The doubleheader seven inning games get late early as Yogi Berra would say.
After the Yankees and Phillies traded runs early, both teams’ pitching got into a grove. A combination of member from the Yankees’ bullpen retired 11 straight hitters between the third and sixth innings. On the other side, Aaron Nola allowed just two hits, both singles, in that same span. By the time that was over, we were already well into crunch time in the game.
When the Yankees finally did break the deadlock in the top of the seventh, the Phillies had just three outs to work with. They were unable to as the Yankees won 3-1 to split the double header.
Before things turned into a pitcher’s duel, the Yankees got on the board first. Luke Voit opened the scoring when he blazed a 420 foot shot off Nola in the second. The dinger also officially set a franchise record. The team has now homered in their first 11 games of the season for the first time. The previous record had been 10 set by the 1999 squad.
The lead wouldn’t last too long, however. After starter Jonathan Loaisiga got two quick outs to start the bottom of the second, Yankees legend Neil Walker kept the inning alive with a double. Andrew Knapp then got a bloop to drop in the perfect spot, allowing Walker to score and even things up.
Loaisiga faced two more batters in the third, but was pulled after hitting Bryce Harper with a pitch. However as mentioned, that’s when the Yankees’ bullpen put their stamp on the game. Luis Avilan, Chad Green, and Adam Ottavino combined to throw 3.2 perfect innings between the three of them, getting to game to the seventh still tied.
The middle of the order was due up first in the seventh, and they got things off to a perfect start. Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit both singled, putting the go ahead run into scoring position. Mike Tauchman then delivered the key blow, doubling to score Stanton. A couple batters later, following a Gary Sanchez hit by pitch, Gio Urshela added an insurance run when his single scored a pinch running Tyler Wade. That gave Zack Britton some breathing room going into the bottom of the inning, although he really wouldn’t need it.
Britton picked up where the rest of the bullpen had left off, and retired three Phillies hitters on just eight pitches to finish off the win.
I’m not sure anyone back in January would’ve predicted a double header where the games last just seven innings, and the Yankees played one of them in Philadelphia as a home team in front of carboard cut outs. However, it’s happened, and the Yankees won, and they’re now 9-2.