The first-place Yankees continued their march toward June in our latest simulation, and now find themselves 1.5 games ahead of the Red Sox atop the AL East. The Yanks kept that hold atop the division thanks to a four-game winning streak, though the week closed with a whimper in the Bronx.
Here’s how it all went down:
Masahiro Tanaka began the week with his worst inning of the season, allowing three runs in the top of the first to immediately put the Yanks in a hole against the lowly Mariners. But Tanaka settled down to toss five scoreless innings after the early hiccup, while the Yankees fought back and tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run by Gio Urshela. The game remained tied until the ninth, when Chad Green served up a solo homer to Dom Thompson-Williams, who was brought to Seattle as part of the James Paxton deal. Thompson-Williams is supposed to be out for the season due to an achilles injury, so this isn’t fair, but alas, the Yankees lost 4-3.
New York got back on track the following day, beginning what would be a three-game sweep of the Twins, because of course they swept the Twins. Jordan Montgomery was masterful in the opening game, throwing seven shutout innings before Aaron Boone left him in too long in the eighth. The lefty allowed two runs in the frame before Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman closed out a 4-2 victory. Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit homered for the Yankees.
Game two of the series carried plenty of drama in a game that started as a classic pitcher’s duel. Gerrit Cole allowed one run over seven innings with nine strikeouts, dropping his ERA to an even 3.00. On the other side, Jose Berrios twirled eight shutout innings and came out for the ninth, holding a 1-0 lead. Bad move, Twins. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Giancarlo Stanton crushed a walk-off, two-run home run to give the Yankees a 2-1 victory to clinch the series.
The Yanks completed the sweep with another walk-off win in the series finale, this time scoring three in the bottom of the ninth to stun the Twins. After having no answer for Kenta Maeda, the Bombers entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 3-1, and this time, it was Miguel Andujar’s turn to be the hero, smashing a three-run bomb off of Sergio Romo to set off another celebration in the Bronx, and deal Minnesota more heartbreak against the Yanks.
The Yankees carried that momentum into their series opener against the Angels, picking up a 7-4 win after Paxton settled down after he allowed three runs in the first two innings. Mike Ford and Mike Tauchman both homered, and Andujar finished with two triples.
Looking for a fifth straight win, the Yanks instead were silenced by Andrew Heaney, falling 7-1. Mike Trout homered for the Angels, because of course he did, while the lone run for New York came on a sacrifice fly by DJ LeMahieu.
Perhaps suffering from jet lag after having to go cross country right after sweeping the Twins, the Yanks lost in the series finale, again struggling to find offense in a 2-0 loss on June 1. The Yanks managed four hits, none of them for extra bases, against Felix Peña, negating another strong start for Montgomery, who allowed one run over seven innings. Trout dominated again, finishing with a home run and a double to drop the Yanks to 37-23 with a trip to Seattle lingering to start the new week.