You can kick us out of the Polo Grounds, John “Mugsy” McGraw. You can move 3,000 miles across the country. But you can’t stop the New York Yankees and Yankee fans alike from feeling right at home against the San Francisco Giants. Let’s go Yankees’ chants were out in full force and the Bronx Bombers bats and brooms got it done in a three-game sweep. In the process, the Yankees improved to 6-1 thus far on their West Coast jaunt.
This one was made closer than the score would indicate. Yes, it was a funny looking lineup but one which wrapped out 15 hits and threw up a touchdown and an extra point in a 7-3 victory.
COLUMBUS SHUTTLE RETURNS
During the first frame, the Yankees jumped all over Madison Bumgarner. DJ LeMahieu got reacquainted with his old NL West nemesis and clocked a double to center to start it off. Luke Voit moved LeMahieu to third with a fly out to right. Gleyber Torres ripped a ball past Brandon Belt in left to plate LeMahieu for what was generously ruled an RBI-double. Gio Urshela would follow with a single to left.
Making a great first impression for New York was Cameron Maybin. Maybin had been playing for the Columbus Clippers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians and a longtime affiliate of the Yankees. Apparently, the old ’80s Columbus shuttle still rides because Maybin would double the New York lead with a single to center.
New York kept chipping together runs and built upon its lead as the game progressed. In the third, a liner to left by Urshela gave Belt fits and plated Voit. During the fifth Voit followed a single by LeMahieu with an RBI-double to left. Jumping to the sixth, Thairo Estrada, left fielder extraordinaire, followed consecutive singles by Austin Romine and Mike Tauchman, with his first RBI-single to center.
PAX BELL PARK
OK, I know, it’s not Pac Bell Park anymore but James Paxton answered the bell again for the Yankees. The large lefty had it working against the Giants. Aside from a hiccup run in the first frame and running out of steam in the sixth (after running out a bunt in the sixth inning, you National League monsters!), Paxton pretty much handled the Giants order. Paxton posted a ledger of 5.2 frames, yielding three runs on five hits and two walks while fanning eight.
Didn’t we do this song and dance in Paxton’s last start? Luckily, skipper, Aaron Boone was able to pull the trigger at the right time and chose the correct relievers at the right time to douse the fire. Tommy Kahnle picked up Paxton by recording a whiff on a changeup in the sixth. Zack Britton picked up two quick outs in the seventh but just as quickly fell off the rails with three consecutive free passes. Adam Ottavino would pick him up though with a strikeout of Buster Posey to end the threat. Ottavino and Aroldis Chapman didn’t have much of an issue from that point forward.
It wouldn’t be a Yankees West Coast win without a Voit homer to dead center. Facing former Yankee Mark Melancon, Voit clocked a two-run tater to center, capping off the New York scoring in the ninth.
Getting healthier and getting right were a couple of encouraging themes for the Yankees in a rare afternoon affair on the West Coast. Their 6-4 victory was closer than it needed to be but the Yankees were able to come out on top.
Urshela did his part with the glove and at the plate. During the first frame, the third baseman made a nice diving catch in foul territory to send Belt back to the dugout. Urshela also collected three hits on the afternoon.
The Yankees got on the board against Derek Holland in the third. Maybin set the table by coaxing a walk. With one out, J.A. Happ moved Maybin to second with a sacrifice bunt. LeMahieu would cash that in with a single to left.
Gary Sanchez made his return Thursday but was back in full form Sunday afternoon. After Voit was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to double the lead to 2-0, Sanchez placed the game out of reach. Swatting his first career grand slam Sanchez mashed a 1-2 sinker from Holland all the way to the Polo Grounds, making it 6-0 Bronx Bombers.
In a most encouraging sign, Happ looked like he was rounding into the kind of form which attracted the Yankees to him in the first place. The crafty lefty kept the ball in the yard and gave the Yankees seven scoreless frames, yielding five hits, zero walks and fanning two. It was quite the pick up for a bullpen which had its fair share of work the previous game.
Unfortunately, as much as Happ looked like his 2018 version, so did Luis Cessa in his worst outing of an otherwise pleasantly surprising young season. After a flawless eighth, Cessa was bombed in the ninth. Former Yankee Yangervis Solarte connected on a three-run swat to right and Erik Kratz launched a solo shot to left-center. Fortunately, Chapman was able to whiff Pablo Sandoval for the final out of the contest.
Even injuries to LeMahieu and Urshela couldn’t stop the Yankees because whoa, no, that’s how Railriders roll! New York used some power hitting and power pitching in a laugher 11-5 victory for the sweep.
DOMINGO DOMINANT ON DOMINGO
Domingo German was on cruise control, yielding one hit (to opposing starter Dereck Rodriguez) through five frames until his curveball fell a bit flat in the sixth inning. Yet, German more than pitched to the scoreboard and gave the Yankees length with a ledger of five hits, four runs, one walk and four strikeouts in six innings.
A day after his 13-game hitting streak was snapped Voit didn’t miss a beat. The power-hitting first baseman extended his on-base streak to 39 straight, reaching base four times and collecting three hits. His streak is the longest by a Yankee since Mark Teixeira‘s 42-game streak in 2010. With the Yankees scratching out two runs with the bases loaded in the first, Voit extended the lead in the second stanza with a two-run single to right.
After playing some small ball the Bronx Bombers awoke in the third. Following a Sanchez walk, Torres extended his hitting streak to six straight (hitting .346 in that span) with a two-run tater to left. Plus, someone is getting a Bronx Pinstripes t-shirt!
Holder, Kahnle and Joseph Harvey would finish it out from the bullpen and in the ninth New York tacked on two more runs. Maybin knocked in a run with a single to center. Wade plated two with a single to left-center against Will Smith.