ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Brewers 4, Yankees 1
by Patrick Gunn
September 18, 2022
Milwaukee had its dream game:
Willy Adames hit a three-run homer in the third inning off Jameson Taillon. That’s his second straight game with a three-run shot.
Brewers Starter Brandon Woodruff threw one of his best performances of the season, going a season-high eight innings and racking up 10 strikeouts.
The Yankees had chances but hit 0-8 with runners in scoring Position.
Woodruff handed the ball to Devin Williams for an easy ninth inning.
Also, I hope that Marwin Gonzalez is okay after getting hit in the head by a throw from the catcher, Victor Caratini. This was just an unfortunate accident.
THE BIG STORY:
I pretty much already said everything else, but for more details. Taillon struggled all game, in particular against Adames. He walked the Brewers’ shortstop on 11 pitches in the first inning and then put himself in trouble after a leadoff walk to Victor Caratini and a single to Christian Yelich.
That hit almost sealed the deal. Sure, the Yankees had numerous chances throughout the first couple of innings but failed to gain any traction. Their best chance came in the fourth. Josh Donaldson hit his second home run and Miguel Andújar got to second on an error. Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza both groundout out to short and then Kyle Higashioka hit a deep fly ball to right. Hunter Renfroe flagged it down for a nifty basket catch and the Yankees only had one more chance with a runner in scoring position.
Woodruff owned the game, garnering whiffs with his fastball (45% of swings, per Savant) and his slider (56%). He threw efficiently and attacked the zone all night (71 out of 101 pitches for strikes). He had been dealing in the second half coming into the game and kept on keeping one tonight.
On the Yankees front, the bullpen had a solid effort. Greg Weissert continued and Ron Marinaccio both tossed up zeros, and even Aroldis Chapman returned from the I.L. with a scoreless inning (granted, he gave up two deep 99+ mph lineouts, but that’s what defense is for).
BETTER TO FORGET:
Honestly, it’s not really fair to single out one hitter when Woodruff dominated everyone. Giancarlo Stanton served as the lone batter to not make contact, he struck out four times, but no Yankee had more than a hit tonight. Only Aaron Judge and Peraza reached base twice. It was a rough game.
The Yankees should be more frustrated that they lost Friday night’s game than last night’s. Again, Woodruff had a 2.80 ERA in the second half coming into this start. The Bomber’s injuries have turned them into a significantly weaker lineup, so beating tough pitchers like Woodruff is going to be harder. Taillon would have had to throw a shutout to win, and he just did not have it. The Yankees struggled against a pitcher that they would predictably struggle against. There will be games like this for every team. The frustrating loss, again, was Friday's. That night they got five runs in the first three innings - and they lost.
New York needs to be fully healthy to win. Anthony Rizzo’s absence has put the team in a bind at first base offensively and defensively. D.J. LeMahieu at his best provides a spark at the top of the game. Harrison Bader can be a jolt both in the outfield and at the plate. The Bombers are just going to struggle to score without their top guys. In addition, they need Giancarlo Stanton to get his swing back.
I do have a concern. Why has it been about a week since Oswald Peraza started? Isaiah Kiner-Falefa had some good at-bats lately, sure, but he has not been lighting it up. Peraza came off the bench and still reached base twice while playing solid defense. Aaron Boone needs to find more ways to get Peraza into the lineup.
Gerrit Cole is tasked with ending the Yankees’ road trip on a high note in an afternoon game. Jason Alexander starts for the Brewers, with first pitch scheduled for 2:10 EDT.