Now that’s how you snap out of a West-Coast slump. After a tough sweep in Oakland, the Yankees made the trip down to LA and took it to the NL-leading Dodgers. In a plausible World Series preview, the Yankees knocked around the MLB ERA leader and cruised to a satisfying 10-2 victory.
Winner of the Game
There were a plethora of strong performances tonight, but I think the most important one came from James Paxton. The Big Maple was lights out, dominating the best team in the NL to the tune of 6.2 innings of two-run ball, striking out 11 and walking none. That’s now four quality starts in five tries since Paxton made a crucial pitch mix change a few weeks ago.
Of course, we must mention those responsible for tonight’s barrage of homers. Aaron Judge (who posted his second-straight three-hit game), Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres all chipped in solo shots, and Didi Gregorius delivered the knock-out blow with a fifth-inning grand slam, to go along with a ninth-inning solo job:
Loser of the Game
While Paxton was excellent on the mound, since every position player recorded a hit tonight, tonight’s loser has to be Paxton the hitter. Paxton struck out all three times he came to bat, raising his career strikeout rate as a batter to 66% (in 18 plate appearances). He has yet to record a hit in his major-league career. Paxton’s plate approach clearly should be the Yankees’ next big player development project.