The big story coming into tonight was whether or not the two struggling left-handed starters would be able to rebound from poor performances to start the season, and Paxton answered the call in a big way. Reaching 99 mph on his fastball deep into the game, Big Maple threw eight innings of shutout ball, limiting the Red Sox to only two hits while striking out 12 and walking one.
On the other side of the plate, Tauchman put up a big day, driving in four of the Yankees’ eight runs on two hits, including a massive three-run home run in the sixth inning. The first homer of his career turned out to be a moonshot, as it reached the second deck and all but shored up the game for the Bombers.
Things did not start off so well for the Yankees bats against Chris Sale, however. The Red Sox ace started off strong, mowing down the first six batters he faced and hitting 97 mph on the radar gun. It took until the third inning before the Yankees bats began to get to him. DJ LeMahieu drove in Brett Gardner with a single to right, before himself scoring on a Luke Voit single to center. That put the Yankees up 2-0.
It appeared, however, that Paxton would give that lead right back up, as he opened the fourth by walking Mookie Betts and giving up a double to Xander Bogaerts that missed being a home run by about half an inch. Damage loomed as the Red Sox had runners on second and third with nobody out for Boston.
After that, however, Paxton settled down. He induced fly outs to short right field for both J.D .Martinez and Steve Pearce before shutting Mitch Moreland down on strikes to escape the jam unscathed.
From that point on, the Yankees never looked back. Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres added home runs of their own, while Paxton continued to shut down the Red Sox lineup, at one point striking out six batters in a row.
Of course, the day was not only about Paxton and the lineup. Gio Urshela had a big day of his own at the plate, but it will mostly be remembered for this web gem to throw out the speedy Betts to lead off the 6th.
Gio Urshela somehow nails Mookie while falling down in foul territory pic.twitter.com/LMd46Yv5Uk— David Mendelsohn (@BigBabyDavid_) April 17, 2019
Joseph Harvey pitched a largely-uneventful ninth, allowing a hit to Martinez, to seal the win.
This was a great win for the Yankees on all levels. They saw some big performances from depth players and improved their record to 7-9. The Bombers look to continue that momentum tomorrow, as they send J.A. Happ out against our former friend, Nathan Eovaldi.