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Jonathan Holder has a realistic shot of making the All-Star team

Middle relievers have only recently started receiving universal recognition for their individual performance in Major League Baseball, due to the new age of numbers in the sport. Saves are no longer the all-telling, ultimate stat about a reliever’s success and WAR, ERA+, and other metrics have opened the eyes of fans on just how valuable it is for a team to have dominant relievers outside of the ninth inning role. Their widely agreed on importance has led to a lot of non-closer relievers making the All-Star team in recent seasons. The American League squad had two of them in 2017 and 2015, and a whopping four in 2016. If this trend continues, the AL should feature at least one or two non-closer relievers, and possibly more, with the scarcity of lockdown closers in the AL in 2018. The Yankees feature a lot of highly talented middle relievers and the pitcher who has surprised everyone the most, Jonathan Holder, has a very realistic shot of cracking the AL All-Star squad.

Mitchell and Severino shut down Blue Jays as Yankees complete three game sweep with 2-0 win

Making his season debut, Bryan Mitchell was called on for one of the biggest games of the season for the New York Yankees. Mitchell answered the bell throwing five plus scoreless innings allowing just four hits against a potent Toronto offense that Yankee pitchers managed to shut down for the most part over the course of this series. Luis Severino then came on in relief of Mitchell and he would toss three scoreless innings before handing the ball off to Tyler Clippard for the save.
Photo Credit: Adam Hunger | AP

The Yankees scored both of their runs in the third inning, as Starlin Castro drove a two-out solo home run to left field to put the Yankees up 1-0. Didi Gregorius then doubled, followed by a Mark Teixeira walk which set the Yankees up for a Brian McCann single through the shift to drive home Gregorius.
The Yankees would threaten again in the bottom of the fourth after Brett Gardner’s two-out single for his second knock of the game. Jacoby Ellsbury followed that up with a double which bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double preventing Gardner from scoring, and the Yankees were unable to capitalize with two runners in scoring position.

The lone scare of the game for the Yankees came in the eighth inning with Josh Donaldson on first and Edwin Encarnacion at the plate with two away in the inning. Encarnacion hit a Severino pitch to deep right field which took Aaron Judge back to the track, but the ball stayed in the yard as Judge hauled it in the end the inning.

Tyler Clippard secured things in the ninth inning with a 1-2-3 inning including two strikeouts to complete the sweep.

Win: Bryan Mitchell (1-0, 0.00 ERA): 5.0+ IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K
Loss: Marcus Stroman (9-7, 4.55 ERA): 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 8 K
Save: Tyler Clippard (2): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Photo Credit: Adam Hunger | AP
Notables:
Brett Gardner: 2-4
Jacoby Ellsbury: 2-4, 2 2B (21, 22)
Starlin Castro: 1-4, HR (20), RBI (66)
Luis Severino: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Devon Travis: 2-4, 2B (21)
Troy Tulowitzki: 2-4, 2 2B (14, 15)
Joe Biagini: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K

Article by: Chad Raines
Follow me on twitter @Chad_Rain
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