I won’t blame you if this is the only game of the day you remember. The Yankee offense looked alive, finally, and save for one inning, the pitching did it job. At the end of the night, New York salvaged the final game of this series, 5-3.
The Yankees did start the game stronger than anything they’d mustered in game one. DJ LeMahieu singled, Aaron Judge walked, and Gio Urshela — perhaps the guy I want coming up with men on more than anyone else on this club — delivered an RBI double. LeMahieu scored and Judge was thrown out at the plate, but the Yankees had a run. I thought the send was a little risky, but with the team being as asleep at the plate as they’ve been lately ... you have to take some chances.
So the Yankees were immediately up, 1-0, after being absolutely lifeless in the first game. You had to feel at least some optimism after that, even if Jordan Montgomery quickly made you lose it. After two short innings, the lefty started nibbling with nine-hole hitter Danny Jansen, walking him before Marcus Semien battled for his own free pass. With two one and two out, Bo Bichette brought the lumber:
I think Bo Bichette knew this one was gone!— Ben Verlander (@Verly32) May 27, 2021
Bo has now homered in BOTH games of the double header!! pic.twitter.com/UPdAOUhTBB
Bo is one of those great examples of a guy who swings with max effort every single time. Sometimes, he looks pretty silly when he whiffs, but he put that ball 414 feet from home plate and gave his team the lead.
After that, I didn’t think Montgomery was bad, but he wasn’t necessarily as in control of the game as we would have liked. In the fifth inning, with the lineup turning over for the third time, Monty was able to engineer a double play to wipe off a leadoff single, but Semien added a base hit. With Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. waiting in the wings, it was time to go to Jonathan Loaisiga, who promptly froze Bo with a nasty breaking ball to end the inning.
All told, Montgomery worked 4.2 innings, giving up five hits and two walks, with only a single strikeout. He’ll run into issues like this one, where if his command isn’t in tip-top shape, he’ll lose the zone or come back in and become pretty hittable — mainly because he doesn’t throw 100 mph. Montgomery got away with it today, and it really was only one bad inning in his outing, so the Yankees will take it.
In the bottom of the third, Judge made sure that there would be no more close calls at the plate, tying the game with a big, big home run:
It’s amazing how much better a team is when the ball is flying out of the park. Judge has been one of the few keeping this team afloat, and while this hit didn’t come in the ninth inning, it was unquestionably the most clutch hit of the series.
An inning later, Gary Sánchez un-tied the game:
Judge continued to carry the offense with a sac fly in the fifth to add a little insurance, and it felt like 2017 again — Gary and Aaron, leading the way.
But because we’re not allowed to just enjoy things anymore, Aroldis Chapman was not called upon to work the final inning. Thankfully, Chad Green came in and did his job, locking down the save and the win.
After the game, manager Aaron Boone told reporters that Chapman had been ill the past two days and that he’s “hopeful” he’ll be available tomorrow. It doesn’t seem to be COVID-19, as he’s testing negative for that, but the Yankees are considering holding him back from flying to Detroit tomorrow. This team really doesn’t need an extended absence from the game’s best reliever, and especially not right now, so ideally he feels better soon.
The Yankees seemed to bounce back from an ugly game one, and hopefully build up some momentum ahead of their trip to the Motor City this weekend. They’ll have a great chance to start a winning streak, with Gerrit Cole on the mound for a 7:05pm ET first pitch on Friday night.