The Savages were on display once again tonight. The Yankees’ offense exploded for another eight runs tonight, and the pitching staff did an admirable job keeping the Rockies’ bats in check. All together, the Bombers managed an 8-2 victory.
It wasn’t flashy, but J.A. Happ got the job done tonight. Across his five innings of work, Rockies hitters were on the bases quite a bit. Happ allowed at least two runners on in every inning he threw, but to his credit, only two came across to score.
Happ bent, but never really broke. He kept the Yankees within striking distance, which is no small feat considering just how many base runners reached against him. He racked up eight strikeouts, which was tied for the second most Happ’s had in a single game this year. However, the eye test says it just wasn’t that dominant of a start. The real dominance tonight was from the Yankee offense.
Kyle Freeland held the Yankees in check for the first two innings of the game, but the Savages reared their heads during the second time through the lineup. DJ LeMahieu got the offense started with a one-out single. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez added walks to load the bases, bringing Edwin Encarnacion to the plate with the bases loaded. After three fastballs, Freeland had a 1-2 count. On the next pitch, he threw a changeup that Encarnacion planted into the first row of the left field seats.
The Yankees added another run to the board in the following inning. With two outs, Mike Tauchman earned himself a hustle double after his hit ricocheted off the glove of Nolan Arenado. He came around to score the Yankees’ fifth run of the night when LeMahieu singled to left field.
Tauchman’s hustle didn’t end in the fourth though. In the six inning, he reached on a single to center field. He then stole second and Chris Ianetta’s throwing error allowed him to move up to third. With a runner in scoring position and LeMahieu at the plate, of course that runner scored. LeMahieu hit a little dribbler out in front of the pitcher but with the speedy Tauchman coming in from third, he slid in before Arenado’s throw could beat him, giving the Yankees a 6-2 lead. Check out the speed:
New York Yankee Mike Tauchman singles, then comes around to score after some outstanding baserunning. pic.twitter.com/OZdxcRr01z— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 20, 2019
The four-run lead didn’t stick for long, as Aaron Judge added a homer in the next at-bat. He hammered a 97 MPH fastball into right-center and plated two more Yankee runs. The homer went 413 feet and was 110 MPH off the bat. It was Judge’s 11th homer of the year.
Outside of offense and starting pitching, the Yankee bullpen held it down tonight. Adam Ottavino turned in an absolutely dominant sixth inning. He struck out the side and all of his strikeouts came off his other-worldly slider.
Following Otto, Stephen Tarpley gave another really strong performance of his own. He worked three full innings in relief. In the seventh, he struck out three around a one-out single from Trevor Story, and in the eighth, he added another strikeout.
In an 8-2 game, Josh Bard rolled Tarpley out for a third inning, and he shut the door on the Rockies with two more punch outs. His three innings of work qualified him for his second save of the season. It’s a shame that his great performance means he’s likely headed back to Triple-A, but he helped seal the win tonight.
The Yankees’ win train just keeps rolling. The pitching was good, and the offense was great. Encarnacion has hit four homers in the last seven days, and Judge added one himself tonight. Altogether, four Yankees had multi-hit games, including Tauchman who had his first career three-hit game. The Yankees are 63-33 right now. It’s the best record in baseball, and the Yankees haven’t had starts this strong since 1998 and 1961. Both of those years ended pretty well too.