It wasn’t your stereotypical Yankees victory, as a barrage of base hits in the fourth and a pair of runs via small ball in the later innings won the day. Jameson Taillon wasn’t great, but neither was Mike Foltynewicz in a game that always promised runs.
The Yankees threatened early with some hard contact. DJ LeMahieu got unlucky, lining an at-‘em ball to Gallo in right. Brett Gardner collected a single, adding further substance to the magical powers of the two-hole in the Yankees lineup. However, Aaron Judge grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Taillon needed a bounceback from his previous rough outing against the Rays, but got off to an inauspicious start by surrendering a leadoff double to Willie Calhoun. He struck out Nick Solak on a high fastball, and was rescued by a nice running catch from Gardner on a deep flyball to left-center. Joey Gallo popped out to end the threat.
Rougned Odor enacted his first bit of revenge against his old team, singling in his first at-bat. Once again, though, the Yankees only managed a lone baserunner in the inning.
Taillon continued to get hit hard in the bottom half, as his breaking pitches fooled no one. He was bailed out by one of the best double plays you will see, with Odor making a sliding backhand stab. He no-look flipped it over the shoulder to Gio Urshela, who pirouetted over the bag to make a strong throw, nabbing Kiner-Falefa at first.
The wheels really started to come off for Taillon in the third. He surrendered a one-out double to Jonah Heim, who Gary Sánchez almost nabbed with a laser beam back-pick at second, though replay overturned the initial out call. Taillon brought it to two outs, but gave up a single to Solak to score Heim and walks to Nate Lowe and Gallo, loading the bases. Adolis García scorched a single up the middle, scoring Solak and Lowe. Taillon escaped further calamity, but given the way the Yankees offense had played thus far in Texas, the 3-0 deficit threatened to be insurmountable heading to the fourth.
Thankfully, the Yankees (and Foltynewicz) had other ideas. Judge drilled a one-out single up the middle, and was brought home on Urshela’s line drive double to left. After Odor popped out, Sánchez lined a carbon-copy of Urshela’s double to plate the latter and cut the deficit to one. Miguel Andújar logged arguably his biggest Yankees moment since 2018, as he drilled a single to left to score Sánchez and tie it up.
A ringing Mike Ford single off the wall and a Ryan LaMarre walk loaded the bases, knicking Foltynewicz out of the game. After neutralizing the Yankees’ bats through three, he completely lost command in the fourth, leaving pitch after pitch over the middle of the plate.
Kolby Allard entered and gave up a two-run double to LeMahieu, as the Yankees completed the counterattack and grabbed a 5-3 lead heading to the bottom of the fourth.
That's no man. That's a machine. pic.twitter.com/XhGIM7oqpd— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 19, 2021
Considering that Jonathan Loaisiga was warming in the third, I was a bit surprised to see Taillon come back out for the fourth, but boy was I glad to be proven wrong. It was a night-and-day difference, as he retired the side one-two-three on eight pitches. Odor continued his redemption tour of Arlington with a double in the top of the fifth, but that was all the damage the Yankees would do.
Taillon could not carry his performance from the fourth into the fifth, and was chased from the game on a Solak solo shot to right. Thus, Taillon’s struggles have continued, as this is his second consecutive game allowing four runs while failing to clear five innings. He needs to find a way to sharpen his secondary offerings, because his fastball just isn’t good enough to get bulk outs multiple turns through the order.
So some final thoughts on Taillon's night: his stuff isn't quite deceptive/devastating enough to overcome his occasional lapses in command. The breaking stuff wasn't sharp and didn't fool hitters while the big damage was done on center-cut fastballs: pic.twitter.com/psExjL51rZ— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) May 19, 2021
Wandy Peralta came in from the bullpen and got the final two outs of the fifth, including a sparkling diving play by LeMahieu. The lefty also ended up notching the first out of the sixth, and the three outs plus Taillon’s short outing were enough to give him his first win in pinstripes.
The Yankees created traffic again in the sixth, as Andújar singled for his first multi-hit game since last September. Mike Ford walked, and Andújar moved to third on a LaMarre fly ball, allowing LeMahieu to drive him in on a long fly ball to center that missed going out by a few feet. Nonetheless, it extended the Yankees’ lead to 6-4.
Sánchez was replaced by Kyle Higashioka in the sixth with left hamstring cramping. We hope to provide you with any further updates, but for now, it seems that the Yankees dodged a bullet because after the win, Aaron Boone said that Sánchez was “fine” by game’s end. He might get an off-day tomorrow, but he was going to have one on Wednesday or Thursday anyway since the latter will be a day game after a night game.
Jonathan Loaisiga got the final two outs of the sixth and retired the side in order in the seventh on seven pitches. Chad Green worked a stress-free bottom of the eighth to bring the evening to its final frame.
The Yankees did tack on an insurance run in the ninth, putting runners on the corners with no outs via a Gardner walk, wild pitch, and a Judge single. Urshela plated Gardner with a weak dribbler to third for his second RBI of the night, giving the Yankees a 7-4 lead. Chapman came in for the save and was perfect outside of a two-out double by Andy Ibáñez. The closer wrapped it up with a 103-mph fastball dotted on the inside corner to secure the 7-4 win.
The offense had a nice recovery tonight, though a lingering team concern from the game has to be Taillon’s continued inconsistency. It could still be rust, but with every passing start, doubt creeps in further. The bullpen was stellar as usual, capped off by another dominant Chapman save. Corey Kluber gets the ball tomorrow against Hyeon-Jong Yang. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05pm ET, so join us in the game thread.