By Mike Whiteman June 3, 2022
*** Happy Birthday to Luis Gil! We all wish him well as he recovers and rehabs from Tommy John surgery. Ninety years ago today, Lou Gehrig homered four times, and crushed a 460-foot flyout to center field in the ninth inning, as the Yanks outlasted the Philadelphia A’s, 20-13. https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHA/PHA193206030.shtml https://sabr.org/gamesproj/game/june-3-1932-lou-gehrig-hits-four-home-runs-tony-lazzeri-hits-for-cycle-in-yankees-romp/
Today’s Yankee starters (Nestor Cortes and Jameson Taillon) are a combined 11-2, 1.97 on the season. Cortes has allowed three or fewer runs in nineteen consecutive starts.
The Yankees are 11-5 against teams with a .500 or better record.
Shohei Ohtani has a 26.97 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees.
The Yankees are 36-15, the best record in Major League Baseball. They lead the American League East by 5.5 games. They are on pace for 114 wins. Their run differential of +85 trails only the Los Angeles Dodgers in all of MLB.
Big Story: The Yanks thoroughly dominated the Angels 6-1 in the opener of the twinbill. The only thing that really went wrong was when Clarke Schmidt came in to pitch after Nestor Cortes went seven scoreless innings. Schmidt allowed a couple of hits and a couple of walks and needed to be bailed out by Wandy Peralta. The Yanks opened the contest with solo homers from Matt Carpenter and Gleyber Torres in the first inning and never looked back. They ripped four homers as a team, including Aaron Judge’s MLB leading nineteenth. The second game featured a splendid performance by Jameson Taillon, who set down the first 21 batters he faced. The Yankee right-hander only threw 84 pitches going into the eighth inning, which had me personally thinking that a pitch-efficient inning could give him a shot at the perfect game, but Jared Walsh’s leadoff double off Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s glove ended that hope. Kurt Suzuki’s RBI single gave the Angels a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the eighth, the Yanks loaded the bases for Joey Gallo, who struck out. Anthony Rizzo, sitting in the second game, pinch-hit for catcher Kyle Higashioka and delivered a two-run single and the Yanks had the lead 2-1! Clay Holmes hadn’t pitched in almost a week, and seemed to be rusty, loading the bases by walking Ohtani and hitting Mike Trout and Walsh with pitches. He held on though, inducing Luis Rengifo to ground out and the Yanks had a doubleheader SWEEP! Player(s) of the Games: Yankee starting pitchers allowed nine baserunners and one run in fifteen total innings on the day. Notable Performances:
Jose Trevino had two singles in the first game and is batting .275 on the season
Aaron Hicks had three hits and scored two runs in the first game and walked twice in the nightcap, including in the crucial eighth inning
Rizzo had been in a 7 for 40 slump prior to his clutch single
IKF had two hits, a walk, and scored the eventual winning run in the second contest. He also made a fine defensive play in the seventh to preserve the perfecto, veering to his right to make the pickup, then make an off-balance throw with enough zip on it to nip Ohtani at first
Marwin Gonzalez started both games, one at shortstop and one at third base, and had two hits in each contest.
Better to Forget: In the eighth inning of the second game, I thought “maybe this is Gallo’s Yankee moment”. Sadly, it wasn’t. I’m rooting for Gallo, but he just may not be a match for New York. My take: I’ve been following the Yankees since 1979 and am struggling to recall a staff that has been as stingy as this one thus far. You really have to go back to the 1981 team, which had a 2.90 ERA on the strength of Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Dave Righetti and a devastating bullpen headed by Rich Gossage. It was good to see Clay Holmes work through a tough save. They all aren’t easy ones, and resilience when you struggle a bit is key to success as a closer. I suspect Aaron Boone will install Chapman back in the closer role upon his return, but Holmes looks capable should he be needed in a consistent ninth inning role. This was a great doubleheader sweep. Even when the team fell behind in the second game, you just had a feeling the Yanks weren’t going to go down easily. Last year’s team seemed to be always finding ways to lose games, this year’s squad, a third of the way through the season, has been finding ways to win. They said it: “I wouldn’t want to face him right now” – Matt Carpenter on Nestor Cortes, who has a 1.50 ERA on the season. Next Up: Tonight, the Yankees welcome the Tigers to Yankee Stadium. Gerrit Cole (4-1, 3.12) toes the rubber against rookie righthander Elvin Rodriguez (0-0, 6.17). Start time 7:05.