About Last Night: Yankees 4 - Mets 2
by Cary Greene
August 23, 2022
● Winning Pitcher: Domingo German (2-2, 3.89 ERA) 6.1 IP/ 4H, 2 R, 1ER / 3K, 0BB /88k-61bb (69% Strikes)
● Losing Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-3, 2.33 ERA) 6.2IP/ 7H, 4R, 4ER / 3K, 1BB / 101-69 PC-ST (68% Strikes)
● Yankee Home Runs: (1) Aaron Judge (47th, 1-run HR 3rd-inning.)
● Yankees batters lead the Majors in both home runs (198) and walks (467) this season.
○ OF Andrew Benintendi hit a go-ahead two-run HR in the seventh inning on Sunday vs. Toronto… was his fourth HR of the season and first since June 20th at Los Angeles-AL, when he was with Kansas City. He continued hitting well last night.
○ 1B Anthony Rizzo has reached base in 30 of his last 35 starts, hitting safely in 22 of those games.
○ DJ LeMahieu has reached base in 43 of his last 47 starts and is batting .307/.420/.434 with 36R, 6 doubles, 6HR, 17RBI, 36BB, 1HP and 3SB in that span.
○ Marwin Gonzalez has only 2-hits in his last 38 at-bats (.053 Avg)
○ Oswaldo Cabrera is hitting only .136 since being called up.
The Big Story - Last night, the second-chapter of the Subway Series, began in the Bronx against an ominous backdrop of dark storm clouds as the Yankees faced the looming presence of Mets Ace Max Scherzer. Fans from both teams flooded the stadium to create a carnival-like atmosphere as the Big Apple enjoyed the fun of an ages old rivalry, courtesy of interleague-play.
The focus was on the Mets' pitcher, but coincidentally, there happened to be someone named Domingo German pitching for the Yankees though, and written off as he seemed to be, he pitched a great game, lowering his season ERA from 4.45 to 3.89 in the process as he clearly got stronger as the game went along.
In the first inning, after Andrew Benintedi, who had reached first base after being hit by a pitch, raced from first to third on an Anthony Rizzo single, which set up a DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly as Benintendi sprinted home and arrived at the plate a split second before laser beam of a throw from Mets right fielder Starling Marte, to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead.
Then, in the bottom of the third-inning, Aaron Judge hit an opposite field shot off Scherzer with two out for a 2-0 lead. It was Judge’s 47thhome run of the season. What a year the Judge is having!
In the bottom of the fifth, Andrew Benintendi came through with a run-scoring double that knocked in Isiah Kiner Falefa, who had previously doubled himself. The Yankees were cruising behind starter Domingo German, it was 3-0.
The Mets chased German in the seventh-inning as deadline acquisition Dan Vogelback smashed a 2-run homer to center field that just made it out and it was suddenly a 3-2 ballgame. Ron Marinaccio came out of the pen to keep the score right there. Then, in the bottom of the frame, Andrew Benintendi struck again, this time lacing a single to right field that scored a hustling Isiah Kiner-Falefa from second, the score was 4-2.
The key spot in the game happened in the top of the 8th-inning with a man on and two-out, Aaron Boone removed Ron Marinaccio and inserted Jonathan Loaisiga to face the righthand hitting Starling Marte. The move worked, as Loaisiga induced Marte to fly out to right fielder Marwin Gonzalez.
Boone stuck with Johnny Lasagna to open the ninth-inning and he looked terrific as he got the dangerous Francisco Lindor to ground to first base for the first out. Then, he then got Pete Alonzo to pop out off the end of the bat (on a rather feeble swing) to shallow center field and the Yankees were down to the final out! With Wandy Peralta warming and Loaisiga flashing 100mph on the scoreboard, Loaisiga got ahead in the count and wound up striking-out Dan Volgelback looking at a nasty 91-mph change-up at the knees. Loaisiga earned the save and what a crucial one it was! John Sterling’s voice echoed, “Theeeee Yankees wiiiinnn - 4-2!”
Player of the Game - Andrew Benintendi just kept coming up in big spots all night and boy did he come through with fantastic batsmanship, he finished the evening 2-3 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored. The Yankees simply don’t win last night’s affair without him.
