Our long national nightmare is over. The Yankees won a baseball game, snapping their seven-game losing streak. The offense had a strong night and the pitching came up big. It was exactly what we all needed. Time to take a deep breath after the Yankees topped the Angels by a score of 8 - 4.
Jordan Montgomery had an interesting outing on Wednesday night. He didn’t exactly give the Yankees length, but he pitched a rather eventful 5.2 innings. In the second, he allowed a one-out double to Martin Maldonado. Then, in a strange turn of events, Maldonado was erased on a 2-5-4-3 caught stealing. It’s one of those plays that you have to see for yourself.
Just your typical, everyday 2-5-4-3 caught stealing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/7Seao8mMQX— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 21, 2017
Give the defense some credit for circuitously logging the out there. Unfortunately, Maldanado would come back to haunt the Yankees.
After quickly retiring the first two batters in the fourth, Montgomery allowed a single to Andrelton Simmons. The Angels shortstop then broke for second and Montgomery attempted to throw him out. Instead, the left-hander balked and Simmons was awarded the base anyway. That brought up Maldonado, who promptly launched a two-out changeup into the left field seats. Is it possible that the balk got inside Montgomery’s head? Maybe. The problem was clearly location.
You can’t leave a pitch there and expect to get away with it. That was right in Maldanado’s wheelhouse, and he didn’t miss any of it. The good news is that Montgomery settled down after that. He finished the night having allowed two runs on five hits across 5.2 innings. He struck out just two. It wasn’t the prettiest outing, but he preserved the Yankees’ lead. He did everything the team asked of him. Nice job, Montgomery.
As for the Angels, Ricky Nolasco has struggled to keep the ball in the park this season. Inside the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, the Bombers took advantage. With one out and a runner on in the second inning, Didi Gregorius crushed a first pitch curveball, planting it into the stands in right field. That gave the team a 2 - 0 lead. It was also Gregorius’ eighth home run on the season. Not bad considering he missed nearly all of April.
Matt Holliday joined the party in the fifth inning. He crushed a two-out solo home run to help the Yankees retake the lead. His was an opposite-field shot that nearly went into the Judge’s Chambers. For a while it looked like Nolasco was going to cruise after the Gregorius home run. Good on Holliday for correcting that.
With one out and two runners on in the sixth, Mike Scioscia lifted Nolasco in favor of Mike Morin. The Yankees didn’t miss a beat, however, as Austin Romine collected a RBI double to plate both runs. Romine then advanced to third on a Brett Gardner fly out before scoring on an Aaron Hicks infield single. That gave the Bombers a 6 - 2 lead.
The runs kept coming against Morin in the seventh. Holliday got things started with a leadoff double, and he came around to score on a Starlin Castro single. A pair of ground outs advanced Castro to third, who then scored on a single off the bat of Chase Headley. The Yankees departed with an 8 - 2 lead, which after the last few games, felt pretty refreshing.
Dellin Betances emerged to pitch the eighth. He relieved Chad Green who tossed 1..1 innings of scoreless ball. This was Betances’ first appearance since June 15th. He didn’t look rusty at all, either. He retired the side on 14 pitches, complete with two strike outs. Keep doing your thing, Dellin.
With a six run lead in the ninth inning, Joe Girardi brought in the embattled Tyler Clippard. He struggled right out the gate, allowing a leadoff double to Simmons. In predictable fashion, he then allowed a two-run home run to Maldonado. That did it for Clippard, who was heavily booed on his way out. Aroldis Chapman closed out the game to end the losing streak. We can talk about Clippard another time. For now, let’s just enjoy this win.
Game two of the series features Luis Severino versus Jesse Chavez. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM, and you can watch on WPIX.