From jet-lagged to jet set, the New York Yankees returned home and gave the Oakland Athletics a taste of their own drumming. The BP Crew was savage, Yankee Stadium was lit, and the Bronx Bombers blasted off to improve to 17-0-3 in their past 20 series at home. The pinstripes also became the first MLB team to reach 90 victories on the campaign, reaching the mark 18 times in the past 24 seasons.
Flying to and from the West Coast, the Yankees have caught the A’s at a bad time in both instances. It felt like both teams arrived from a time machine from 1990. Luke Voit returned. CC Sabathia made an early exit. When it was all said and done, the pinstripes dropped an 8-2 contest.
BURY MY SHELL AT WOUNDED KNEE
Sabathia looked like he might produce a respectable outing, but in a New York minute, everything can change. The big man appeared to tweak his knee and only lasted three innings, yielding a solo pop to left by Jurickson Profar in the second stanza. One hopes that this isn’t how it ends for his Hall of Fame career in pinstripes.
CC Sabathia has left tonight's game after three innings, and Luis Cessa is now on the mound.
Coming into this game, the pinstripes historically pummeled Brett Anderson, but couldn’t deliver the knockout punch in this game. New York went 0-for-5 with RISP. With one out and the bases loaded in the third inning, a Didi Gregorius ground out that plated DJ LeMahieu accounted for the lone run to square the game at one. In the fourth frame, replay finally saved their bacon for once, canceling out a double-play and loading the bases with zero outs. The ensuing batter, Mike Tauchman, would ground into a double-play which plated Voit for the 2-1 lead, but the Yanks couldn’t come away with any more runs.
With Sabathia going down, the Yankees had to be eagerly awaiting the September callups. Taking over for Luis Cessa, who tossed two scoreless frames, Tommy Kahnle didn’t have it in the sixth inning. He was rocked for three runs, including an RBI-double by Seth Brown and a two-run double by Profar.
Cory Gearrin didn’t fare much better in the seventh inning. Gearrin surrendered an RBI-triple to Mark Canha and an RBI-single to Brown.
Capping off the A’s output in the ninth against Nestor Cortes Jr., Marcus Semien connected for a solo homer to left and Brown drove in his third RBI with a single to center.
You know Mean Gene, there was plenty of savages in the box, savages in section 205, and after DJLMVP dropped an elbow from the sky from the top turnbuckle, the bedlam was on in the Bronx. The 4-3 walk-off win in 11 gave the Yankees their first win of the season against the A’s. The BP Crew capped off the regular season a perfect 5-0 at Yankee Stadium. The Bronx Bombers concluded the month of August with an MLB-record 74 home runs. Oh yeah! Dig it!
Gary Sanchez looked fresh and was flexing against Homer Bailey. If it wasn’t for A’s skipper Bob Melvin, the Bombers backstop would’ve tagged him a third time. During the second stanza, Sanchez posted the pinstripes to a 1-0 edge with a bomb above the Poland Spring sign in left. In the fifth, Sanchez squared the game at two with an oppo taco tater to right.
Senor Agosto continued finished the month in style, as he has 31 home runs during the month in his career, the most of any month in his career.
Virtually every pinstriped pitcher had to labor against the Oakland bats. The ball-strike ratio was spotty and the A’s coaxed 10 free passes against the New York staff. Domingo German didn’t fare much differently, but more or less kept Oakland at bay, aside from a two-run tater by Matt Olson in the fourth frame to give the Athletics a 2-1 edge. It was a five and fly type of day, as German worked out of a jam, retiring Matt Chapman on a comebacker to escape the fifth.
After Jonathan Loaisiga worked out a scoreless sixth, Adam Ottavino ran into trouble in the seventh. After a one-out single and stolen base by Robbie Grossman, Chapman helped the A’s regain the lead with a debatable RBI-double to left. Ottavino would allow the A’s to load the bases, but with two down, Kahnle was able to induce a pop-out to left by Profar.
Between Zack Britton and Chad Green, the Yankees relievers staved off another bases-loaded threat in the eighth.
JOLTIN’ JUMPMAN JUDGE
I started a DJLMVP chant an at-bat too early and held up the Aaron Judge fathead, but I take credit for nothing. While Joakim Soria would fan the side in the eighth, he couldn’t sit down Judge. With two down, Judge, who crushed a “foul ball home run” to right in his previous at-bat, jolted a game-tying rocket to right.
Yankee fans of a certain age will remember the hype that came with Chuck Knoblauch joining the Yankees before 1998. A gold glove second baseman with speed who could hit leadoff and was a doubles machine. While Knobby was a serviceable player and certainly had his moments, aside from the speed, LeMahieu is the player the Yankees thought they were getting from the Minnesota Twins in Knoblauch, all those years ago.
Oh yeah and now he’s a power-hitting third baseman.
Leading off the eleventh against Lou Trivino, LeMahieu deposited a first-pitch fastball into the right-field stands and sent the rocking, raucous crowd home happy.
Perhaps J.A. Happ drew some inspiration from Mike Mussina, as he provided the pinstripes with a representative outing. Effectively wild in some spots, Happ issued four free passes but only yielded one hit, while fanning five in six scoreless frames.
Sept. 1 means roster expansion and callups, and the Yankees had a few relievers milling in the bullpen with numbers in the ’70s on their backs. It provided skipper Aaron Boone with more options (possibly too many options). Maybe Boone was trying to play three-dimensional chess and give the A’s false confidence against the Triple-A relievers?
In the seventh inning, Ryan Dull was hardly sharp. With one out and the bases loaded, Dull allowed a two-run double to Sheldon Neuse. On a ball hit to first by Josh Phegley, Profar darted home in a heads-up base-running move.
Chance Adams didn’t fare much better in the eighth, surrendering a one-out solo homer to right by Olson.
HEADS UP RALLY
After scuffling against Sean Manaea and company most of the afternoon, the Yankees scrapped back in the eighth inning.
Tauchman set the table with a walk against Jake Diekman.
LeMahieu followed with a single against Trevino, and Judge walked to load the bases.
On a sac fly to center by Torres, which plated Tauchman, both LeMahieu and Judge tagged and moved up a base.
With two down and Liam Hendriks on the mound, Gregorius lined a two-run single to center, cutting the deficit to 4-3.