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Breaking: Yankees acquire LHP James Paxton in exchange for LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Erik Swanson, and OF Dom Thompson-Williams

The Yankees have made their first splash of the offseason by acquiring the Big Maple, James Paxton, from the Seattle Mariners. Fresh off his second-consecutive season at the top of the Mariner’s rotation, Paxton did not come cheap as the Yankees traded away their top prospect, Justus Sheffield, along with breakout prospects Erik Swanson and Dominic Thompson-Williams.

Behind seven strong from CC, HR from Sanchez, Yankees complete sweep of Angels

The Yankees came in looking to cap off a sweep of the Angels and extend their eight-game win streak. The game was dominated by pitching, especially Yankee starter CC Sabathia. He had his longest start (in innings pitched) since August 25th, 2017. The Yankees bats struggled to put anything together for most of the night, but another clutch home run from Gary Sanchez proved to be the difference in a 2-1 ballgame. 

Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo
The first three innings of this game were dominated by starting pitcher. Angels starter Tyler Skaggs had a dominate curveball in the early innings. He gave up two walks, but the Yankees lineup was having trouble just making contact with the ball. He tallied five strikeouts in the first three innings, including two against Aaron Judge. 
 CC Sabathia matched Skaggs’ early effort. He was unscathed through the first two innings but ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third. A two-out double from Ian Kinsler coupled with a rare error from Didi Gregorius gave the Angels first and third with two outs. CC was able to get Justin Upton to ground out to third, keeping the score knotted at zero. 

A one out double in the fourth from Giancarlo Stanton gave the Yankees their first hit and first runner in scoring position of the night. Two pitches later, Skaggs left a 92 mph fastball right down broadway for Gary Sanchez. He sent a MOONSHOT that landed 447 feet from home plate, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead.  

Skaggs retired six of the next seven batters, taking his start into the sixth, but 99 pitches thrown forced Angels manager Mike Scioscia to pull him after getting the first out of the sixth inning. Justin Anderson came into the game to face Stanton and Sanchez, and he retired them easily. The Angels pitching staff was keeping their offense in reach. 

Sabathia continued to dominant the Angels lineup, retiring six of the seven batters he faced in the fourth and fifth innings. Through five, Sabathia had only thrown 65 pitches, a recipe for success for working into the later innings. 

Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo

The bottom of the sixth proved to be a grind for Sabathia. Getting Mike Trout to strike out to start the inning was huge, but a slow roller that got between Sabathia, Walker, and Torres gave the Angels the break they needed. Albert Pujols followed that with a bloop single that just got over the outstretched glove of Gregorius, giving Los Angeles first and third with just one out. Sabathia yanked a changeup on the second pitch of Simmons’ at bat which allowed Upton to score and Pujols to advance to second. Sabathia got the next two Angels hitters to fly out, however, keeping him in line for the win. The Yanks took a 2-1 led into the seventh. 

Aaron Hicks worked a leadoff walk to start the seventh, hoping to add some insurance to the one-run Yankee lead. Justin Anderson did not allow that, retiring the next three batters in order, two via the punch out. 

Aaron Boone sent Sabathia back out for the seventh, a move that paid off. Sabathia set the first two hitters down with no problem. The nine-man in the order Rene Rivera hit a light tapper to Didi, a ball that appeared to end the inning. Unfortunately for Sabathia, Gregorius lost his footing, slipping on the clay, not even firing a throw over to first. It was questionable ruled as a hit. Sabathia came back to retire Ian Kinsler, capping off his longest start of the season. 

Left-hander Jose Alvarez came out to pitch the top of the eighth for the Angels. He had no problem with the top of the Yankees order, retiring Gardner, Judge, and Gregorius in order, and keeping the Angels within one. 

Mike Trout led off the bottom of the eighth against newly inserted Chad Green. Trout walked, the first leadoff baserunner for the Angels all night. Green was clearly worried about Trout swiping second but got the next two Angels hitters out while keeping Trout locked at first. A two-out single from Andrelton Simmons that skidded by Didi’s glove put the tying run in scoring position. Chad Green overpowered Zack Cozart with his four seamer, getting him to strike out and end the inning. The Yanks still held a 2-1 lead going into the ninth. 

Cam Bedrosian came out to pitch the top of the ninth looking to mirror the success of the Angels bullpen in the past two innings. He got Stanton and Sanchez out both on five pitches, but a two-out double from Aaron Hicks had the Yankees in prime position to pick up an insurance run. The struggling Neil Walker followed Hicks’ double with a K to end the inning. 

Aroldis Chapman came out of the pen with a one-run lead, looking to pick up his sixth save of the season. He was facing the bottom three hitters of the Angels order. Chapman retired the first batter on a fly ball to right, but a one out walk to Chris Young had the tying run on first, and the winning run in the box. Nine-hitter Rene Rivera went down swinging on five pitches, turning over the lineup with two outs. Chapman sealed the deal with a strikeout of Ian Kinsler, giving the Yankees their ninth straight win. 

Winning Pitcher: CC Sabathia (2-0, 1.71 ERA): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 K. 
Losing Pitcher: Tyler Skaggs (3-2, 3.03 ERA): 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 8 K. 
Notables: 
Aaron Judge: 0-4, 3 K 
Gary Sanchez: 1-4, HR (7), 2 RBI. 
Mike Trout: 0-2, 2 BB, 1 K. 
Justin Anderson: 1.2 IP, 3 K, 1 BB. 

What’s Next?  
The Yankees will continue (and end) their road trip with a four-game set against the defending World Champion Houston Astros. They’ll look to extend their win streak to double digits as Sonny Gray takes the bump Monday night to face Charlie Morton (3-0, 1.86 ERA). The Yankees next 10 games will show how legit this monster winning streak is (4 @ HOU, 3 vs. CLE, 3 vs. BOS). 

Article by: Shane Black 

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