OAKLAND, Calif. — Coming into this series, I really was optimistic for the New York Yankees taking three of four from the Oakland Athletics. Yes, Oakland has been a recent house of horrors for the Yankees. Yet, given how this series began, it was an unfortunate disappointing thud at the end of the series.
The Bronx Bombers powered their way to an early touchdown lead. However, Jameson Taillon posted his sketchiest start in about two months and allowed the A’s to quickly bounce back. Yet, the bullpen rebounded and helped lock down a 7-6 win.
New York used the long ball against ex-Yankee farmhand James Kaprielian. During the second stanza, Giancarlo Stanton crushed a solo smash to center.
The Bay Area bashers struck back against Taillon in the home half of the third. Matt Chapman homered to left. Sean Murphy went yard to center. Free passes were also a bugaboo for Taillon, who walked three on the evening. A bases-loaded walk to Chapman in the fourth frame cut the Yankee lead in half. Elvis Andrus chased Taillon from the game with a two-run single to center.
An inning later, the Athletics squared the score as Josh Harrison took Albert Abreu deep to center.
JUDGE AND JURY
From there though, the rest of the bullpen was solid. Clay Holmes struck out the side in the sixth. Jonathan Loaisiga tossed two scoreless frames.
In the ninth inning, after Rizzo drew a two-out walk against Lou Trivino, Tyler Wade was inserted as the pinch-runner. Wade stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Murphy. That made Aaron Judge’s job much easier, as he plated Wade with a single to right for the go-ahead run.
Aroldis Chapman essentially handled the heart of the A’s order in the bottom of the ninth to record career save No. 300.
The Yankees kept on rolling with the Bomber ball formula. It also helped that Gerrit Cole made tough pitches when he had to and the defense sparkled as well. In sum, the Yankees roughed up the A’s 8-2.
BAY AREA BOMBIN’
Athletics starting pitcher Sean Manaea was forced to change his glove before the first pitch and it was pretty much all downhill from there.
During the fourth frame, Stanton absolutely destroyed an 0-1 sinker to deep center for a 1-0 lead.
On the bump, Cole was bend but don’t break in his six scoreless frames. With two runners on in the fourth frame with one out, Cole struck out Mark Canha and Murphy to squelch the threat. With the bases loaded and one down in the fifth frame, Cole fanned Jed Lowrie and got some help on a sweet snag by Gio Urshela at third to rob Harrison of a hit.
Cole finished off his night by striking out the side in the sixth inning. He also became the fastest in Yankees franchise history to record 200 Ks in a season.
The lone blemish for the Yankee pitching staff was a two-run single Matt Olson, against Joely Rodriguez in the seventh inning.
Yet, the Yankees would get those runs back and more in the ninth inning against Burch Smith. Kyle Higashioka smoked a two-run tater to right-center. Judge capped off the offense with an RBI single to left.
It figures that it would take some fluke stuff to happen for the Yankees’ 13-game winning streak to be snapped. Not hitting Frankie Montas didn’t help matters either. The Yankees fought back late but an early balk call didn’t help their cause. Not a banner day for third base umpire Will Little or the Yankees in their 3-2 loss.
DO YOU EVEN REPLAY BRO?
During the second stanza, Tony Kemp singled home the first Oakland run off Nestor Cortes Jr. With Harrison batting, a balk was called, enabling Murphy to score.
In the third inning, there were more laughable hijinks at the hot corner. Starling Marte was called safe on a steal of third base but the Yankees were out of challenges. After Olson struck out, Yan Gomes lined out to DJ LeMahieu, who double-up Marte at third but Urshela clearly wasn’t touching the bag even though Little called him out. After Oakland called for a replay review, the call on the field stood. I guess they’re doing makeup calls from New York now? What a mess.
The A’s enhanced their advantage on a homer to left by Chapman in the fourth frame.
A BLOOP AND A BLAST BUT TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
Facing Sergio Romo in the ninth inning, the Yankees finally got on the board. Rizzo went against the shift with a bloop single to left. Judge followed with a two-run tater to left. Yet, that was as close as it would get for the Yankees as their streak was snapped.
This game was not one for the time capsule or the Tom Emanski instructional video. The Yankees were sloppy and so were the A’s but the main key was that Oakland got the one big hit in the 3-1 New York loss.
I KNOW HOW YOUS KIDS LIKE ‘EM EXTRA SCHLOPPY
Outside of Gardner, there weren’t many great defenders in this contest. During the fourth frame, Urshela botched a potential inning-ending 5-3 double-play ball. Then, Tyler Wade’s delayed flip to LeMahieu cost the Yankees another inning-ending, 6-4-3 twin killing but Canha beat out LeMahieu’s throw and Gomes scored the first run. Poor Jordan Montgomery had to throw more pitches as well and didn’t get much support on the offensive side with players like Gallo banging into his second double-play in as many days.
Thankfully, the A’s were in the giving mood in the seventh inning. After Gary Sanchez coaxed a leadoff walk against Jake Diekman, with two outs and Rizzo pinch-hitting for Wade, Diekman uncorked a wild pitch, Gomes botched a foul pop and Rizzo plated Sanchez on a ball hit through the wickets of Chapman, who’s actually capable of making an error at third.
Yet, with two down in the eighth, Gallo took a bad route to a ball hit to left by Canha for a double. The ensuing batter Kemp continued to be a Yankee killer and drilled a first-pitch fastball from Chad Green into the right-field stands for the eventual winner.
Tony Kemp's go-ahead 2-run HR in the 8th inning of the Athletics' win over the Yankees Sunday night was just his 5th HR of the season.
Three of those 5 HR have come against the Yankees.