At times, this game felt like one that neither team wanted to win. The Yankees made some questionable pitching decisions, the Phillies played bad defense, but in the end, the Yankees won 6-5 in extras, thanks to Clutch Hitter Ryan LaMarre’s walk-off single.
Gleyber Torres got the Yankees on the board in the fourth inning with a solo shot to right center, a barrel that came off the bat at 101 mph. It’s worth remarking on that every time it happens, since so much of Gleyber’s trouble this season has been making terrible contact. Whenever you’re in the bottom ten percent of Statcast’s metrics, you need to shape up quickly, and Torres has done that over the past few weeks.
A batter later, Brett Gardner singled, giving Greg Allen another opportunity to grow this burgeoning legend of his. An RBI double brought in Gardy to tie the game, and while Allen would go on to steal third, that was really about it for the Yankees offense’ for a few innings. They did build themselves a bit of a lead in the seventh, after Estevan Florial singled and stole second. Giancarlo Stanton poked an RBI single through the right side of the infield, giving the Yankees the lead and passing the baton to Rougned Odor:
Rougned Odor - New York Yankees (11) pic.twitter.com/5Y7yoQbsLU— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) July 22, 2021
Just like that, it was 5-2, Yankees. A combination of home runs, speed on the bases, and good contact. The mood was fairly bright, until the pitching went ahead and spoiled everything, so let’s get into that...
It’s challenging to evaluate Asher Wojciechowski. He was not good, but he didn’t explode despite putting himself in multiple situations where he could have. He gave up a home run to Jean Segura on the very first pitch of the ballgame, and after that, his fastball location was truly dreadful:
That lack of control on the fastball contributed to his three walks against four strikeouts, uninspiring numbers to say the least. And yet, Wojciechowski worked four innings, allowed just two runs, and those are certainly better results than I would have expected for how little his stuff impressed me. I don’t want to see him start again, but I didn’t hate the Asher Wojciechowski Experience like I was worried I might.
Albert Abreu took over in the fifth, throwing a clean inning before getting into trouble in the sixth. With two men on and one out, Ronald Torreyes bounced into a fielder’s choice at second that was overturned for an out on replay, and in came Justin Wilson. Yes, the decision scared me too, and him badly missing three of his first four pitches certainly didn’t inspire any confidence. Wilson eventually got a weak groundout to end the inning with the game still 2-2. He even threw a shutout seventh, merely walking Bryce Harper. I know, I’m surprised too!
And then, with a 5-2 lead and everyone feeling good ... the eighth inning. Zack Britton was called upon to work back-to-back games for the first time all year, immediately getting a ground ball that Gleyber Torres booted for an E6. He then walked two of the next three batters, forcing Aaron Boone to make a move for a
high leverage arm Nick Nelson. Now, being brought in to face the bases loaded and one out is dooming a pitcher to a bad outing, but Nelson was particularly dreadful.
An RBI single brought in two runs. Nelson then missed his spot by about 30”, uncorking a wild pitch that Gary Sánchez dove across the plate for and still couldn’t corral, and the game was tied. Aroldis Chapman worked a scoreless ninth inning with a walk. Despite the Yankees actually putting two men on in the bottom of the ninth — DJ LeMahieu singled, and Giancarlo Stanton reached on a hilarious misplay by right fielder Brad Miller. Rougned Odor grounded into a fielder’s choice with five infielders, and Sánchez’s popout took us to extras.
Brooks Kriske actually pitched well in the tenth, with a strikeout and stranding Miller at third base. In the bottom half, it was pretty academic. With Sánchez at second, Gleyber Torres laid down a sac bunt, and Ryan LaMarre came in to pinch-hi for Gardnert:
The Yankees have won four in a row, and nine of their past thirteen. They’ll roll into Boston for the Biggest Series of the Year tomorrow, with Jordan Montgomery getting the ball against Tanner Houck for a 7:10pm Eastern start.