About Last Night: Yankees 2, Athletics 1
by Cary Greene
June 29, 2022
“Trevino Boogying in the Bronx while the Mets get Blown Out in Houston!”
● Winning Pitcher: J.P. Sears (3-0) 5.2 IP/ 3 H, 0 ER / 1 K, 1 BB / 78-48 PC-ST 0.00 ERA
● Losing Pitcher: Frankie Montas (3-8) 6 IP / 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER / 7 K, 2 BB / 105-63 PC-ST 3.20 ERA
● 1 Yankee Home Run: Marwin Gonzalez (1-run HR in the 2nd off Montas, his 3rd of the Season)
● Fangraphs notes that the Yankees' chances of making the playoffs are now up to 100%, yet say the Yankees only have a 12.5% chance of winning the World-Series, down from the 13.7% chance Frangraphs proclaimed the Yankees had only four days ago, but up from the 12% they gave the Yankees prior to the start of the Oakland series.
● The Yankees OPS+ of 118 dropped quite a bit due to the Houston series, but it still leads all of MLB. Since 1903, the average OPS+ of World Series winners is 103.91
● The Yankees ERA+ is presently 129, second only to the Dodgers who have climbed to an amazing 145. Since 1903, the average World Series winners have averaged a 113.66 ERA+
● The Yankees now have 54 home runs in June, the A’s only have 51 on the season! (The Yankees have 124 on the season, which leads MLB.)
● Anthony Rizzo has 20 or more home runs in 9 of his first 12 major league seasons, which makes him one of only five major league first basemen to ever accomplish this feat!
○ Marwin Gonzalez is heating up, he’s hitting .375 9-24 in his last 9 games
○ Joey Gallo has not had a hit in his last 9 games in which he’s gone 0-24 with 12 strikeouts as he apparently makes his case for Brian Cashman to get rid of him.
Big Story - I’m not quite sure whether last night was more about the A’s inability to do what’s necessary to win, or the Yankees refusing to lose but Aaron Boone was very intense throughout the night and the Yankees flashed some mean leather and played really good defense to make a small lead stand up.
A run scoring single by the amazing Jose Trevino got the Yankees started in the first-inning, as Josh Donaldson tried to score as well and was gunned down at the plate by A’s right fielder Ramon Laureano on the play.
In the bottom of the second, Marwin Gonzalez put a beautiful swing on a hard sinker from Frankie Montas for a picture perfect home run to right field. The ball traveled 399’ and had a launch angle of 29 degrees.
From there, the Yankees clung to the 2-0 lead all the way home. Clay Holmes came on to earn his 13th save in 14 chances. Fans were actually leaving the stadium rapidly as he quickly struck out Bethancourt and Laureano, then induced Murphy into what appeared to be a ground out, but Trevino was called on a catcher’s interference error as Murphy, who stands very far back in the batter’s box, ticked Trevino’s glove, so he was awarded first base.
Stephen Vogt then pinch hit for Piscotty and singled and then the red-hot Elvis Andrus singled in a run to make things interesting, but Holmes got pinch-hitter Tony Kemp to ground out to Kiner-Falefa to end the A’s last-ditch rally.
Player of the Game
● J.P. Sears - who looked great yet again. He picked up his third win of the season, two have come from starts now and the other was in relief. He’s done nothing but impress this season, it seems like he’s really forcing the Yankees to think about a way to make room for him and I won’t be a bit surprised if isn’t brought back up after his likely demotion tomorrow.
Sears threw 54% Sinkers, 21% Change-Ups and 12% Sliders last night and only 5% Fastballs, according to baseballsavant.mlb.com, but I have to question their pitch breakdown as it looked like Sears was using his usual 4-seamer as his primary pitch all night and in fact, I wasn’t even aware he threw a sinker. In any case, Sears threw 48 of his 78 pitches for strikes (61.5%) which is pretty decent all things considered.
● Jose Trevino, nicknamed “Boogie” by his close friends for his ability on the dance-floor, made a beautiful snap throw in the top of the third inning to Anthony Rizzo to pick off Sheldon Neuse at first base.
Then, he threw out the A’s Christian Bethancourt, who was running on a 2-2 pitch that was high. Coupled with his run scoring single in the first inning that got the Yankees scoring started and his superb handling of J.P. Sears, he impacted the game in numerous profoundly important ways.
