The Yankees started the first half wrap-up series on a high note, taking one from the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night. They kept that momentum going for the rest of the series too, taking 2 of the final 3 games of the series to get themselves back to .500 (44-44) at the break.
Friday- The one loss in the series came in blowout fashion on Friday. Chad Green experienced the harder side of MLB pitching life by facing a competent, dangerous, American League lineup, and he came out a little beat up on the other side of that experience. The Indians roughed him up for 7 runs on 5 hits in 4.1 innings, 4 of the 5 hits homers, while their ace Corey Kluber hogtied the Yanks for 1 run over 8 innings. It got ugly early, it was over early, the bullpen B-team finished it out. Move on to the next day.
Saturday- This one was a back and forth affair, with starters CC Sabathia and Danny Salazar both failing to make it out of the 6th inning. The Yankees held a 6-5 lead at the time that both starters exited, a sure sign that victory was on the horizon with the bullpen big 3 coming in. But Cleveland scratched a run off of Dellin Betances in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game and this one went to extras. While Cleveland burned through the majority of their 'pen to get to the 11th, Joe leaned on Betances (4 outs), Andrew Miller (5 outs), and Aroldis Chapman (7 outs) for the final 5+ innings. When Brian McCann doubled in a run in the 11th, Chapman was there to seal the deal in the bottom half.
Sunday- The bullpen was short and Masahiro Tanaka wasn't on his A-game at all, so it was a good thing the lineup took advantage of so many Cleveland errors. The Yankees put up 4 runs in the 2nd and 6 in the 5th on their way to an 11-1 lead halfway through the game. But the Indians stormed back for 6 runs in the bottom of the 5th to knock out Tanaka and make a game out of it. Nathan Eovaldi shouldered the responsibility of holding the lead and he handled it quite well, tossing 4.1 scoreless in relief of Tanak. Jacoby Ellsbury homered, Mark Teixeira broke out a mini-slump with 2 hits, and Austin Romine kept his solid backup season going.