Aaron Judge belted his 60th career home run, setting a new mark for most within the first 200 big league games to start a career. The Yankees scored early and often, while Luis Severino dominated the young Marlins’ lineup. New York absolutely pummeled Miami 12 — 1 in the Bronx.
Caleb Smith got the start for the Marlins against his former team. The soft-tossing southpaw entered the game having issued 10 walks in just 13.1 innings this year. He failed to improve upon that stat against the patient Yankees batters tonight.
Brett Gardner led off the Yankees’ half of the first inning with a bloop to left that dunked in for a base hit. Judge and Giancarlo Stanton worked walks, and following a pop up by Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez knocked a single to short to plate the Bomber’s first run. The bases remained juiced, and following an Aaron Hicks pop out, Tyler Austin drew a walk to force in the Yankees’ second run. New York left the bases full as Miguel Andujar flied out to end the rally.
Considering they had the bases loaded with no outs and Smith struggling to find the plate, the Yankees probably should have done more in the first inning. Their failure to fully capitalize on the opportunity didn’t bite them this time, though. The Bombers kept Miami’s pitchers on the ropes and kept adding on throughout the game. In fact, they scored in each of the first five innings.
With two outs in the second, Judge hit his historic home run to give the Yankees a 3 — 0 lead. The solo blast to right-center field broke a tie the slugger shared with Rudy York and Mark McGwire. Judge now stands alone with the most homers in the first 200 games to start a career. He is also the fastest to hit 60 dingers, doing so in 197 games. With the home run, Judge also extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
The Yankees added two more runs in the third. Didi walked to lead off the inning, Sanchez singled, and Hicks doubled them both home. Smith issued a one-out walk to Andujar, but reliever Tyler Cloyd induced Ronald Torreyes to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Cloyd wasn't so fortunate in the fourth. With two outs, he hit Stanton with a pitch. Didi followed with a two-run blast into the second deck in right field to give the Bombers a 7 — 0 lead.
Austin led off the fifth with a double and Andujar doubled him home. Torreyes singled, moving Andujar to third, and Gardner walked to load the bases. Judge singled to score Andujar, and with two outs, Sanchez singled home Andujar and Gardner. The Yankees batted around in the frame, scoring four times to take an 11 — 0 lead.
Severino, meanwhile, dominated the hapless Marlins. He threw six shutout innings to earn his third win of the year. The right-hander struck out eight while walking only one. The only hit Severino allowed came on a lead-off double by Miguel Rojas in the fourth.
With tonight’s brilliant outing, Sevy has made 12 starts since the beginning of last year in which he allowed one run or fewer and struck out at least eight men. The Yankees ace now finds himself in some pretty elite company:
Most Starts w/ 1 R or Fewer Allowed and 8+ K Since Start of 2017:— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) April 17, 2018
Chris Sale 16
Luis Severino 12
Max Scherzer 12
Corey Kluber 12
The Bombers left two men on in the sixth. That’s okay, because they got right back on the run production horse in the seventh. Sir Didi clubbed his second homer of the game, a one-out solo shot hit over the bullpen and into the right-center field bleachers. The home run gave Gregorius his major-league leading 16th RBI.
This marks the sixth time a Yankee has produced a multi-homer game this season. Having done so within the first 15 games, the club set another major league record. With Aaron Hicks’ two-homer game on Friday, the team set a record for multi-homer games by five different players within the first 14 games of a season.
On a sour note, the Yankees bullpen continues to struggle. Adam Warren loaded the bases in the seventh before wiggling out of trouble. Chasen Shreve then spoiled the shutout in the eighth. An error by Andujar on a dribbler, single, walk, and RBI-groundout made the score 12 — 1. Shreve then walked another batter before getting the third out.
Dellin Betances began his mop-up duty in the ninth by throwing three straight pitches out of the strike zone, but rebounded to retire three of the four batters he faced to close out the game. He struck out two in the process, with Yankee pitchers tallying 13 strikeouts on the night.
In total, the Bombers pounded out 15 hits and drew eight walks. The timing of tonight’s offensive onslaught was appropriate. In a pre-game ceremony, Judge, Stanton, and Sanchez received their 2017 Silver Slugger Awards.
The Yankees seek a sweep of the two-game series tomorrow night. Masahiro Tanaka (2-1, 5.19 ERA) squares off against Jarlin Garcia (0-0, 1.13 ERA). Garcia is set to make his second career start. In his outing last week against the Mets, the 25-year-old left-hander was pulled after six innings with a no-hitter in progress. Tanaka, meanwhile, earned the victory last Wednesday in Boston, despite allowing six runs. Be sure to join us tomorrow, this should be a good one. First pitch is 6:35 PM EDT.