For one game, at least, Matt Holliday’s back is no longer a concern.
Longest HR by Yankee Since 2015 (@statcast):— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) April 18, 2017
A-Rod 471 (4/17/15)
A-Rod 464 (7/25/15)
A-Rod 460 (4/15/15)
Holliday 459 (4/17/17)
After missing two games with lower back stiffness, Holliday returned to the lineup in a big way, hitting the longest home run of the Yankee season, a three-run blast, with two strikes to boot, in the bottom of the third. The Yankees jumped all over White Sox starter Derek Holland in the third inning, as Starlin Castro and batting-title-winner-to-be Chase Headley followed Holliday with back to back doubles, and an Aaron Judge infield hit scored Headley to put the Yankees up 5-0. Judge continued his early-season dominance with a home run of his own in the fifth inning to push the Yankee lead to seven.
Jordan Montgomery was okay-to-good. His final line reads 6 IP, 3 ER (all on one home run), 2 BB and 4 K. He got into trouble in the first, fourth and sixth innings, but could work out of it in the former two. He was able to throw strikes effectively (68%) and generate swings against his changeup, which are both positives. His game overall looks better than his final line, as the home run was surrendered to the last batter he faced, and I thought it was obvious he was trying to avoid giving up a walk to load the bases facing Yolmer Sanchez.
Overall, a quality start from Montgomery, with some things to like, and a couple areas for him to improve on. I think he could be striking more batters out, especially with the action he can have on his circle change, but overall I’ll take it.
Adam Warren had an interesting night, as we watched his season performance regress to the mean in real time. After setting down the first 20 men faced this season, Warren still worked two scoreless innings, but gave up a hit and a walk. He must be broken. Warren did get a nifty double play to end the eighth before getting into (probably pitch count related) trouble in the ninth. A Sanchez single and a Kevan Smith double brought the White Sox to within three, and Aroldis Chapman came in. The Yankees’ closer gave up a single, because his fastball is unhittable, induced a double play, and the game was over.
Matt Holliday unsurprisingly topped the WPA charts, at .250. Montgomery, at .161, probably would have qualified without the home run, but that’s baseball.
The Yankees go for their third straight series win on Tuesday night, with Luis Severino tabbed for the start. The game starts at 7:05 pm.