Judge homers, Garcia stifles and Chapman nails down dominant five out save in Yankees 2-1 victory over Twins



This series with the Twins might be one of the most important of the season, and the Yankees began in style, winning 2-1. This game had such a playoff feel to it, and most likely will be a preview of the AL Wild Card game. Ervin Santana against Jaime Garcia wasn't exactly a playoff level pitching matchup, but both pitchers gave solid performances, and the Yanks prevailed behind a dominant Aroldis Chapman.
Kathy Willens / AP


The Yanks started the game off about as well as they could have hoped. Garcia struck out the side in the first inning, and Aaron Judge clobbered an opposite field solo shot on Santana’s eighth pitch of the game to put the Bombers up 1-0. They continued to make Santana work, and even though they didn’t score in the second inning, as Bird struck out with runners on the corners and two outs, his pitch count rose to 40.
Kathy Willens / AP
Garcia was dealing through four innings, striking out nine of the thirteen batters he faced and giving up only a double to Jorge Polanco. He struck out at least two in every inning. This sort of unraveled in the fifth however, as he gave up leadoff singles to Rosario and Escobar. Rosario moved to third on a fielding error by Judge in right field, and then scored on a fielder’s choice. Shout out to Todd Frazier for his nice diving catch on that play. Jason Castro grounded into a double play to end the inning, but the game was tied at one.

Garcia’s night ended with two outs in the sixth. Mauer singled to right field, and Girardi called on David Robertson to face Buxton, who struck out for the third time. Overall a great performance by Garcia. 5.2 innings, one unearned run, and nine strikeouts? I’ll take that any day from a #5 starter.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Headley and Castro hit back to back singles, and then moved up a base on a wild pitch. The Twins then intentionally walked Ellsbury to face Frazier, and punched a sacrifice fly to center field. With the Yanks up 2-1, Paul Molitor took out Santana in favor of Trevor Hildenberger with runners on first and second and two outs. Bird grounded out to end the inning, but the Yanks had the lead.
Kathy Willens / AP
D-Rob threw a solid seventh, and Gardner led off the bottom of the inning with a leadoff single, his third hit. He stole second, but Judge popped out and Sanchez grounded out. Molitor then took out Hildenberger and replaced him with the lefty Taylor Rogers to face Didi, who struck out swinging.
Dellin Betances came on for the eighth and did what he does best: make things interesting. He hit Robbie Grossman with a pitch, and then after retiring Zack Granite, who pinch hit for Castro, walked Max Kepler on four pitches. After a long at bat, he walked Dozier as well, and removed Betances in favor of Chapman with the bases loaded and one out. Chapman struck out Mauer on three pitches, and Buxton flew out on the next pitch. What a job to get out of the eighth.

The Yanks went down in the bottom of the inning without scoring, and Chapman came back out for the ninth, setting down the Twins in order and nailing down the five out save. Ladies and gentlemen, he is #back.

Win: David Robertson (9-2, 2.02 ERA): 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Loss: Ervin Santana (15-8, 3.34 ERA): 5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
Save: Aroldis Chapman (19)

Notables:
Brett Gardner: 3-4, 2 SB 
Aaron Judge: 1-4, HR (44), R, RBI
Jaime Garcia: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 9 K

Article by: Alex Weir 

Comments