● Josh Donaldson made a couple of very nice defensive plays. Check out this fourth inning grab by Donaldson on a Christian Pache liner in foul territory:
● Wandy Peralta came on to pitch the top of the seventh-inning and after walking Bethancourt to lead off the inning, he got Murphy to fly out to left field and then he struck out Stephen Piscotty before Aaron Boone brought in Mike King to try and get the third out. King faced the suddenly hot Elvis Andrus, who he fed an array of four straight cross-fire sliders to strike him out swinging. Then, King worked a scoreless eighth just put an exclamation point on things!
Better to Forget
● Unfortunately, long-time Yankee prospect turned big-leaguer, 31 year-old lefty Manny Banuelos was DFA’d before the game to make room for J.P. Sears. The Yankees will have 10 days to trade him or risk losing him to another team. With pitching at a premium this season and given that Banuelos was sporting a 1.200 WHIP to go with 2.16 ERA in his 8.1 Innings pitched for the Yankees since he was added to the roster on June 3rd, it’s a lock that he’ll be pitching elsewhere soon. Rather than give him a spot start, the Yankees chose to promote J.P. Sears and give him the ball instead.
● Wandy Peralta came on to pitch the top of the seventh-inning and after walking Bethancourt to lead off the inning, he got Murphy to fly out to left field and then he struck out Stephen Piscotty
My Take - I watch a lot of A’s games and last night was kind of what they often do - which is to say, they stick around most nights, but they just haven’t found a way to win games that they easily could have. Last night was no exception but, that said, watching J.P. Sears shut out the A’s over 5 ⅔ scoreless frames last night, producing nine ground balls and allowing only three hits, was pretty darn fun, especially Considering he’s one of my favorite Yankees prospects! I was very intrigued as he made the start. It’s very possible that Sears can become a legit Major League Starter but this year, barring any injuries to key Yankees starters, he’s going to have to be content to help when and where called upon.
Personally, I think Sears could be a huge help in the 2022 postseason, seeing as how both the Astros and the Dodgers are susceptible to lefties, but he’s going to need plenty of valuable big league experience if anything like that is going to become a possibility. Last night was important for Sears, given that he’ll likely be sent back to make room for Aroldis Chapman who has finished his rehab assignment after missing 33 games with his Achilles issue.
It was also cool to see Ron Marinaccio, another Yankee who I think is vitally important to this year’s team, given his outstanding splits against right-handed hitters, come in and strike out the A’s Ramon Laureano swinging on a nice change-up.
Yankee fans have seen some pretty good stuff in this series with the A’s. We saw a reliever in the first game of the series that has been talked about here at SSTN as a potential fit with the Yankees, the A’s big lefty, A.J. Puk and last night we also saw Frankie Montas who is going to be one of the most rumored to be traded players as the Trade Deadline approaches.
We’ve also seen A’s Catcher Sean Murphy, another player that was talked about quite a bit here on SSTN, bumbling in multiple ways behind the plate in the past two games. Quite honestly, I’m more than happy with Jose Trevino as far as the Yankees catching is concerned. He was great last night and he’s won Yankee fans over completely, in fact, even stat-heads like him. He’s pleasing everyone, something his predecessor, Gary Sanchez, seldom did.
Marwin Gonzalez’s second inning home run was a perfect example of what the Yankees envisioned when they made him the utility man this season and his ability to play all around the diamond is now starting to become a serious asset for the Yankees. Last night, Gonzalez was in left field. Given the fact that he plays a capable shortstop and even plays third base well and that he’s also a switch-hitter with a bit of pop in his bat, it’s starting to look like he may have the utility job for the entire season. His average is now up to .258 and his OPS is .747 on the year.
Hoarding depth is a Brian Cashman’s usual modus operandi and Manny Banuelos was the latest victim of the black roster-crunch cloud that perpetually hangs over the Bronx in the first half of a given season. Out of options, Banuelos was pitching great so he’ll easily have a job elsewhere, which is great for him. Cashman now has something to do over the next ten days as he’ll have to trade him or risk losing him for nothing.
Hopefully, “Man-Ban” doesn’t get scooped up by a division rival like Toronto, Tampa or Boston, who could all use a good lefty in their bullpens. I’d hate to see him go on to have a big season in the division but I have to root for him to do well no matter where he winds up.
Next Up - The Yankees wrap up the three-game series with the Athletics this afternoon at the Stadium as Jameson Taillon (8-1, 3.19 ERA, 63 K) takes the ball for the Yankees, opposing the A’s Cole Irvin (2-5, 3.29 47 K). First-pitch today is set for 1:05pm in a rare day-game in the Bronx. Game-time temperatures will be 82 degrees and skies will be partly cloudy. Should be a great afternoon for baseball today!