About Last Night: Yankees 11, Guardians 2
Last night produced a barn-burner of a game. Was it a masterclass of managing or a lucky break?
Quick Stats -
Winning Pitcher: Gerrit Cole (3-0, 1.40 ERA)
Losing Pitcher: Hunter Gaddis (0-1, 8.53 ERA)
Home Runs (New York): Franchy Cordero (3)
Home Runs (Cleveland): None
Big Story - Going into last night's game, the Yankees- through manager Aaron Boone- made it clear that they were going to do two things with the line-up:
Rest Anthony Volpe for the first time this season (after 10 games)
Go as left-handed as possible
What this meant is that the Yankees had a few notable names sitting on the bench in Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Volpe. With the Yankees overwhelming desires to rest players, and this being a core tenet of theirs in recent years, this isn't too surprising to see happen. Even just 10 games into a season. It's clear that the next Lou Gehrig or Cal Ripken Jr. playing streak will never happen again. And, it especially won't happen with a player from the Yankees.
Now, their are also two big questions about why this line-up came out last night. On one hand, you could point to this being a start by the Yankees ace pitcher Gerrit Cole. For many reasons, it makes sense that the weakest projected line-up of this go-around through the rotation should match up with the best starting pitcher. It's a simple balancing game of strong pitching and weak hitting to help allow a strong offense to meet with weak pitching later in the rotational cycle. It is also fair to believe (as I do) that the strongest line-up should coincide with the strongest pitcher. Maximize the wins to get while you can. Give it your best every game.
But, how does one know a line-up with Stanton and Volpe could be the best for that game? Arguably, for last nights game it would not have been as the Cleveland Guardians put Hunter Gaddis on the mound. A right-handed pitcher who has struggled mightily in his short time in the MLB, it made sense to stack the deck against him (with left-handed hitters) as best the Yankees could last night. Maybe the best way to create a line-up is to balance the power of your pitcher against the power of the opposing pitcher to find how much you would likely need to rely on your offense.
So, I offer the question to you: Was this line-up (see below) a brilliant move?
Player(s) of the Game - One offensive, One pitcher:
Gerrit Cole: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K's
Franchy Cordero: 1-4, R, HR, 3 RBI's
Notable Performances - A solid game around the line-up and bullpen!
DJ LeMahieu: 2-4, 2 R, 2 H, 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Aaron Judge: 2-5, 1 R, 2 H, 1 K
Anthony Rizzo: 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI's, 1 BB
Willie Calhoun: 1-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
Oswaldo Cabrera: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
Jose Trevino: 1-4, 1 RBI
Aaron Hicks: 2-4, 2 R
Albert Abreu: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K
Better to Forget - I had to pick one, sorry!
Gleyber Torres: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's
My Take - Maybe it's because I'm in a good mood tonight,- my apologizes to Gleyber Torres on being my token "better to forget" player; if he only struck out once I may have forgone the category today- maybe it's because I much prefer barn-burners to close games, maybe it's because the New Jersey Devils (who I may have developed a slight addiction to this offseason) clinched home ice for the playoffs...and their star player set a record for points in a season...as the team tied a record number of wins in a season...as that aforementioned star players younger brother and future star made his NHL debut. Like I said, maybe it's because of something.
However, I am going to give credit to the Yankees where it is due. Putting up 11 runs in a game is not an easy task and it will likely stand as one of their higher run-scoring efforts all season. Though I am not a fan of many of their methods due to my preference for more old-school and traditional ways of developing and formulating a game-plan/line-up/rotation/roster/etc., it worked out extremely well for the Yankees last night.
So well in fact, that the Cleveland Guardians had to spend 3 of their long-relief arms to get through the 9 innings. That will not bode well for them tomorrow.
I won't say that this was a masterclass of managing and all that. However, credit is due where credit is earned. And tonight, the Yankees earned manager Aaron Boone and the front office a nice pat on the back and the avoidance of my qualms for at least another day.
Next Up - The Yankees have one final game against the Cleveland Guardians, today at 1:10 PM (EDT). The Cleveland Guardians will be starting Peyton Battenfield in his MLB debut after pitching 1 game (5 IP, 2 ER) in Triple-A to start the season, as the Yankees will be sending out Clarke Schmidt (0-0, 9.45 ERA) to the mound as his tumultuous journey to become a starting pitcher has continued again this season. (Can the Yankees please take a look in the mirror and not mess Schmidt up like they did Chad Green for those many years? I warned you all about this!)