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  • Writer's pictureAndy Singer

About Last Night: Yanks Beat The Giants 7-3

By Andy Singer

June 2nd, 2024



The Big Story


The Yankees had the audacity to lose two straight games between last Sunday against the Padres and Tuesday night against the Angels. Since then, the Yanks have ripped off 4 straight wins, continuing their stretch as arguably the best team in baseball. For all the talk of the poor home run environment in the Bay Area, Aaron Judge is doing his best to make the ballpark look small, with mammoth home runs both last night and the night before. The Yankees got hits from up and down the lineup again, this time against Logan Webb, one of the better starters in the National League this season. Cody Poteet was really solid in his second start of the season, this time looking to establish himself as a regular in the rotation filling in for Clarke Schmidt, striking out 6 while allowing 2 Earned Runs (3 Runs total) in 5 innings pitched.


The Yankees moved to 41-19 overall on the season. Despite their impressive record, they have just a 2-game lead over the Orioles in the AL East (seriously, this division is always stacked), and retain the second best record in baseball by virtue of the fact that the Phillies have played 1 less game, with a record of 41-18.


A Deeper Dive


All Rise

Remember when all of us waxed poetic about how Juan Soto played a different game at the plate than other guys? That is still true to an extent, because Soto's ability to control the strike zone while making a powerful impact with the bat is unmatched from the left-side in today's game, Aaron Judge has taken May and the beginning of June to remind all of us who the best overall hitter in baseball has been since 2022. Since the beginning of May, watching Judge hit feels almost like peak Barry Bonds at the plate. I'm almost surprised when he doesn't homer, that's how locked in Judge looks.


In the first inning, following a single by Soto, Judge jumped ahead in the count 3-1 against Logan Webb. Webb battled Judge hard, mixing speeds and nearly fooled Judge a few times. Each time, Judge flicked his wrists to foul the ball off, maintaining control the whole time. Judge fouled off 3 balls while the count was full. On the 9th pitch, he got a low-inside change-up and didn't miss:



I don't have much more I can say. Aaron Judge is the best hitter on the planet right now. Even better? Juan Soto was stealing on that pitch, like he might need to advance with Judge at the plate. It was a good jump, and Soto likely would have made it had Judge not obliterated the baseball. Sorry for the wasted run, Juan. Next time, just start trotting.


Poteet Was More Than Good Enough

I wrote about Poteet in the off-season as someone who was both going to be important to the 2024 Yankees and would perform better than most would expect. Well, he's getting the first shot to replace Clarke Schmidt for at least the next couple of months, and he didn't waste his first opportunity. Poteet was excellent in his first spot start earlier this year, and he showed us much of the same last night.


Poteet isn't someone who is going to wow you with stuff, but he moves the ball around, mixes speeds and spins, and pitches his way around a lineup. A king of soft contact, it didn't look to me like Poteet had his best stuff last night, but he was definitely effective. I love that Poteet threw 4 separate pitches at least 18% of the time. He was reasonably efficient, needing 78 pitches to get through 5 innings. In short, he was everything you want in a back-end starter.


Poteet leaned pretty heavily on his slider/sweeper last night, and the pitch is better than I remembered. Statcast tells me that he averaged 2884 RPM of spin on the pitch, which is impressive. To my eye though, Poteet's best pitch is his change-up. He struggled to locate it last night, so hitters were sitting on it when it found the zone, but it has good drop and plenty of separation from his sinker and four-seam fastball.


Poteet had to battle a bit more after an easy first inning, but minus one mistake sinker to Casey Schmitt in the 3rd inning that Schmitt eked out of the park for a 2-run homer, Poteet was quite good, allowing just 2 earned runs, 3 hits, and 1 walk through 5 innings. If he can do that every time out until Gerrit Cole returns, the Yankees' rotation will be just fine.


The Bullpen Was...Good?!?

Yes, it really was! 4 innings of no-run ball, in fact. Sure, Caleb Ferguson had to scare us by scattering runners and Clay Holmes pulled his usual Houdini act, but they got the job done. More critically, Ian Hamilton looked excellent, striking out one in his single inning of work, and Tommy Kahnle again looks like the most dominant version of himself since coming off of the IL due to shoulder trouble.


Kahnle is going to be the key to the back-end of the bullpen. If he can stay healthy, and keep his mid-90s fastball and absurdly good change-up rocking like he did last night, the Yankee bullpen will be just fine.


Player of the Game


All Rise, for the honorable Judge is in the building. Judge was 2-3 with a huge 2-run blast in the first inning, and later was intentionally walked in the 3rd inning when the Yanks expanded the lead for good. True Barry Bonds treatment in Bonds' old stomping grounds.


Better to Forget


Austin Wells and Anthony Rizzo were the only Yankees who didn't record a hit last night. For both, it continues a long stretch of poor performance. All of the underlying numbers (and video analysis) tell me that Wells will turn it around. Nothing makes me think Rizzo will, sadly.


Looking to Tomorrow


The Yankees finish their series with the Giants in San Francisco today, with coverage beginning at 4:05. Nestor Cortes will take on Blake Snell...who needs Snell, again?!?

19 Comments


Len
Len
Jun 02

Judge on a pace to hit 57 home runs, even with his poor start. If he keeps it up, he may well break his record of 62

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jun 02
Replying to

That could happen, because I remember when Judge was approaching 61 and 62 homers in 2022, he went through a terrible slump in the process, similar to his April slump of 2024.

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jjw49
Jun 02

We now know who they are.... a baseball team struggling to remain a .500 ball club! Clearly the Yankees are the better baseball team beating up on the dogs of the West Coast! Keep the train rolling with a sweep in SF.

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Jun 02

About Wells and Cabrera vs. Rizzo and Torres. The 2 kids don't look lost or clueless at the plate, and I can't say the same about Rizzo and Torres.


The first call up was always going to be Poteet or Beeter. Very poor job by the dugout to not have a reliever up after the 1st batter reached in the 5th. Poteet hadn't pitched in over 10 days, Also, why Ferguson and not Gonzalez ?

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fuster
Jun 02

if Hamilton and Kahnle support Holmes in the style to which the fans have become accustomed, and the starters continue to supply 6 innings of 2 runs or less, these Yankees might just have a pretty fair winning percentage.


add in a good starter in 4 or 6 weeks, and the front office might need to augment the relief corps but little.

one hard-throwing lefty

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jun 02
Replying to

I would still like to see the Yankees import a closer before the trade deadline, someone who can be "lights out" in the 9th inning, 1-2-3 inning, striking out one or more of those three, and drive home safely......

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jun 02

Thank you, Andy!


I didn't watch last night...I was sleeping. Much appreciated for taking the late game and giving my eyes and the rest of me a rest.


I love this line:


"Sorry for the wasted run, Juan. Next time, just start trotting."

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jun 02
Replying to

Paul, we will have to fly you out here to California whenever the Yankees play in California just so you can see West Coast night games here at a "normal" 7:00 PM start. You can watch the games on the Padres, Angels, Dodgers, and Giants local telecasts when the Yankees play those teams, if they are not being nationally televised on a national network. Assuming you can adjust to the time difference and don't experience jet lag, you will be awake for every pitch since the games will be over by 9:00 PM, 9:30 PM the latest, with the "pitch clock" and "ghost runner" shortening games. That way, you can be awake for the entire game and maybe even att…

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