The Yankees tapped the Rockies with a trio of ex-Rockies. Some parrot punch and a Judge jolt helped add up to an 8-2 victory.
J.A. Happ followed suit of most Yankee starters of yielding an early homer but otherwise bouncing back with a respectable outing. During the second, Happ surrendered a solo home run to center by Ryan McMahon and an RBI-double to left by Garrett Hampson. Settling down, Happ scattered eight hits, walked two and whiffed eight in five frames.
Kyle Freeland has been a disappointment this season for the Rockies and my ESPN fantasy baseball team until I cut him about a month ago. With one out in the third, DJ LeMahieu singled to right, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez worked impressive consecutive walks and Edwin Encarnacion sent a screamer grand slam into the left-field bleachers.
With skipper Aaron Boone serving a one-game suspension, Josh Bard pushed the correct button by giving Mike Tauchman a crack at his old team. Tauchman got Happ out of trouble in the second with an inning-ending double play to cut down Hampson at the plate on a fly ball by Charlie Blackmon. Fast forward to the fifth and Tauchman robbed Trevor Story of a hit with a sliding grab and even fixed his own divot in the outfield.
With two down in the fourth, Tauchman reached on a hustle double to left and would come around on an RBI-single to left by LeMahieu.
During the sixth, Tauchman knocked a one-out single to center against Yency Almonte, stole second and advanced to third on the errant throw. Tauchman continued his aggressive base running by scoring on a fielder’s choice grounder to third by LeMahieu and not even the slick-fielding Nolan Arenado could throw him out at the dish.
Taking over for Happ in the sixth, Adam Ottavino made the Rockies miss him and his sliders like a pothead missing White Castle. Ottavino fanned the side, using the slider as his out pitch on all three batters he faced.