Yankee Stadium is mighty tidy and the brooms are getting a workout. In their sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Yankees remain on a roll. The Bronx Bombers are unblemished at home, their 6-0 start the best since they began the 1998 campaign 7-0 at the old Yankee Stadium. It also represented their second sweep of the season and homestand and a seven-game winning streak. At 8-4, the Yankees have already equaled their win total from April 2016, are in second place in the AL East and trending upward.
1998 Yankees started year 1-4
2017 Yankees started year 1-4
1998 Yankees started 6-0 at home
2017 Yankees start 6-0 at home pic.twitter.com/vWhtqfJ4f0
Drive for Five
Game 1 saw the Yankee vets take charge and Masahiro Tanaka taking a step closer to regaining his regular form.
Despite yielding a two-run home run to Matt Carpenter in the first frame, Tanaka settled in and had his off-speed stuff working. Notching his first victory of the campaign, Tanaka tossed 6.1 innings, fanning five, while allowing three runs. At one point Tanaka retired ten consecutive Cardinals hitters.
Joking aside, Castro tied the game at two with his blast to right in the home half of the first inning.
In the ensuing inning, Austin Romine took Wacha deep to right for his first home run of the season. Romine’s home run gave the Yankees their first lead of the evening at 3-2.
How 'bout another?!
Heads up Baserunning
Not too many cleanup hitters are known for their baserunning abilities. Yet, Jacoby Ellsbury was hitting cleanup and he was running the bases. On a Chase Headley double to right, Ellsbury did not hesitate to break for home after an errant relay throw skipped past Yadier Molina. The run would hold up as the eventual winner.
Bullpen Bolts It Down
After Tanaka gave up a third run on a double to left by Randal Grichuk, Tyler Clippard would keep the Cardinals in check, despite a scary screamer by Dexter Fowler into the glove of Aaron Judge in right.
Dellin Betances was much smoother than his prior appearance, striking out the side.
Finally, Aroldis Chapman registered his third save in as many contests and locked down a 4-3 Yankee victory.
A Walk in the Park
A Game 2 Saturday matinee did not feature a ton of contact. Yankee batters coaxed eight walks but also struck out 17 times. Cardinals hitters for their part struck out 10 times on the afternoon.
Home Sweet Home
With their 3-2 victory, the Yankees advanced the start of their home record to 5-0. This marks the first 5-0 start at home for the Yankees since the 2000 campaign. Those Yankees would finish 44-36 at Yankee Stadium.
Sometimes a pitcher can be wildly effective. Yet, there’s a limit when you’re seemingly sending your future Hall of Fame catcher into retirement. During the first, Carlos Martinez yielded consecutive walks to Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks. After fanning Chris Carter, both runners advanced on a passed ball charged to Yadier Molina. Following a Jacoby Ellsbury strikeout, Gardner scored on a wild pitch. The Yankees winning team expectancy rate was already at 63%.
Gardner hustles home on a wild pitch and we're on the board! 🏃🏃🏃
1-0 Yankees in the 1st. pic.twitter.com/PyTmufF7Mn
Here’s to You Mr. Robinson
Rocking a pair of blue 42 cleats in honor of Jackie Robinson, CC Sabathia was fantastic. Improving his ledger to 2-0, Sabathia fanned six Cardinals across 7.1 innings of one run, three-hit ball. The lone blemish was a home run to right by Jedd Gyorko in the eighth. Sabathia owns a 1.47 ERA on the year.
Clipped but Still Flying
After Adam Warren finished the eighth, Tyler Clippard was on in the ninth, with Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman unavailable. Clippard was able to strike out the side, around a home run to Stephen Piscotty, a single and a walk. It wasn’t pretty but Clippard was able to nail down the Yankees’ sixth straight win.
Sunday Sweet Sweep
In a convincing rout of the Redbirds, the Yankees used power hitting and power pitching in a 9-3 victory on Sunday Night Baseball. Even faulty replay couldn’t trip them up.
Upon Further Review
During the second inning with Chase Headley on, Aaron Judge delivered a big drive to right field for a home run. After the umpires went to review the play, the fan dropping the ball gave the appearance of fan interference and Judge was instead awarded an RBI-triple. This marks at least the third time on the young season the replay system has failed during a Yankee game.
Making up for the call on the next offering from Adam Wainwright was Greg Bird. Bird rocked a two-run round tripper to right and the Bronx Bombers took a 3-1 lead. Under the lights, the Yankees first baseman was a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish.
An Aa-Bomb From Aa-Ron
Playing the role of next man up again, Aaron Hicks manned center field, while Jacoby Ellsbury slotted at DH for Matt Holliday. In the fifth against Wainwright, Hicks unloaded a solo bomb to right for his third of the homestand. The jolt made the score 4-1 Yankees.
Aaron Hicks home run!
Taking the baton from CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda crafted another exemplary start. Aside from an early run in the first and a home run by Yadier Molina in the seventh, Pineda was dealing. The big man muscled a line of seven innings, six K’s, six hits, two walks and two runs. In baseball, momentum is as good as your next day’s starting pitcher and Pineda delivered on that front.
Another solid start!
Pineda's final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K.
We're up 4-2 heading to the 8th! pic.twitter.com/RfD1jr5Mfz
Busting It Open
In the eighth, the Yankees offense burst open the floodgates with a five spot. A pair of two-run doubles by Austin Romine and Ronald Torreyes made the score 8-2. A sacrifice fly by Hicks accounted for the ninth Yankee run. The outpouring was helpful in saving Aroldis Chapman for another day.
The Cardinals would scratch out another run in the ninth but Bryan Mitchell was able to put St. Louis out of its misery.
At 8-4 on the campaign, New York hosts the Chicago White Sox in a three-game series starting Monday evening. Coming off a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Minnesota, the ChiSox are 6-5.