It was a big win for the Yankees last night.
Let’s get right to it…
After going 2-8 against the Rays this year, it was important for the Yankees to win Game 1. It’s a great sign that they went out and battled and got the job done.
Gerrit Cole did not have his best stuff, still he did what ace pitchers do – he won without his best stuff. Cole battled and battled and found a way. This is what championship pitchers do.
The best news for the Yankees is that they now only have to win one non-Gerrit Cole game in order to force a Game 5 with Cole again. No one wants a Game 5, but there is comfort knowing that if it gets to that, the Yankees have a big time pitcher they can turn to. They haven’t had this since C.C. Sabathia early in his Yankees career. The big time ace is such an important component of a team.
Looking ahead to 2021, I would love for the Yankees to invest in another big time starter. Trevor Bauer? (But we can discuss that after the post season.)
You have to admire Aaron Boone’s guts for naming Deivi Garcia his Game 2 starter. Garcia has a ton of upside, but he’s very young. I guess this means Masahiro Tanaka will go in Game 3 and J.A. Happ in Game 4. I like naming Garcia over Jordan Montgomery as the fourth Yankees starter. He had better stuff. There is a better chance he can dominate. And, Game 2 will probably be the least stressful game now that the Yankees won Game 1. All that being said, I like Ethan’s idea of using J.A. Happ in Game 2.
For me, I would have used Masahiro Tanaka tonight, but I am glad the Yankees have him lined up for Game 3 now.
Gio Urshela’s two great defensive plays in the second inning definitely were game changers. Those could have both been hits to put the Yankees down early in the game. Urshela bailed out Gerrit Cole and helped set the tone of the Yankees’ win.
D.J. LeMahieu, of course, got things started in the first with a long at bat and base hit. The guy is a machine. He, then scored, to also set an early positive tone for the Yankees.
I loved seeing Clint Frazier hit the upper deck blast. Looking ahead to 2021, he will have to be a starter. Frazier has proven that he can play.
I didn’t love seeing Brett Gardner brought into the game so early (6th inning) to pinch hit for Clint Frazier, but I understand the move and Gardner’s better defense late in a close game could have made an impact.
I agreed with Aaron Boone pulling Gerrit Cole after 6-innings as he approached 100 pitches. The Yankees bullpen has to be able to hold the lead in that spot. The bullpen has not been “lights-out” but I do trust Chad Green, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman to hold a one run lead over the final three innings.
It is good that the Yankees did not have to use Aroldis Chapman last night. Now he’s rested for tonight. I like how Zack Britton has also said that he can pitch four games in a row. The Yankees might need that.
Giancarlo Stanton’s big grand slam was the icing on the cake. He has now homered in three consecutive post season games. He is getting hot right at the right moment. This is huge. This Yankees lineup is doing exactly what it should
I have to complain, at least for a moment, about all of the Yankees games being the late A.L. game all this week. The west coast teams (A’s and Astros) are playing early and the east coast teams (Yanks and Rays) are playing late. That is wrong on every level. Last night’s game was quick, but it is a challenge for so many to watch the games (especially with no days off) and also wake up early for work. The Yankees should have been given a day or even an early evening game somewhere in this mix.
Let’s Go Yankees!