This might have been a tuneup game for the Yankees’ pitching staff, but for Lance Lynn it was the complete opposite.
Being the last baseball game to ever be played in Globe Life Park, Lynn showed up for the Rangers faithful and continued a great season, throwing 101 pitches while only four of them were non-fastballs. Over 7.1 innings he struck out 10 Yankees hitters allowing, just two hits and one home run off the bat of Aaron Judge. Lynn worked in his fourseam, cut, and sinking fastballs right through the Bombers’ batting order.
Chad Green started things off for the Yankees pitchers, allowing one unearned run that came across the plate on a Gary Sanchez throwing error. After the run Green ended the inning by striking out two and inducing a groundball out.
Masahiro Tanaka came in for the first relief appearance of his career, throwing three innings and surrendering one earned run on five hits and a walk. It wasn’t the outing most would have liked, but in the 53 pitches Tanaka threw, he worked in his slider 18 times and his split-finger fastball 14 times.
Considering these are the two pitches that have helped Tanaka generate swings and misses over his career, it was good to see that only four of the total 32 pitches worked against Tanaka, while the Rangers were unable to accumulate a hit off the fourseam fastball. A cause for concern during Tanaka’s outing, however, happened when Gio Urhsela exited the game because of an apparent mild left ankle sprain.
Kahnle would come in during the bottom of the fifth with the Rangers leading 3-1. After a leadoff single, hit by pitch, and walk, the bases were loaded for Nick Solak. The former Yankees prospect hit a groundball to DJ LeMahieu that was first called a double play, but was then overturned once again leaving the bases loaded with one out. Ronald Guzman singled in two more run for the Rangers, then Kahnle finally got his double play off Delino DeShields to end the inning.
Next it was Adam Ottavino’s turn to get his tuneup inning, allowing a single and walk to start off the frame. A potential double play was interrupted by the second base bag as Didi Gregorius did a great job backing up Gleyber Torres to get the first out. A sacrifice fly would make it 6-1 and a pop fly followed to end the sixth.
The two relievers that saw the minimum of three Rangers hitters were Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman. Both struck out one hitter during the outing while looking completely dominant.
During the top of the ninth, the Yankees were one home run away from tying the Minnesota Twins for the single-season home run record. With two outs Giancarlo Stanton came up to the plate, but struck out to end the game. The Bombers and Twins will have to settle this on Friday in the ALDS.