● Ron Marinaccio - Where would the Yankees be right now without Marinaccio? He’s been lights-out this year for the Yankees and he helped the Yankees hold the Mets offense in check last night. His performance was critical last night.
● Jonathan Loaisiga - What can I say? The Yankees don’t have a closer right now, as incredible as it seems, that is the current state of the Yankees bullpen. Loaisiga pitched well and earned the save and what a crucial one it was!
Better to Forget
● The lower half of the Yankees lineup, Isaiah Kiner-Falefa excluded, was a combined 0-13 (Donaldson, Cabrera, Trevino, Gonzalez). Giancarlo Stanton can not make it back soon enough as this group doesn’t seem to consistently be able to protect Aaron Judge.
My Take - On paper, it looked like a dire situation for the Yankees last night, but those darn Yankees, they didn’t seem to be phased. They said, “not so fast, my friends.” I’m reminded that “you just can’t predict the game of baseball.” Mets fans had been talking about a potential slaughter in the Bronx for weeks now, ever since it appeared that Scherzer would be starting the opening game of the series. Rumors also flew that Jacob DeGrom, the game's best pitcher, would start tonight’s conclusion of the 2022 Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees, but Meredith Marakovitz reported before the game that would not be the case.
Speaking of Meredith, she’s become a fantastic beat reporter hasn’t she? She’s such a pleasure to listen to and she really provides super coverage. Andrew Benintendi told her before the game that he had made some adjustments in the batting cage and last night, he really looked like the player everyone was so high-on prior to the trade. In fact, his key two-run home run against the Blue Jays on Sunday highlighted all the hard work he’s been putting in, “with music blaring,” according to Meredith. I do hope Cashman has the wherewithal to bring Benintendi back on a longer term deal this offseason because he’s looking like an ideal fit for the Yankees lineup.
Clarke Schmidt was called up yesterday by the Yankees as newly acquired Scott Effross was put on the 15-Day injured list, retroactive to August 21st, with a right-shoulder strain. It’s hard to believe that it took an injury for Schmidt to be called back up, given how desperately the Yankees need quality pitching and how well Schmidt has performed in the big leagues for the Yankees this season. The Yankees bullpen has suffered tremendously due to injuries and it does feel like Brian Cashman left the cupboard a little bare at the deadline, though he did in fact trade for the afore-mentioned Effross and Lou Trivino.
I’m still kind of amazed that Brian Cashman didn’t at the very least try to trade for David Robertson (who went to the Phillies instead). It was clear the back end of the Yankees bullpen was reeling and Robertson was the best available closer at the deadline. The Yankees entire season may rest on them figuring out how to put away close games. Right now, it’s basically a closer by committee situation and Johnathan Loaisiga, who many fans seem to have written off, came up huge last night for the Yankees.
Getting Loaisiga and Chapman right coming into the stretch-run have to be two massively important priorities for Aaron Boone. The Yankees need both of these two on top of their respective games if they’re going to seriously contend. Ron Marincaccio is not officially a high leverage reliever. He’s been incredibly good for the Yankees and his role is in the process of expanding to more important innings. Last night, he got four outs, working around a lone walk and he was credited with a Hold - a stat the Yankee bullpen needs to start getting many more of! They also need to record saves when saves are on the table and last night, Loaisiga earned his first save of the season.
Next Up - The Yankees will start Frankie Montas (4-10, 3.87) tonight against Taijuan Walker (10-3, 3.36). Game time will be at 7:05 this evening, the accuweather forecast for tonight calls for 79 degree air temperatures with partly cloudy skies. The ballgame will be broadcast on Amazon.
Montas will make his 23rd start of the season tonight and his fourth since joining the Yankees. He’ll be pitching on regular four days' rest. Tonight will also be his second home start at Yankee Stadium.
Montas last pitched on Thursday vs. Toronto, taking the loss after allowing a season-high-tying 6ER (6.0IP, 8H, 1BB, 2K, 1HR). He’s actually allowed 3ER-or-fewer in six of his last eight starts and in 12 of his last 15 starts and has tossed at least 7.0IP and allowed 2R-or-fewer in five starts this season.