The New York Yankees left their figurative baggage in Oakland and Andrew McCutchen literally had his luggage lost. Both the Yankees and McCutchen found a nice respite in the Pacific Northwest, taking two of three contests from the Seattle Mariners. It was close to a clean sweep but a much cleaner series and a bounce back one at that for the Yankees.
KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. The Yankees tightened things up on defense, received solid starting pitching and timely power hitting. Didi Gregorius made a return late in the game and Aaron Judge took batting practice. This is what one would draw up in a Wild Card game scenario but the Mariners probably won’t be part of that equation after the Yankees blanked them 4-0.
TANAKA TIME FOR BED
Masahiro Tanaka was geared up for this outing. At one point Tanaka retired 13 consecutive M’s batters. The outing conjured up memories of Roger Clemens’ one-hit, 15-strikeout, shutout against Seattle in Game 4 of the 2000 ALCS. In eight scoreless innings of work, Tanaka whiffed 10, yielded three hits and zero walks. He wouldn’t allow Seattle to creep back into the game, recording a big strikeout of Robinson Cano with two outs and runners at the corners in the sixth inning. Tanaka would hand off to David Robertson, who would preserve the gem in the ninth.
Round number alert. Perhaps he’ll do this one day if he sticks around long enough to reach the 3,000 hit plateau but what Gleyber Torres accomplished during the second inning on Friday evening was good enough for career hit No. 100. After Luke Voit reached on a single, Torres hammered a 2-2 cutter from James Paxton to left, giving the Yankees a 2-0 advantage. Torres’ home run marked No. 23 on the campaign. Torres is the fourth youngest Yankee to reach 100 hits, only behind Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Ben Chapman. This rookie of the year chase is going to be fascinating.
Go ahead, rookie!
Gleyber Torres' 100th hit of his career is a 2-run jack for the Yankees!
Following a Brett Gardner single, Andrew McCutchen provided the Yankees with some insurance in the fourth frame. McCutchen crushed a 2-1 knuckle curve from Paxton, doubling the New York lead to 4-0. The two-run tater marked McCutchen’s first in a New York uniform.
In jeopardy of being shifted back to the bullpen, Lance Lynn bounced back with a representative outing. Aside from a Mike Zunino homer in the third and a Dee Gordon RBI-single in the fifth frame, which tied the game at two, after a Stanton sacrifice fly, RBI had given New York the lead in the top half, Lynn did virtually all one could ask of him. Lynn displayed impeccable control, issuing zero walks, allowing two runs on three this and striking out a pair.
With the game squared at two in the seventh, Austin Romine took Nick Vincent out of the yard on a 2-2 fastball. The solo oppo-taco gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead and their tenth players with double-digit home runs on the campaign.
A sacrifice fly RBI by Torres in the ninth would account for the Yankees fourth run.
BLOOD AND GUTS BULLPEN
Minus Aroldis Chapman, it was about how one would want to draw it up out of the bullpen. Zach Britton appears to be building up more strength and confidence with yet another scoreless inning in the seventh. Robertson struck out the side in the eighth. Dellin Betances, blood blisters and all, pitched around a hit, walk and hit by pitch and struck out the side as well, recording save No. 3 on the season.
They almost pulled off a sweep but a 2-for-15 effort with RISP proved to be the Yankees’ undoing in a 3-2 loss.
Another game, another extra-base hit for Andujar. Following a one-out double by Stanton, Andujar traded places with an RBI-double to left off Erasmo Ramirez during the first frame, providing the Yankees with 1-0 advantage.
CC Sabathia stabilized from his Oakland outing but wasn’t quite as sharp as one would like. Sabathia worked five frames, yielding two runs on seven hits and one walk, fanning four. Seattle made soft contact but it was just enough in the first. Four consecutive two-out singles, including RBI-singles from Ryon Healy and Cameron Maybin, gave the M’s a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first. Otherwise, Sabathia’s offense didn’t provide him with much help.
During the top of the fourth, McCutchen was able to coax another clutch walk on this road trip, plating the tying run with the bases loaded. However, it was all the Yankees could muster, after starting the inning with the bases packed and zero outs.
In the eighth inning, the Mariners would break through against Betances. Mitch Haniger drew a lead-off walk and stole second to put the Mariners in business. A Jean Segura sacrifice bunt would move Haniger to third. With the infield in, Cano was able to put the ball in play but the throw to home plate by the shortstop Hechavarria was wide and the M’s took a 3-2 lead.