Yankees week in review (8/20-8/25): New York swept in Oakland before taking series win against first-place Dodgers

The Yankees took a trip out to the West Coast this week for two three-game sets against the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers. The first series in California led to an embarrassing three-game sweep of the Yankees by Oakland. However, the Bombers took the series in LA, winning two out of three against the Dodgers this Players’ Weekend. 

Photo via @Yankees on Twitter

The Yankees’ offense stalled in game one at the Oakland Coliseum despite scoring early. Gary Sanchez gave the team a 1-0 lead with a solo shot in the first inning, but Oakland answered back with three runs of their own with back-to-back jacks off of Domingo German. Homer Bailey shut down the Yanks’ offense with his splitter, striking out 8 in 5.2 innings. A positive in this game came from struggling Aaron Judge, who hit his first home run to left field this season (467 feet, by the way!) in the top of the eighth inning. Still, the Yankees dropped game one by a score of 6-2.

The losses in games two and three were largely to blame on starting pitching and failure to score with RISP. JA Happ lasted only four innings in game two, surrendering five earned runs and two walks to the A’s. Mike Ford’s solo homer followed by an RBI double by Didi Gregorius in the seventh restored some hope for a comeback until A’s reliever Liam Hendriks closed out the game with a five-out save. A similar story ensued the following day with Masahiro Tanaka, who gave up five runs and two walks in six innings. Gleyber Torres provided a majority of the offense during the game, scoring on Mike Tauchman’s fifth-inning single and blasting two home runs. The Yankees lost the game 5-3, allowing Oakland to complete the three-game sweep. 

The Yankees finally got out of Oakland and traveled to Los Angeles with black uniforms and nicknames embroidered onto their jerseys for this season’s Players’ Weekend. The opening game was a thriller for Yankees’ fans as the offense and pitching were out in full effect. James Paxton threw 6.2 great innings of baseball, giving up two runs and striking out 11. In the meantime, the Bombers slammed All-Star pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu with seven earned runs. It started in the third with two blasts from Judge and Sanchez, but the ultimate blow came from Didi Gregorius’ grand slam in the fifth to give the Yanks a 6-1 lead. Clutch hitting and two additional home runs led the Yankees to a 10-2 victory.

The Dodgers took game two in a 2-1 nail-biter, but the Yankees fought for a win until the very end. The only run scored by the Yankees was a long homer off the bat of Aaron Judge in the fourth. Heavy suspense came in the ninth when closer Kenley Jansen gave up back-to-back singles to Torres and Brett Gardner. The bases became loaded with one out after Gio Urshela reached on a fielder’s choice that left Gardner safe at second after two challenges. It seemed as if the Yanks were robbed of the game-tying run, as the umpire didn't call time until Torres was halfway down the third-base line. All of the momentum shifted towards the Bombers in what felt like an elimination playoff match. Veteran Jansen remained calm and got the job done for his team, striking out Tauchman and Sanchez to end the game. 

The Yankees secured a series win in game three, defeating Clayton Kershaw and giving Domingo German his MLB-leading 17th win of the season. Home runs from DJ LeMahieu, Judge, and Mike Ford (who replaced an injured Gregorius) broke an MLB record for most home runs in a calendar month by a single team (61 big flys this August with half a week still left!). The bullpen relieved German almost flawlessly, and Aroldis Chapman sealed the 5-1 win. 

Photo via @Yankees on Twitter
Scores from the Week
  • Athletics 6, Yankees 2
  • Athletics 6, Yankees 4
  • Athletics 5, Yankees 3
  • Yankees 10, Dodgers 2
  • Dodgers 2, Yankees 1
  • Yankees 5, Dodgers 1
Total Record: 2-4
Best Hitting Performance: Didi Gregorius, 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR (1 GS), 5 RBI 
Best Pitching Performance: James Paxton, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K 

Who’s Hot?
  • Aaron Judge: 8-25 (.320), 5 R, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 2B 
  • Gleyber Torres: 9-23 (.391), 4 R, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 2B   
  • Mike Ford: 6-12 (.500), 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2B 
  • Gio Urshela: 7-25 (.280), 2 R, RBI, 2 2B 
Who’s Not? 
  • JA Happ: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K 
  • Masahiro Tanaka; 6.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K 
  • Cameron Maybin: 2-14 (.143), 0 RBI, 7 K 
 Injury News
  • Didi Gregorius is likely day-to-day with a sore right shoulder after being HBP on Sunday night.
  • Luke Voit is expected to join the Yankees next week when they return to New York on August 30. 
Article by: Isabella Anton

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