Yankees continue scoring an abundance of runs in the first inning before going relatively quiet for the rest of the game. Although putting up 6 runs in the first is always great, you’d like to see them sustain their offense a bit more as the game goes on. Nonetheless, jumping out to early leads typically bodes well for the Yankees as they’re still in first place all by themselves in the AL East.

Jose Pirela solidified his case for starting over Stephen Drew. With Pirela starting at second base and Drew entering in the 8th inning for defensive purposes, that is the best short-term solution to the problem that Stephen Drew is. CC Sabathia came out and struggled but settled down turning in another quality start. He got incredibly heated – the most I’ve seen out of him – to fire the team up as he was the first Yankee ejected all season. If you missed the ejections of Sabathia and Girardi, you missed an entertaining argument. This was a successful series for the Yankees as they have now swept the Mariners and Angels – back to back – to put together a 6-game winning streak. This is some of the best baseball the Yankees have played all season.

LOOKING AHEAD
The Yankees will have Monday off before playing yet another 2-game series against the Washington Nationals, this time in the Bronx. Game one of the series is going to be a highly anticipated ace-off of Masahiro Tanaka (3-1 2.76 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (6-4 1.85 ERA). Game two will feature Nathan Eovaldi (5-1 4.16 ERA) vs. TBD for the Nationals. The Bombers will then have Thursday off before beginning a weekend series with division rival, the Baltimore Orioles.

Article by: Chad Raines
Follow me on twitter @Chad_Rain
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