The bullpen stifled the San Diego offense while Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner led the power brigade as the Yankees powered past the Padres, 5-2. There was no hangover after seeing their seven-game winning streak snapped yesterday as the Bombers got right to work starting a new one.
With all the injuries to their rotation of late, the Yankees have needed their high-powered bullpen to come up big for the team, and they continued their recent top notch performance today. Chad Green began the bullpen day on the right foot, striking out the side in the first inning. David Hale followed up with four solid innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out four; after a rocky second inning in which he allowed both runs and all three hits, he retired ten straight. Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman each added shutout innings of their own, combining for three hits, no walks, and four strikeouts.
Clint Frazier got the offense going in the second with the first of his two hits, a solo home run. Following a Gio Urshela walk, Brett Gardner added a home run of his own, a two-run shot that put the Yankees up 3-2. The offense was largely shut out until the eighth, when they added two insurance runs, courtesy of a Gary Sanchez solo home run and a Cameron Maybin RBI single to right, but due to the bullpen’s performance, that would be more than enough.
Of course, the pitching staff should not get all the credit for shutting down the Padres offense. Just as it looked like Adam Ottavino might have been finding himself in trouble, with a runner on first and Manny Machado at the plate, DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit put together a web gem of a 4-4-3 double play:
Lost in the home run barrage and the dominating performance by the Yankees bullpen aces are the solid performances by both Yankees follower Hale and Padres starter Matt Strahm. Hale, a 31-year-old journeyman who was designated for assignment by two teams last year and ended the season pitching in Korea, has put together two solid, four-inning performances this season. He is making a strong case to continue serving as the follower in these bullpen games. Strahm, meanwhile, struck out ten Yankees batters, and only gave up two hits besides the second-inning home runs to Frazier and Gardner. At just age-27 and in the midst of a breakout season, he could be someone to keep an eye on.
All in all, this win gets the homestand off on the right track, as the Yankees improve to 35-18 and look to close out the month of May on a high note. Come join us tomorrow, as Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball for New York in game two of this three-game set. Starting opposite him will be Eric Lauer. First pitch is expected at 6:35 EST.