A Tale of Two Games: Yankees split twin bill with Mets

For the third time in the last 27 days, the Yankees found themselves playing a double-header. In the first two twin bills, New York won both games, but today they split the day/night duel with their cross-town rivals, the Mets. After going 1-1 today, the Yankees are now 41-25 on the season and sit tied atop the American League East standings with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Photo Credit: Frank Franklin III/AP Photo

Game one was an offensive explosion for the Bombers. The boys from the Bronx put up 12 runs on 15 hits in their matinee victory. The first run of the game came in the bottom of the second when Kendrys Morales drove home Didi Gregorius on a two-out, RBI single. Morales, who came in just 8-57 (.140) as a Yankee, went 3-5 on the day. After four Mets runs in the top of the third, the Yankees answered back with one in the third, on an RBI single by Gary Sanchez, and five in the fourth. The first two runs came on a big fly to left by Gio Urshela to tie the game. Three batters later, after an error and a walk, Luke Voit planted a three-run shot into the left field bleachers to give the Yanks a 7-4 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. New York tacked on two more runs in the fifth on two-out RBI’s by Urshela and Brett Gardner. The Yankees scored seven of their 12 runs with two outs. The final three runs of the afternoon came via a Gio Urshela double, who was 3-4 with four RBI on the day, and a two-run home run by Gary Sanchez. The 12 tallies were the most in a game by New York since May 19.

On the mound, Masahiro Tanaka was solid, but unspectacular. The 30-year-old right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits over 6.2 innings pitched. The defense wasn’t great behind him, committing three errors, but all of that was fine considering the outburst from the Yankees’ bats. Tanaka’s worst inning came in the third when he allowed four New York runs to score on three hits and a costly error. The frame started when Amed Rosario reached on a throwing error by Gregorius. This was followed by singles from Tomas Nido and Juan Lagares, before the big three-run home run from Jeff McNeil made it 4-1 Mets. Tanaka would settle in from there, giving up just one run on four hits over his final 4.2 innings, while picking up his fourth win of the season. Out the bullpen, Tommy Kahnle and David Hale combined to toss 2.1 scoreless innings to finish off the win. Hale has been a pleasant surprise in a small sample-size, delivering a 2.57 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in 14 innings spread across five games.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens/AP Photo

In the nightcap, the bats went cold against junk-baller Jason Vargas. The Long Beach State lefty held the Yankees to just three runs on seven hits over six innings of work for the Metropolitans. Nearly all the New York offense came in the third inning, when down 6-0, the Yanks crossed home plate three times after the first four batters of the inning reached base. With the bases loaded and no outs, Gleyber Torres singled to left to drive in DJ LeMahieu and make the score 6-1. That was followed by two straight RBI groundouts from Clint Frazier and Gio Urshela to make the score 6-3, but that was the closest it would get on a night where James Paxton just didn’t have it. The Bombers would get runners in scoring position in innings number four and seven, but couldn’t come through with a big hit when needed. Overall, the Yankees went 2-8 with RISP and left eight men on-base in the game. LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez and Torres went a combined 6-13 atop the Yankees batting lineup tonight, but batters 5-9 finished 2-19 in the loss. One of those two hits was a solo home run by Brett Gardner in the ninth to make it a 10-4 final score.

James Paxton got the start, his third since returning from the injured list, and was frankly not good. “Big Maple” gave up six runs on seven hits over just 2.2 innings. It was by far his worst outing as a Yankee, and the lefty has now given up nine earned runs over his last 8.1 innings pitched. One can’t help but wonder if his knee injury from earlier in the year is once again bothering him. The big innings for the Mets came in the first and third when they scored three runs apiece on a three-run home run by Pete Alonso in the first and a parade of walks and singles in the third. After Paxton departed, Chance Adams saved the bullpen by battling through 4.1 innings and allowing two earned runs. It was an admirable job in the “innings eater” role. The young righty is now the owner of a 3.97 in 11.2 Big League frames this season. Adams was followed by Luis Cessa, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Stephen Tarpley who permitted the Mets to score their 10th run of the game in the ninth. Yankees’ pitching is struggling, allowing over 6.5 runs per game over their last nine (New York is 3-6 in that stretch).

What’s Next?

The Yankees have an off day tomorrow before heading to Chicago for a four-game, weekend road trip. New York will do battle with the ChiSox, having lost two of three to them back in April at the Stadium. The probable starting pitching matchup for that one is J.A. Happ (6-3, 4.48 ERA) and the ever-imposing TBD for the White Sox. First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 8:10 ET on YES.

Recap by: Jake Graziano


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