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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.

Let’s play one and a half: Yanks split makeup series with Nats in DC


The Yanks took a break from their nine-game home stand and traveled to our nation’s capital to make up last month’s suspended game and rainout against the Nationals. Washington eventually won the “thirty-three day” rain delay 5-3.   When action resumed in the bottom of the sixth of the suspended affair, Nat’s rookie phenom Juan Soto uncorked a two-run bomb to right (Chad Green was never much of a starter anyway). The Bombers had their opportunities in the seventh and eighth innings, but failed to capitalize on them. In the top of the seventh, Gary Sanchez laced a one-out double to the left-center field gap, but was then doubled-off second on a Didi Gregorious fly ball to left. Gary being Gary. The next inning saw Greg Bird hit a two-out, pinch-hit double the opposite way that was followed up by a Gleyber Torres single to center. Both runners were stranded when Aaron Hicks grounded out sharply to short. Sean Doolittle retired the side quietly in the ninth for the save.
Photo Credit: YES Network


The Bombers were victorious in the full-game makeup as they won 4-2.  Game two was a rematch from last Wednesday’s showdown in the Bronx as Sonny Gray once again faced off against Erick Fedde. Hicks led off the game with a double to left and was brought home by Giancarlo Stanton’s two-out, seeing-eye single up the middle. The Nationals answered in the bottom of the second with an RBI groundout from Mark Reynolds (thank you Didi for saving Torres) and took the lead in the fourth with a Reynolds’ sac-fly. The Bombers regained the lead in the top of the fifth when Hicks lifted a two-run home run to right. Hicks has been incredible on the road this season, now hitting over .320 with an OPS over 1.000.

Sonny (Road) Gray(s) had another solid start away from home, giving up two runs (both on outs) in five plus innings. He was pulled in the sixth after a lead-off walk to Anthony Rendon, followed by a single to the new Yankee-killer Soto. Aaron Boone decided to go to Jonathan Holder, who proceeded to strike out Reynolds and pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy. He then got catcher Pedro Severino to pop out to short stop.  It was an extremely impressive outing from Holder. He entered with two on and nobody out and escaped the jam unscathed. Winning the twelve-pitch battle with Reynolds was the highlight on the inning. Holder has not given up an earned run since April 21st. That is incomprehensible.
Photo Credit: NY Post
The Yanks added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Stanton ripped a double off the left-center field wall. National’s manager Dave Martinez made an unconventional move to leave in lefty Sammy Solis to face Stanton. Going into that at-bat, Stanton was hitting .328 with a 1.135 OPS against lefties. Stanton finished the night going 4-5, adding three singles to the aforementioned double.

David Robertson and Dellin Betances shut the door in the seventh and eighth respectively. Betances is back to his old All-Star from. Since May 27th, he has made eleven appearances and has not given up a run, has given up only two hits, and has struck out twenty batters in eleven innings. Aroldis Chapman was a little off his game in the ninth, but with two runners on with one out, Chapman struck out Adam Eaton and got Trea Turner to fly out to Judge. 

Off-field Notes


Yankees recalled Clint Frazier from AAA and sent Ronald Torreyes back down to Scranton. Gardner did not play in either of the two games, so maybe a DL stint is looming. Hopefully Frazier can get a legitimate shot with the team.

During the game, the Nationals traded for Royals’ All-Star closer Kelvin Herrera. The backend of their bullpen now consists of Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle, and Herrera. That is quite good.


Bryce Harper decided to shave his beard with the Yankees in town. Ball is now in Cashman’s court. (Just trying to connect some dots).

What’s next?
The Yankees head back home to face off against the Seattle Mariners. The series will open Tuesday night with Domingo German facing off against southpaw Marco Gonzalez. German has struck out nineteen batters over twelve innings in his last two starts, but has struggled with giving up runs early in ballgames. In Gonzalez’s last seven starts, he is 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA. Everyone will have Thursday’s matinee circled as Luis Severino will face off against James Paxton.

Recap by: Johnny Keefe

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