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  • Writer's pictureAndy Singer

About Last Night: Yanks Even The Series, Defeat Dodgers 6-3

By Andy Singer

June 4th, 2023


The Big Story


The Yanks evened the series with the Dodgers on Saturday evening in a game that was both closer and not nearly as close as it appeared. Gerrit Cole got back on the ace wagon and gave the Yankees 6 strong innings (and just 80 pitches) of 1-run ball before Wandy Peralta made things interesting in the 7th inning. The Yankee offense rode the long ball to the win, with Jake Bauers swatting two long 2-run homers, and Aaron Judge and Oswaldo Cabrera (called back up to replace Greg Allen on the roster) each adding solo shots of their own. Mike King again staked his claim as one of the best relievers in the sport, serving as fireman to cover Peralta’s disastrous outing in the 7th inning while continuing his dominance into the 8th inning, though he needed a bit of help from Aaron Judge, who broke the outfield wall running through it to make a catch on a deep fly ball to right (Judge is alright…we think).


A Deeper Dive


Have A Night, Jake Bauers

I’ve stumped pretty hard for Bauers since he was sent down in Spring Training. He has made some swing changes that allow his bat to stay in the zone longer and help Bauers make more optimal contact. Prior to Saturday night’s game, Bauers’ bottom-line stats didn’t necessarily jump off of the page, but they weren’t bad either: 69 plate appearances, a line of .214/.333/.429, a .762 OPS, 3 home runs, 11 walks, and 24 strikeouts. Too many strikeouts, a low batting average, but also left-handed power and a clear ability to get on-base. However, there’s more under the surface, as Bauers had been a bit unlucky with a .290 BABIP and some of the best batted ball metrics on the team: 113.5 Max Exit Velocity, 91.1 Average Exit Velocity, and truly absurd Barrel and Hard Hit rates, respectively (20.6% Barrel Rate, 50% Hard Hit Rate). I’ve been waiting for a game like Saturday night for Bauers.


The Yankees weren’t facing pitching the caliber of, say, Clayton Kershaw or Walker Buehler, but Bauers deserves credit for hitting the pitches he was given…let’s just say he didn’t miss. Bauers’ first homer off of Dodger’s starting pitcher, Michael Grove, was a hard shot to right-center off of a 95+ MPH fastball in the 2nd inning while his second homer in the 4th inning was a moonshot to right field on a hanging slider.


Bauers now has a classic, sweet left-handed swing. The Yankees have used him sparingly since his call-up, but I think he’s earned a harder look over the last couple of weeks. Bauers now has a 142 OPS+. The Yankees might have themselves a left fielder.


Cole Pulled After 6…Why?

Gerrit Cole was pulled after 6 innings of 1-run ball on Saturday night…and just 80 pitches thrown. I can’t find any defense of the move. Sure, Cole had struggled each of his last few times out on the mound, but that wasn’t the case on Saturday night. More to the point, nothing in the advanced statistics really indicate that there was an issue. If you want to nitpick, you could say that his last 3 fastballs were consecutively slower, but their velocity was right in line with where Cole’s fastball lived on Saturday:



If Aaron Boone makes a pitching call, it is almost certainly a bad one.


Hat Tip to Michael King

Mike King came in to face an almost impossible situation: runners at the corners, no outs. King promptly gave up a line drive single to center to allow one inherited run to score, but he tightened up after that and was the most important player in this game other than Jake Bauers. King’s final line: 2 innings, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts…and boy did that slider look like a frisbee.


Judge Is Great…And Scary

Aaron Judge made a spectacular catch in right field in the 8th inning to save extra bases:



Who designs a wall that way? Judge could have seriously hurt his foot/ankle/leg, etc. on that awful design. The Yanks dodged a bullet in LA, because I was sure Judge was going to be hurt from that impact and subsequent trip, but he seems OK. I hope I can just remember that as a great catch.


Player Of The Game


Jake Bauers is the easy one here: 2-3, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs


Notable Performances


Oswaldo Cabrera (late inning defensive replacement for Bauers): 1-1, 1 HR

Mike King: 2 IP, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts

Aaron Judge: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Jake Bauers: 2-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI

Clay Holmes: 1 IP, 1 Save


Better To Forget


Anthony Volpe: 0-3, 2 strikeouts

Gleyber Torres: 0-4 out of the lead-off spot

Josh Donaldson: 0-4, 2 strikeouts while batting clean-up

Wandy Peralta: 0 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 BB


My Take


A win is a win, but this one should have been over after the 4th inning. Aaron Boone has the opposite of the Midas Touch: if he makes a pitching move, it’s wrong. After Boone pulled Cole to begin the 7th, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop even after the Yanks got a 3-run lead after Oswaldo Cabrera’s late homer. No matter what else you say about Aaron Boone, I can’t help but feel like his in-game roster decisions hold the Yankees back.


Looking To Tomorrow


Domingo German takes the bump for the Yankees against uber-prospect, Bobby Miller. Coverage begins at 7:10 over on ESPN. Let’s see if the Yanks can take a series against the best team in the NL.

14 comentários


jjw49
04 de jun. de 2023

Cole was lights out for 6 and King was lucky for 1 which kept Dodger at bay! I’m not as optimistic as everybody else about the BP. Other than Cole going deep in games the BP will get overused over the summer so if they hold up I’ll be surprised and believe me I want to be surprised in September!

Curtir
jjw49
04 de jun. de 2023
Respondendo a

No argument with your take on BP I’m taking a wait and see approach and will be a fascinating 3months for Yankees! IMO they need to make a significant trade this year

Curtir

etbkarate
04 de jun. de 2023

👍

Curtir

yankeesblog
04 de jun. de 2023

Bauer's first HR was off a breaking ball the second was off a fastball. King got out the jam but he was lucky. He gave up three missiles to the first three hitters he faced but two of them went right at infielders.

Curtir
Andy Singer
Andy Singer
04 de jun. de 2023
Respondendo a

You're right - I inverted them in my head (the perils of writing a recap late at night).


There was a fair amount of hard contact against King, but he also had great stuff last night. It's nice to get a little help from friends though.

Curtir

fuster
04 de jun. de 2023

it was a heck of an entertaining game.

highs and lows, thrills and chills.


I thought that Cole was going to pitch 8 innings and then argue against being kept from going out for the 9th.


I thought that Boone was nuts for sending Wandy to pitch the 7th, but, it turned out that Cole simply couldn't continue and Boone's hand was forced.


at the end, the Dodgers are a high-scoring team, averaging 5.5 runs/gm for the season

and were held to 3 runs

in no small part because of Cole and King

and Judge

Curtir

Mike Whiteman
04 de jun. de 2023

I may be missing something (wouldn't be the first time :) ), but Cole in his postgame comments talked about having leg cramps. Boone got six innings out of him and turned the game over to perhaps his three best relievers - looks like he managed things pretty well to me.

I’ll go further on that limb and say that the team‘s bullpen success indicates Boone‘s decisions are more often than not the right ones.

Curtir
Andy Singer
Andy Singer
04 de jun. de 2023
Respondendo a

It's definitely true that the outside projections thought the 'pen was diminished, though still top-8 in the league by most. Personally, I still projected that the Yankees would have a top-3 bullpen, particularly once a prospect or two on the farm inevitably winds up out of the AA/AAA starting rotation and in the MLB bullpen in the second half of the season. I have a hunch the Yankees projected things out the same way, which at least partly explains why we saw Boone show an early hook with starters earlier this year.


I think it's likely that most fans don't give Boone enough credit for his work behind the scenes, though I'm not sure how Boone would fair if we…

Curtir
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