In another first of the year, we had our first seven-inning game of the season. The game was strange, with the Yankees wearing their road uniforms at Citizens Bank Park but technically designated the home team, as they made up last night’s game that was originally scheduled for Yankee Stadium. They batted last, and had their own hype videos played in enemy territory.
Also strange was the unfamiliar nature of a shorter game. As the middle innings rolled around and you settled into the rhythms of the match, you were suddenly confronted with the fact that the endgame was already essentially here, and that the trailing team needed to make a move soon. Today, the Yankees were the trailing team as J.A. Happ was chased early, and they ultimately fell to begin this doubleheader.
Winner of the Game
DJ LeMahieu’s red-hot hitting continued. The second baseman continued his assault on the notion that professional hitters need to prepare for the season, pounding out three hits to raise his slash line to .459/.474/.649. Also, Aaron Judge roped a three-run homer into left in the bottom of the seventh as the Yankees staged a too-little-too-late rally:
Make it SEVEN homers in TEN games for Aaron Judge!— YES Network (@YESNetwork) August 5, 2020
He's just the second Yankee EVER to achieve that feat (A-Rod, 2007). pic.twitter.com/eauws4IZKk
Loser of the Game
Happ was unimpressive in his first start last week, and nibbled his way through his second start of 2020. He yielded a two-run home run to Bryce Harper in the third, which can happen, and walked six batters in just three innings, which shouldn’t, at least for any pitcher trying to stick in the back of a top rotation. He exited having allowed four earned runs.
Honorable mention: After a scintillating debut, Nick Nelson unfortunately came crashing back to earth, yielding seven runs in 1.2 innings of relief. He was not helped by a Yankee defense that couldn’t make a play behind him in the sixth inning.