Yankees week in review (7/2-7/7): New York splits series' with Mets and Rays before All-Star break

In the final week before the All-Star break, the Yankees split a two-game series with the New York Mets and a four-contest set with the Tampa Bay Rays. The 3-3 week puts the Yanks at 57-31 and eight games up on Tampa for first place in the American League East heading into this week’s festivities in Cleveland.

Photo Credit: Scott Audette/AP Photo

After getting Monday off for travel to return from London, the Yankees kicked off Subway Series Part II on Tuesday at Citi Field. The Bombers got out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning after Gleyber Torres singled home Didi Gregorius, and starting pitcher James Paxton executed a nice squeeze play to score Edwin Encarnacion from third. Speaking of Paxton, the big lefty gave up just run over six innings of work, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. Adam Ottavino allowed three runs (two earned) in the eighth frame, and the Yanks dropped game one, 4-2.

Looking for a series split on Wednesday, the boys from the Bronx had Domingo German on the mound, in his first start off the injured list. German was great, firing six effective innings with just one run allowed. The pinstripers scored two runs in the first, on RBI’s from Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres. In the sixth and seventh innings, the Yanks added three more insurance runs, as Didi Gregorius and Gio Urshela each launched solo home runs, and Torres cashed in yet another tally. This time, the bullpen did its job, with Chad Green and Nestor Cortes combining to throw three shutout innings to finish off a 5-1 victory.

Over July 4th weekend, the Yankees took an important trip down to Tropicana Field to take on the Rays. The good guys jumped out to a 2-1 lead after three innings on an RBI single by Mike Tauchman and a run-scoring double off the bat of Aaron Hicks. J.A. Happ gave his team 5.1 solid innings on the mound, allowing just one run. After Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton did their jobs to keep New York ahead, everything fell apart. Aroldis Chapman allowed two runs in a ninth inning implosion to send the game to extras. But the Bombers rallied. DJ LeMahieu scored two runs on a single and Gary Sanchez put the game out of reach with a majestic, three-run home run to seal an 8-4 win.

Game two was yet another extra-innings barn-burner. Once again, the Yankees got out to an early lead thanks to an Aaron Judge home run, and a two-run single from Mike Tauchman (who had himself a nice series). Masahiro Tanaka allowed four runs over 6.1 frames, but two of those runs scored after Nestor Cortes entered the game in the seventh. Nonetheless, it was 4-3 Rays with two innings to play. This time it was Aaron Hicks to the rescue. He drove a game-tying home run to right in the eighth and the team came up clutch in extras for the second straight night. In the eleventh. Judge and Brett Gardner each hit long balls, and the Yanks won by a score of 8-4 after 2.1 scoreless innings of relief from David Hale and a bounce-back save for Aroldis Chapman.

Looking to clinch a series victory, CC Sabathia got the ball. Through six innings, the Yankees’ elder statesman was dominant. Sabathia allowed just one run up to that point, and the team held a 2-1 lead thanks to a Brett Gardner home run and Aaron Hicks single. However, Sabathia came back out for the seventh and hung a slider to Nate Lowe with Travis d’Arnaud on base. Suddenly, New York was trailing by one in the later innings. Still down by one, Aaron Hicks came up big in the ninth. With the Yanks down to their last strike, the center fielder hit a game-tying home run to left and gave his team new life. Unfortunately, there was no Cinderella ending this time. After getting the first two outs of the inning, Chad Green allowed a walk-off big fly to d’Arnaud and Tampa won 4-3.

In the final game before the All-Star break, James Paxton got the start for the second time this week. Like he did in Queens on Tuesday, the lanky left-hander looked good. For the afternoon, Paxton allowed two runs over six innings with 11 strikeouts, and gave his team a good chance to win this series. However, the Yankee bats were cold at the hands of Tampa starter Charlie Morton. New York mustered just one run on five hits for the game. The lone run came on a solo home run by Brett Gardner, who finished off a great weekend in Tampa and has his season batting average up to .246 in 285 at-bats.

Scores from the Week:
·      Mets 4, Yankees 2 (Citi Field)
·      Yankees 5, Mets 1 (Citi Field)
·      Yankees 8, Rays 4 (F/10)-Tropicana Field
·      Yankees 8, Rays 4 (F/11)-Tropicana Field
·      Rays 4, Yankees 3 (Tropicana Field)
·      Rays 2, Yankees 1 (Tropicana Field)

Total Record: 3-3
Best Hitting Performance: Brett Gardner, 3-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI
Best Pitching Performance: Domingo German, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K

Who’s Hot?

·      Brett Gardner: 8-22 (.364), 5 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2B
·      Aaron Hicks: 7-21 (.333), 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 2B
·      Gio Urshela: 5-16 (.313), 4 R, HR, RBI, 2 2B
·      James Paxton: 12 IP, 15 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 14 K
·      Domingo German: 6 IP, 5 H, ER, 0 BB, 6 K

Photo Credit: Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

Who’s Not?

·      Aaron Judge: 3-21 (.143), 4 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2B
·      Edwin Encarnacion (.091): 2-22, 2 R, HR, RBI
·      Gary Sanchez: 2-23 (.087), R, HR, 3 RBI
·      Masahiro Tanaka: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
·      Aroldis Chapman/Adam Ottavino: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 6 K

Injury News:
·      No update on Luke Voit, but he is eligible to be activated from the injured list when the team opens-up second half play on Thursday (7/9).
·      Giancarlo Stanton is expected to miss the month of July with a right PCL strain.
·      Dellin Betances was expected to start throwing last week, but nothing was reported on that front.
·      Luis Severino was shut down after experiencing soreness once again on June 30.

Article by: Jake Graziano


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