About Yesterday: Yankees 5, A's 3
The Yankees took home a June record as they swept the Athletics in a 3-game series to end their homestand. Let's talk about it!
By: Ethan Semendinger
Date: June 30th, 2022
About Last Night: Yankees 5, A's 3
Quick Stats - On the pitching side of things, Jameson Taillon took the mound for the Yankees, earning his team-leading 9th win of the season around a so-so performance. Cole Irvin started the game for the Athletics, taking his 6th loss of the season- though he's still 2 short of Frankie Montas. Meanwhile, both Lucas Luetge and Miguel Castro were awarded holds as Clay Holmes collected his 14th save of the season.
On the hitting side of things, the Athletics were left without a home run to their name. However, the Yankees were elevated by both of their big men as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton to plate 5 runs.
Big Story - After a poor showing against the Houston Astros by allowing 6 runs over 5.2 innings in his last appearance- even though the Yankees still won- the Yankees needed Jameson Taillon to step up big before a 10-game road trip. And, almost as quickly the game started, it certainly did not look to be going that way.
The Oakland Athletics quickly got ahead by placing 3 runs on the board in the top of the 1st inning, coming via a double, a single, a 2-RBI double, and an RBI-single. In the 2nd inning, the A's threatened again, getting the bases loaded around a single (and Taillon error moving the runner to 2nd), a walk, and a hit-by-pitch, though Taillon did escape the jam with back-to-back strikeouts.
In the 3rd, a walk and another error (charged to Gleyber Torres on a missed catch from Josh Donaldson) turned a potential inning-ending double play into a 2-runners on with one out situation. Luckily, Taillon again escaped without damage. Thankfully, the 4th and 5th innings went smoothly for Taillon- allowing just a single in each inning- but his pitch count was worked hard early and after 5 innings he was at 101 pitches. His pitching line for the game is as follows:
Jameson Taillon: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 6 K's, 101 Pitches (66 Strikes)
Because he pitched 5 innings and left the game with the lead, Taillon also recorded his team-leading 9th win of the season.
The bullpen was manned by Lucas Luetge for the 6th and 7th innings, Miguel Castro for the 8th inning, and Clay Holmes for the 9th inning.
Luetge had his best appearance this season, going 2 perfect innings between the 6th and 7th while collecting 2 strikeouts and throwing 29 pitches. This earned him his 6th hold of the season. Final Line: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R (0 ER), 2 K's, 29 Pitches (19 Strikes)
Miguel Castro on the other-hand did not do the same as- what is becoming custom- he worked himself into a little bit of a jam. Though instead of collecting 2 quick outs as seems to be his norm, he collected his 2 strikeouts after 2 singles. Though, he also escaped without any damage and collected his 8th hold of the season. Final Line: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R (0 ER), 2 K's, 20 Pitches (13 Strikes)
Clay Holmes had an easy go of it for the 9th, inducing 3 straight groundouts to the infield to end the game and collect his 14th save on the season. Final Line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R (0 ER), 0 K's, 16 Pitches (11 Strikes)
On the hitting side of the things, the Yankees did their damage where it mattered.
In the bottom of the 1st, the Yankees quickly answered their 3-run deficit by getting themselves on the board. DJ LeMahieu collected a lead-off single before Aaron Judge crushed a hanging 90 MPH slider for his MLB-leading 29th home run.
Then, after DJ LeMahieu collected another single in the 3rd, the Athletics learned their lesson and walked Aaron Judge. A Josh Donaldson flyout put up the 2nd out of the inning, but that didn't matter much as Giancarlo Stanton decided to hit his 5th home run in his past 6 games with a lead-changing 3-run opposite field shot.
Of note, Aaron Hicks had a single in the 2nd, Josh Donaldson had a double in the 6th, and DJ LeMahieu worked a walk in the 8th but nothing came of those times on base.
Co-Players of the Game - Aaron Judge (1-3 with a Walk, Home Run, 2-RBI's, 2 Runs Scored, and a Strikeout) and Giancarlo Stanton (1-3 with a Home Run, 3-RBI's, 1 Run Scored, and a Strikeout)
Notable Performances - DJ LeMahieu (2-3 with 2 singles and a walk), and both Lucas Luetge and Clay Holmes (see pitching lines above)
Better to Forget - Gleyber Torres (0-3, 2 strikeouts, error) and the bottom 3rd of the line-up (Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Kyle Higashioka, and Marwin Gonzalez) who each went 0-3, though with just 1 strikeout to Marwin Gonzalez.
My Take - Somehow I've lucked into it that this has been my first game recap of the season, and boy is it nice to have such a good team to write about. The Yankees are doing everything right and everything keeps working for them.
I put the game on my laptop today while I was at work and was very happy that one of my patients was keeping me in the loop with what was going on during the game as I was running around while working with other patients. By far the best part of my day was hearing the news that Giancarlo Stanton hit a 3-run home run to get the Yankees the lead.
Nice thing is, I was never worried. This Yankees team is just pure quiet confidence. You know they have it in them to win (because that's all they keep doing) and it just takes one break or mistake for them to capitalize big.
It's nice to get the sweep to finish off the homestand, especially after last week where the Yankees lost a few games. And, speaking of, let's talk about the game tonight. The Yankees will be playing a one-off game in Houston before quickly flying out for a 3-game weekend stint against the Cleveland Guardians. Last time the Yankees played the Astros (last weekend) , they split a 4-game series. Since then, the Yankees took 3 straight against the Athletics as the Astros took 2 against the New York Mets.
For the game today the Astros may be without two of their players as Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Pena had a bad collision in the field yesterday, which left Alvarez on the ground for more than a few moments and had them both leave the game for concussion protocol. You never root for opposing players to get hurt and I hope both players are able to return without worries...on Friday. As both a Yankees fan and a baseball fan, I really hope the Astros give them each a day off. No reason to risk something bad long-term with the division they are in.
Around the League:
Just because I saw these stories as I was writing this post, here are some fun/interesting things that happened around the league yesterday:
The Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays benches cleared last night after a HBP
An interesting rule [Rule 5.09(c)(4)] allowed a Pittsburgh Pirates run to score from third even though the runner did not tag-up after a ball caught in the air. The article on MLB.com had a great explanation, here.
Former #1 overall draft pick from 2013, Mark Appel, made his MLB debut and recorded a a scoreless inning in relief with a strikeout to end the game for the Philadelphia Phillies. I forgot to mention, he walked away from baseball in 2018 and started his comeback last year. (Ask my dad, I rooted hard for him as a prospect. Super happy for him to see he finally made it to the bigs! Let's get the BIG APPEL in New York!)
Rob Manfred stated that he would "Love to get to 32-teams [in the MLB]"
In a tweet by Doug Gottlieb of Fox Sports, he has accused former-player and current player-agent Casey Close of not disclosing a final offer from the Atlanta Braves to Freddie Freeman from his offseason. It is worth noting, Freddie Freeman would go on to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers...where Close's other most prominent represented player Clayton Kershaw also plays. It is also important to note that Close has denied the accusation to Sports Illustrated. This will be a very interesting story to follow.
Next Up - Yesterday marked the 16th day of 20 straight days with a Yankees game that they had scheduled from June 14th to July 3rd. So far, in those 16 game the Yankees have played to a 12-4 record. Today (June 30th) they will play a one-off game against the Houston Astros in Houston at around 6:00 PM as part of a make-up due to the collective bargaining agreement not being agreed to before the season began.
Currently the projected starter for the Yankees is Luis Severino (4-2, 3.38 ERA) while the Houston Astros will be starting Luis Garcia (5-5, 3.68 ERA).