Series Recap: Yankees run winning streak to 11 with a sweep of the Braves
Coming into this series, the Yankees and Braves had been the two hottest teams in all of baseball for the month of August, with both teams going from out of a playoff spot in July, to comfortably in one during the present day. As Paulie said on the broadcast, it was the first time since 1902 that two teams with nine game winning streaks faced off against each other, quite the amount of time for something to not happen in baseball. This two game set started a vital week for the Yanks, as a four game set in Oakland looms with a team right on the Yanks tail in the wild card race. With this being only a two game set, the Yanks streak of consecutive series wins was at risk, needing to win two vs a very good team. Yet that’s just what the Yanks did, winning both games including an absolute nail biter on Tuesday night, in typical 2021 Yankees fashion.
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Monday night's game saw a pitching matchup of Huascar Ynoa and Jordan Montgomery, with the Yanks looking to win ten straight for only the third time in the last 15 years. The star of the night was none other than Giancarlo Stanton, who ever since becoming an everyday outfielder has been hitting the ball all over the yard, as he seems to be more in tune with the game while playing the field. Stanton started the night off with a bang, as he took a pitch on the outside corner 380 feet on a swing that had no BUSINESS resulting in a home run, but that's what happens when you're the king of exit velo and towering dingers. Stanton was not done, as a line drive two out double in the 6th put the Yanks up for good as they would go on to win 5-1. Gumby was his usual solid self, going five innings and only surrendering a lone run on a Dansby Swanson solo shot in the second, and he got an entire three runs of support, dwarfing the number he usually gets. The game was handed to the bullpen needing 12 outs and they delivered. Loaisiga, Peralta and Chapman combined for four innings of work, three hits, no runs, and six strikeouts as the Yanks handled the Braves 5-1 in the first of two from ATL.
With Andrew Heaney on the hill for the Bombers and former division nemesis Charlie Morton on the bump for the Braves, the likelihood of a sweep was not looking too promising. However, after a rough first "Hean Dog" found himself and gave the Yanks four solid innings of work. Giancarlo Stanton decided to stay hot and launched another home run in his first at bat of the game, and Gary Sanchez said forget your shift in the fourth as he placed a ground ball where the second baseman usually is to score Judge and put the Yankees level. The long ball was prevalent in this one for the good guys, and DJ LeMahieu decided to join in on the fun in the fifth, launching a hanging curveball into the bullpen to make it a 4-2 game, much to the amusement of Albert Abreu. An RBI single got the Braves within one. However a close play at the plate resulting in Freddie Freeman getting thrown out, (a play that was reviewed but was evidently too close to overturn) prevented the Braves from tying the game, and a Rougned Odor moon shot in the seventh put New York back up two, which would prove to be of the utmost importance, as Aroldis Chapman had one of his nights. It was a night where Chapman was deathly afraid to throw his fastball, and as a result threw his slider at nauseam. Chapman eventually would load the bases, walk in a run, and get pulled with two outs in a one run game. In his defense, a foul tip call on two strikes and two outs that was highly questionable extended the game, along with a ground ball to third that should have been out number three but Ozzie Albies legged it out against Odor playing out of position at the hot corner. So yes, Chapman wasn’t entirely at fault, but he was as bad as we have seen him, and that is saying something.
So with Freeman up and the game on the line, it was up to WandyVision Peralta to close the door, and after a nine pitch at bat that saw five foul balls, Peralta got Freeman to fly out to deep left center to seal the deal, and get the two game sweep for the Yanks.
The Yankees have won eleven in a row, the first time they have done that since 1985.
The Yankees have won ten consecutive series, the first time they have done that since 1954.
The Yankees are now 47-23 in games decided by two runs or less this season. Best, and most, in the MLB.
The point with all these records is this: what the Yankees have done the past two months is nothing short of incredible, and this win streak just exemplifies that. They could have easily thrown in the towel, been sellers at the deadline, and played for next season and beyond. Yet they didn’t, there was no quit in this team, and no quit in the front office, making major deadline deals and fueling this team to where they are today. The Yanks have an off day Wednesday and then have a huge four game set in Oakland over the weekend, a team that is eyeing to catch up in the Wild Card race.
Can the Yanks make it a dozen in a row? Possibly more? We shall see, but what we do know is that this team just keeps finding ways to win, and whether the obstacle has been unreliable relivers, COVID or injuries, nothing has been able to slow this group down.
Recap by Matthew Luzzi
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