It seemed like the Yankees were heading to another lifeless loss on Saturday afternoon. The offense went quietly for most of the game, and an early lead for the Brewers seemed insurmountable. The momentum, however, built and built until finally it erupted in a crash of Red Thunder. Think I’m being dramatic? Look at how the Yankees reacted as they topped the Brewers by a score of 5 - 3.
The offense, which had been sluggish of late, continued to look lost early on Saturday. Brewers left-hander Brent Suter carved up the Bombers for most of the afternoon. He took a no-hitter through 4.2 innings before allowing a single to Clint Frazier. Suter would keep the Yankees off balance for another few innings after that.
Things unraveled for the Brewers southpaw in the seventh, however. Chase Headley got things started with a one-out ground-rule double. He advanced to third on a single by Jacoby Ellsbury. Suter tried to keep Ellsbury close at first base, but his throw over sailed by Eric Thames, allowing Headley to score. That brought Frazier to the plate, who just missed a game-tying home run. He settled for a RBI triple, making it a 3 - 2 game.
Down by one in the ninth inning, Didi Gregorius worked a leadoff walk against Corey Knebel. Headley struck out before Knebel issued another walk to Ellsbury. Frazier came up again and this time he didn’t miss the home run. He launched a walk-off dinger to left field, arguably one of the biggest hits of the season. The Yankees needed this win bad, and Frazier made it happen nearly single-handedly. Go Red Thunder go.
On the pitching side of things, Luis Severino got burned for three runs in the first inning. An Eric Thames double, a questionable Travis Shaw hit by pitch, and a Domingo Santana home run combined for the three spot. It’s tough to tell, but I’m not sold on that hit by that pitch. The home plate umpire awarded him the base after Shaw brought it up. Joe Girardi protested, but the call stood. It sadly changed the complexion of the inning.
For his part, Severino settled right down. In fact, he flashed dominance for the rest of the afternoon. He showed off his nasty stuff, running up his fastball into the triple digits. All told, Severino struck out 10 and walked just two.
He worked the bottom of the zone and had a nice mix of fastballs and sliders. Severino’s been in a bit of lull over his last five starts, but this was an encouraging outing. He only made one bad pitch. Thankfully the offense bailed him out later.
The back end of the bullpen also hd a nice game. Dellin Betances looked in peak form as he struck out two in the eighth. His stuff looked unhittable. Exhibit A:
More of this Dellin, please and thank you. pic.twitter.com/ca8MBPHWKg— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) July 8, 2017
More of that indeed. Aroldis Chapman also struck out the side in the ninth. Having these two back to their old selves would go a long way for the Yankees’ bullpen woes. The team needs them to be lights out, and this afternoon they were. Let’s hope this was a sign of things to come.
The final game of the series — and the first half — takes place tomorrow afternoon. Masahiro Tanaka squares off against Jimmy Nelson. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM, and you can see it on YES.