Germán starts strong; Urshela continues his magical run
The weekend showdown against the Rays is one of the most pivotal series of this young season. With the Yankees 1.5 games behind the Rays in the AL East, the club sent Domingo Germán out to the bump. The Rays countered with a young ace of their own, the American League’s April Pitcher of the Month, Tyler Glasnow. Germán gave up three earned runs, but the bats led by none other than Gio Urshela were alive just enough to get him his seventh win of the year. The Yankees won 4-3.
|Photo Credit: Steve Nesius | AP|
The Yankees gave Glasnow some trouble early on. In the top of the first, Gary Sánchez loaded up the bases by just squeaking a groundball past the outstretched mitt of Rays’ shortstop, Willy Adames. Clint Frazier struck out, but during Gleyber Torres’ at bat, Tyler Glasnow threw a 97 MPH fastball when catcher, Nick Ciuffo, was expecting something off-speed. The ball sailed over his head to the backstop and DJ LeMahieu was able to score on the passed ball. Torres, later in his at-bat, just got wood on a good breaking pitch and was able to lift the ball into right. Luke Voit scored on the hit. An early 2-0 Yankee lead heading into the bottom of the first.
The Yankees tested the Rays’ young catcher early. Cameron Maybin got on first by way of a walk and was able to steal second early in Brett Gardner’s at bat. Gardner, however, struck out and DJ LeMahieu couldn’t reach base safely either, so Maybin was stranded on second.
Following that walk to Maybin in the second, Glasnow regained control on the mound. He retired eight straight, but fast-forward to the top of the fifth, when he had to face Cameron Maybin once more. Maybin ripped a leadoff double to left, but he was one of the few hitters that had gotten good wood on a pitch by Glasnow early on. Glasnow struck out Gardner, LeMahieu, and Voit to end the inning.
The score remained 2-0 as the bottom of the fifth began, but the Yankee lead quickly evaporated. Germán, who looked very sharp through the first four innings, gave up a leadoff double to Willy Adames followed by an Austin Meadows’ 2-run home run to right. Former Yankee great, Ji-Man Choi immediately followed that up with a moonshot to dead center. The solo shot put the Rays up 3-2 and the inning ended shortly after.
The Yanks got after Glasnow a bit in the sixth; the first two hitters of the inning reached base safely. Glasnow was pulled shortly after. He was just under 100 pitches and looked as if he may have felt some discomfort on the mound. (The YES broadcast crew later revealed that Glasnow felt “right forearm tightness”). Rays’ manager, Kevin Cash, had seen enough and called upon Emilio Pagan in relief. Miguel Andujar was the first Yankee to get a hit off the reliever, loading up the bases for Gio Urshela with one out. Gio made the most of this opportunity, lacing a single to left which brought in two. The Yankees regained the lead, 4-3.
Adam Ottavino took the bump in the seventh inning after Tommy Kahnle took care of business in the sixth. Ottavino struggled. He continuously went to his backdoor slider against the lefty hitters, but just couldn’t find the zone. The bases were loaded with no one out, but Ottavino fought back. He was able to strike out left fielder Tommy Pham for the first out and followed that with an inning-ending double play off the bat of Ji-Man Choi. An excellent play by Yankee second baseman, DJ LeMahieu, preserved the Yankees’ lead.
Zack Britton came on in the eighth inning and looked as good as he has all season. His sinker was really moving, and his off-speed stuff kept hitters off balance. A quick 1-2-3 inning for him. The Yankees couldn’t put anything together in the top of the ninth, leaving Aroldis Chapman a save opportunity with a one run lead. Aroldis took care of business, striking out two hitters and getting a third to fly out. Yankees get the big first win of the series, 4-3.
Article by: John MessinaFollow @j_mess2 Follow @bronxbomberball