The story coming into this game was about the starting pitchers on either side of this matchup, and how they’ve both been involved in notable pitching trades the Yankees have made recently.
Jameson Taillon was acquired this offseason by the Yankees, but hasn’t had the best go of things so far. In his last outing, he didn’t even make it through the first inning. However in this one, he was solid, but wasn’t allowed to go particularly deep into the game. Taillon allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in 4.2 innings.
For the Athletics, they gave the start to James Kaprielian. The former Yankees’ first round draft pick went to Oakland in the Sonny Gray trade back in 2017. Injuries threatened to ruin his career and kept him from making his debut until last season. Nearly four years since the trade, he finally faced his former organization, and looked pretty decent doing so. Kaprielian held the Yankees to just three runs in 5.2 innings while striking out seven.
While that was the story going on, like so many other games this season, the story on the field ended up being about the offense. The Yankees mustered just four total hits against Kaprielian and the Athletics’ bullpen. Between that and the Yankees’ bullpen being unable to hold onto a lead, the Yankees eventually fell 5-3 to Oakland in the series opener.
It didn’t take very long for Oakland to open the game’s scoring in the first innign .After starting the game with two quick outs and two strikes on the third hitter, Taillon couldn’t quite get through the frame flawlessly. Matt Olson continued his impressive season with a solo shot, giving the A’s the early lead. The tacked on another run two innings later when Mark Canha singled home Elvis Andrus, who had doubled.
Kaprielian got through the first two innings fairly easily, but the Yankees eventually put up some offense in the third. The former Yankees’ prospect got the first two outs of the inning before Brett Gardner kept it alive with a walk. DJ LeMahieu followed that with a two-run shot in the next at bat, evening the score.
Taillon settled down after the third inning, but still wouldn’t be long for the game. With two outs in the fifth, he was pulled as Olson was due to face him a third time, this time with a runner on. Wandy Peralta came in and got the third out, albeit on a very long fly out.
In the very next half inning, the Yankees would go on to take the lead. Roughned Odor hit the second home run of the day off Kaprielian, this one a solo shot.
It wasn’t a lead that would last particularly long, however. Peralta remained in for the sixth and got two quick outs, but then lead both Matt Chapman and Sean Murphy to single. That brought Tony Kemp to the plate, who took a Peralta pitch deep to left, putting the A’s back in front.
The Yankees missed out on chances in the sixth and seventh, leaving runners on against Yusmeiro Petit, who replaced Kaprielian.
After Peralta exited the game, the bullpen gave the Yankees three scoreless innings, keeping them in the game. The Yankees couldn’t take advantage of it, however. Giancarlo Stanton drew a walk in the ninth, allowing them to bring the tying run to the plate. However in true 2021 fashion, Gio Urshela grounded into a double play to end that threat and the game.
The Yankees will look to regroup tomorrow with Domingo Germán on the hill against Chris Bassitt. First pitch is at 1:05 pm ET.