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Yankees GBU – Take a split

The New York Yankees faced some tough competition after they swept the Orioles in Baltimore, and quite honestly embarrassed them.  They headed up north for a battle with the upstart Toronto Blue Jays.  Toronto’s record may not be very good, but they have three of the top young prospects in baseball playing in the same infield.

The young kids made their impact too.  Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladito (Vlad Guerrerro Jr.) all had their moments in the sun during their highly contested series with the Yankees.  The series split but at this point in the season the Yankees will take it.


The Good

Gio and Gardy stay hot

The Yankees’ offense cooled down a bit, especially in the two losses (and even the 1-0 win) but there were two Yankees who were consistent each of the four (or three) games they played.  Gio Urshela and Brett Gardner came into the series with Toronto as two of the hottest hitters in baseball.  They left the same way.

Gio Urshela had six hits, six RBIs and two home runs in his four games at third base.  Brett Gardner only played three games, but he continued his hitting streak that is now at nine games.  Katie Sharp has all the important stats;

The two, along with Mike Tauchman in game one of the series, pretty much carried the Yankees.  Gio and Gardner’s back to back doubles in the finale gave the Yankees their only run of the contest and gave them the split they needed to keep pace at the top of the A.L.

Tanaka Time

People criticize Masahiro Tanaka for being an inconsistent pitcher every season.  One game he’s pitching a shutout and the next he’s giving up three solo shots off of a defective splitter.  However, one thing that no one can deny is that Tanaka pitches his best in big moments.

With the series on the line and the Yankees looking to avoid a three game losing streak, Tanaka delivered his best start of the season.  Tanaka’s statline is as follows;  8 IP, 3H, 0 ER, 4 SO, 0 BB.  Masa went into the ninth inning but did not get the complete game after giving up a single to start the inning off.

Regardless, Tanaka pitched his best in the bright lights and continued to show why he should be the Yankees ace heading into the postseason.  He is an extremely poised individual and when his splitter is working, there aren’t many pitchers in baseball who has better location than Tanaka.

An at-bat for the ages

The Yankees obviously split the series, but there was one at-bat in particular that was so beautiful that it needed to be relayed.  Aroldis Chapman had to come in to relieve Tanaka after he had given up a leadoff single.  Vladito was at the plate, ever dangerous, especially after he had hit the game-winning triple in the game prior.

Take a look for yourself.  It’s a 13 pitch battle between Chapman and Vladito.  It’s a battle between a great (yet still overrated) closer and an up-and-coming slugger.

Chapman got the best of Vladito and got him to ground into a double play, but the crowd in Toronto still gave the young star a standing ovation for his efforts.  It truly was one of the best battles all season.

The Bad

Happ has another rough outing

J.A. Happ is another one of those pitchers who just can’t stay consistent.  This weekend was no different, as he could barely get out of the fifth inning and gave up six runs in the process.  Happ only gave up six hits but most of those runs were scored off of the long ball.  Three home runs and three walks doomed Happ, who left the game after five innings.

What happened to the Happ of last season, who went 7-0 after he was acquired by the Yankees at the trade deadline?  The answer is that Happ has simply given up too many home runs at inopportune times.  Happ never is able to limit the damage or get out of an inning unscathed.

Judge looks off

Aaron Judge looks terrible right now, and much of that has to do with his plate approach.  He’s trying too hard to hit home runs, is chasing pitches he usually lays off and not walking as much as he normally does.  Judge only had two hits in 14 at-bats and had more strikeouts (3) than hits in Toronto.

Judge is struggling right now but because the Yankees have hit so well, his slump is lost in the shuffle.  However, his average has dipped to .268 and his home run total will be at a career low.  He’ll be just fine come playoff time, but at what point should people start to be concerned with his lack of production?

The Ugly

Kahnle and Ottavino slip up

Tommy Kahnle and Adam Ottavino are going to be two key pieces in the Yankees’ postseason run.  However, they are allowed to slip up once in a while and unfortunately it got ugly quick.  Kahnle gave up a rare home run in the 8-2 loss in game two.

Adam Ottavino had a bit worse fate, as a 4-3 Yankees lead turned into a 5-4 deficit and ultimately a loss.  Ottavino had a bit of bad luck, as Vladito fought off a two seam fastball down the right field line and got a triple out of it.  It wasn’t a bad pitch by any means from Ottavino but runs are runs and a loss is a loss.



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