In what should have been a blowout, the Yankees won by two and finished off the four-game series sweep against the Mets tonight. This looked like a laugher, but nearly got away from them. It can never be easy! Still, a win’s a win, and the Bombers came out on top by a score of 7 - 5.
The Yankees wasted no time putting runs on the board tonight. Brett Gardner led the game off with a tapper back to Steven Matz, who airmailed the throw into right field. That allowed Gardner to take second on the error. Aaron Hicks followed Gardner with a walk. With two on and no outs, the table was set for the heart of the Yankee order. Unfortunately, Aaron Judge struck out, bringing his strikeout streak to 38 games. That’s okay because Gary Sanchez plated everyone home with a three-run shot to left-center.
El Gary August. He's hitting .333 with 6 HR and 11 RBI this month! pic.twitter.com/HS2R7oTIxT— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 17, 2017
Sanchez’s entire at-bat was fantastic. Matz started Sanchez off with back-to-back curveballs. Facing an 0-2 count, Sanchez let a sinker go by for ball one, then fouled off the next three pitches. Matz didn’t throw a fastball in the at-bat until the seventh pitch, which missed up. Sanchez finally got ahold of the eighth pitch—a changeup—and sent it out for the game’s first runs. He now leads all major league catchers with 22 home runs.
The Yankee offense slowed down a bit in the second and third innings. After making Matz throw 40 pitches in the first, the Mets left-hander turned in back-to-back 10-pitch innings. Thankfully the offense picked back up in the fourth inning. Tyler Austin led-off with a line drive single into right field. A Ronald Torreyes single brought Severino up with two-on and no outs. Severino lined a bunt past a charging Dominic Smith for his first major league hit. It was pretty ugly, but it counts all the same.
With the bases loaded, Brett Gardner continued the party with a two-run double to left. Matz got Hicks to groundout, but after hitting Judge on an 0-2 pitch and Gary Sanchez coming to the plate, Terry Collins made the move to the bullpen. It didn’t matter though. Sanchez continued his great day with a two-run single through the infield hole, putting the Yankees up 7-0, a lead they maintained the rest of the night.
Pitching with the lead for the entire night, Luis Severino turned in a great game of his own. Severino brought his best stuff tonight, and it showed. In 6.1 innings, he gave up four hits, one unearned run, walked three, and struck out nine. Of the nine strikeouts, eight of them were swinging. Additionally, of the four hits he surrendered, two came in the seventh, meaning Severino was pretty unhittable for most of his outing. Tonight’s win was his tenth on the season.
Severino really deserves a lot of credit tonight. The Mets aren’t a great team, but four-game series sweep doesn’t happen very often. Plus, he really needed to bounce back after giving up eight runs to the Red Sox his last time out. Tonight’s performance was a real gem.
On the other hand, there were rough performances by Judge and Bryan Mitchell. Both struggled for very different reasons tonight. The Yankees right fielder went 0-4 with three strikeouts and dropped a flyball in right. That led to the Mets’ first run of the night. Shake it off, Judge.
With a six-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, Mitchell came in to finish the game. Things did not go smoothly. Travis d’Arnaud led off the inning with a double, followed by a Matt Reynolds single. Mitchell then walked Brandon Nimmo to load the bases, setting the table for Curtis Granderson. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Mitchell threw a 96 MPH fastball middle-away, which Granderson crushed into the right field seats for a grand slam.
With the Yankee lead cut down to two and no one out, Joe Girardi was forced to bring in Dellin Betances. Fortunately, Betances secured the sweep and the save on just eleven pitches.
The Yankees will travel to Boston for a three-game series this weekend. Jordan Montgomery gets the start tomorrow against Drew Pomeranz. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM EST.