About Yesterday: Yankees Sweep Cleveland Double Header
By Mike Whiteman
July 3, 2022
By Mike Whiteman 7/3/2022 Happy Birthday to former Yankee Christian Parker! Parker pitched one game in his MLB career, and it wasn’t a particularly good one. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/parkech01.shtml
There’s more to the story though than just the stat line and you can read about it in Paul Semendinger’s great book The Least Among Them. https://www.amazon.com/Least-Among-Them-Players-Moments/dp/195112216X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3FLDOXB4GFORT&keywords=paul+semendinger&qid=1656769333&sprefix=paul+semendinger%2Caps%2C121&sr=8-1
Quick Stats: The Yankees are 58-21, the best record in Major League Baseball. They lead the American League East by fourteen games. They are a game behind the legendary 1998 team’s pace, and as of this morning project to 119 wins. The Yanks have allowed only nine unearned runs on the season, least in the majors. They are 16-5 in games following losses. They are beating up the good ones too, with a record of 26-12 against teams with a .500 or better record, the best in the game. The 2022 Yankees are 16-3 in blowout games (+/- five or more runs). They were 20-17 in such games last year. They get leads and then pull away. Big Story: In the first game, the Yanks fell behind 2-0 to the Guardians in the second inning, but then outscored their hosts 13-2 the rest of the way, smacking four home runs including two by Matt Carpenter (admittedly one was a junk time HR off Guardians’ infielder Ernie Clement).
Gerrit Cole put together another solid start and is 7-2, 2.99 on the season. Yankees 13, Guardians 4.
*** For the nightcap, Yankee fans were treated to Nestor Cortes reverting to “Nasty” form. The Yankee lefty, who had a 4.50 ERA in June, allowed three hits and one run over six innings, lowering his ERA to 2.44.
Back-to-back home runs by Anthony Rizzo (22) and Giancarlo Stanton (20) in the fourth inning gave the Yanks the lead. Then they pulled away with four more runs in the seventh, and once again the bullpen made it stick. Yankees 6, Guardians 4. Yankees sweep the twinbill.
Player of the Game: Yankee first basemen Carpenter/Rizzo combined for five hits, three home runs, and five RBI on the day. Notable Performances:
After he burst into the Yankee scene with a power surge, Carpenter had only a single over past three weeks. He shook the slump aside in game one
Credit to rookie Ron Marinaccio, though allowing two inherited runners to score, he got out of the debacle left for him by Aroldis Chapman in the first game without letting things get out of hand. Unfortunately, the Yankee reliever was placed on the IL after the game with shoulder discomfort
Gleyber Torres, mired in a slump of his own, had three hits and three RBI in the first game.
Better to Forget: Chapman, fresh off the IL, walked all three batters he faced in the seventh inning of the opener, leaving the mess for Marinaccio to clean up. My Take: There’s an old baseball adage that says that the team in first place July 4th wins the pennant. As we approach Independence Day the Yanks have a commanding lead in the American League East (and MLB in general). When the Yankees were floundering in early in the season, I preached caution and restraint, quoting Peter Gammons - “spend the first months seeing what you have, spend the next two months trying to get what you need, then spend the last two months with the pedal to the metal and hope you play at least 10 games in October”.
So, we’re in the second phase, and have about a month to go until the trade deadline. Some thoughts about the needs of this ballclub: 1. As impressive as the offense has been, it occasionally hits very dry spots, and they could use a “professional hitter” to lengthen the lineup. Preferably a left fielder who can at least fake it in center if need be. 2. The bullpen has performed well overall but has been dinged with injuries. Most of the ailing arms are expected back, but should Brian Cashman bank on that? Another reunion with David Robertson would go a long way towards solidifying the relief corps, and take some pressure off Clay Homes and Mike King, both of whom are completing their first seasons in high-leverage roles. 3. If I’m Cashman, I’m not on the prowl for starting pitching at this point. That could change depending on how the next month goes from a performance and health standpoint, but right now I like the rotation as is. 4. It sure looks to me like the road to the World Series is going to go through Houston. As the Yanks look at additions and upgrades, they need to keep an ultimate matchup with the Astros in mind and put together the parts to beat them. That all being said, there’s something to be said for not messing with something that is working so well. There’s also precedent. Remember the trade deadline moves the 1998 Yankee made? You don’t, because they didn’t make any. That season ended pretty well. They said it: “It’s not easy. It’s The highest league in the land. It’s hard to win any game. It’s definitely hard to win two in a day. “ – Yankee skipper Aaron Boone. Next Up: The Yanks go for their tenth series sweep of the season, sending Jordan Montgomery (3-1, 3.27) to the mound against Triston McKenzie (4-6, 4.03).