The narrative coming into today’s series finale was the pitching matchup. Not only did James Paxton and Justus Sheffield formerly pitch for the team they were facing, but they were traded for each other. That doesn’t happen every day. However, as happens far more often, that just got overshadowed by the Yankees’ offense.
The Yankees put up seven runs on 11 hits as they cruised to a 7-3 victory and a series sweep in Seattle. Six of the seven runs were driven in by DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, and Sanchez, all of whom had at least two hits on the day. When those three are playing well, the Yankees are a hard team to beat, and that proved the case in this game.
The Yankees struck pretty quickly against their former teammate Sheffield. After he retired the first two hitters of the game, Gleyber Torres reached on an infield single. Gary Sanchez followed that by obliterating a ball 434 feet. It took him to 30 home runs for the season and gave the Yankees an early lead.
Paxton started well, retiring the first eight hitters he faced, but Seattle started to get back into the game after that. In the fourth with two outs, Paxton issued a walk to Austin Nola. Kyle Seager followed that with a two-run home run of his own, tying the game.
It would not take long for that tie to be broken. Mike Ford led off the fifth with a home run. A Tyler Wade double then flipped the lineup back to the top, and those guys proceeded to do what they’re known for. First was LeMahieu, who singled, picking up another RBI and hit with runners in scoring position. It also knocked Sheffield out of the game after five runs and just 4.1 innings. Judge followed that with a home run, giving the Yankees a nice cushion which they would never relinquish.
Paxton didn’t come back out for the next inning, ending his day after five. He finished the day with two runs allowed on one hit. His main problem was walks, as he issued five on the day. He outpitched the man he was traded for and wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t as good as his performance against the Dodgers or some other recent outings.
The Yankees picked up one more insurance run when LeMahieu homered in the ninth, giving them a staggering 70 home runs in the month of August. In relief of Paxton, Chad Green, Adam Ottavino, and Cory Gearrin combined to finish off the last four innings, allowing just a run, two walks, and two hits between them. Most importantly for Gearrin, no balks were called either. The only real negative to come out of this game is that Gio Urshela had to leave with groin tightness.
That officially marks the end of west coast baseball for the Yankees in 2019. The furthest they’ll have to go in the rest of the regular season is Texas. The sleep patterns of those of us on the east coast are grateful for that.