About Yesterday, Yankees 5 - Rangers 3
Updated: Jun 26
by Ed Botti
June 26, 2023
The Big Story:
The 46,064 Yankees fans who braved potential rain delays and insane traffic were rewarded with a throwback Yankee comeback. As they used to say in the glory years of this team “5:00 O’clock lighting struck” (more like 4:00 O’clock, but you get the point).
On an afternoon when the safe bet would have been a pitching duel between two of 2023's best starters, Nathan Eovaldi and Gerrit Cole, they ended up having 5 runs scored in the first 2 innings. Both pitchers battled, and the Yankee bullpen again proved why they have been the best unit on this team all season.
For much of the game it seemed as if this game would become a frustrating loss; that is until the Yankee bats came to life in the bottom of the 8th inning to take and hold on to a series winning 5-3 victory over the first place Texas Rangers.
This game saw Cole get called for a balk and a time violation on a swing and miss strike three. Gleyber Torres, not to be outdone, misread a fly ball out to right field and was picked off of second base. His second base running blunder in five games.
All of that just set the stage for the 8th inning.
The clutch inning started off with a leadoff double by Anthony Volpe. Jose Trevino could not get a bunt down, and eventually ended up with a gift wrapped infield single to the left side, holding Volpe at second base.
Gleyber Torres then failed to advance the runners and flied out. Texas manager Bruce Bochy decided to go with righty Yerry Rodriguez to face Harrison Bader in what would become the game deciding at bat.
Bader ignited the crowd of 46,064 by launching a rocket double to left center field that put the Yankees in the lead for the first time in the game.
Giancarlo Stanton followed Bader with a much needed rocket of his own, singling to left to extend the lead to 5-3. Michael King made sure to end it right there and give the Yankees a winning home stand heading off to the west coast.
Player of the Game
The Yankees’ bullpen entered the game a little tired with Clay Holmes, Wandy Peralta and Tommy Kahnle all unavailable. With Gerrit Cole battling through 107 pitches over 4 2/3 innings, the rested and ready secondary options for Aaron Boone stepped up and continued to show the league how effective this bullpen has been all season.
Jimmy Cordero, Nick Ramirez, Ron Marinaccio and Michael King held the tough Ranger lineup scoreless for 4 1/3 innings keeping the game in reach until the Yankees broke through in the 8th.
The entire Yankee lineup managed only 8 hits all afternoon. However 2 of those hits came off the bat of Harrison Bader who went 2-4 with 2 RBI and 1 run scored. Bader is a pleasure to watch tracking down balls. His paths are perfect and he always seems to have his feet in the proper position to fire off a throw to what appears to be the right base or fielder every time.
If he could only figure out a way to avoid all those soft tissue injuries he has had (he also had bad case of plantar fasciitis). But for today, Harrison was at full health and it showed on the field of play.
Better to Forget…
Gleyber Torres had yet another brain freeze in the field, this time on the bases. Sometimes his play gives one the impression that he loses focus. I am sure he is trying his best, but he needs to focus more and pay attention. With Judge out of the lineup for who knows how long, this team needs to play smart. Gleyber’s rally killing base running needs to be cleaned up, and fast.
Looking to Tomorrow
Monday is a travel day as the Yankees head west for a 3 game set against the league’s worst team, the Oakland A’s. The Yankees need to run right through the A’s and then head off to St. Louis, and take that series. Good teams beat up on weaker teams, and this is a perfect chance for the 2023 Yankees to answer a lot of questions.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson sat out Sunday for the 3rd straight game. According to Boone he will be back at third on the trip. Maintaining the obvious, he either starts hitting or they need to cut their losses.
The Yankees need to take a good long look at this roster without Aaron Judge and make some changes to their offensive approach. Sunday was a perfect example of the type of play this team needs to use in order to get back into the pennant race. Hitting behind runners, making productive outs, causing havoc on the base paths & forcing errors, in addition to playing mistake free, which they did not do on Sunday.
Rizzo seems to be over his neck strain. They need DJ back to being himself. His bat is critical to the success of this team, especially with Judge on the sidelines. His double on Sunday was a very good sign and reminiscent of the real DJ.
Another good sign was Anthony Volpe noticeably cutting his swing down for his 8th inning double. He needs to stick with that approach.