Here is a list of circumstances that are true about this game:
- The expected Yankees starter was scratched before the game after having to undergo an emergency root canal.
- The man who replaced him, Nick Nelson, didn’t even last a full inning after being unable to find the plate.
- Said original expected starter, Domingo Germán, did later enter the game and allowed three runs in three innings.
- On the other side, the opposing starter was recently named an All-Star.
- The Yankees recorded just three hits over the final seven innings, failing to score a run.
If anyone had told you this set of facts before the game, you would almost have to assume that it ended in a loss. It didn’t.
The Yankees scored five runs off All-Star Yusei Kikuchi over the first two innings, eventually knocking him out of the game after just five. While as mentioned, their offense didn’t exactly light it up down the stretch, those five runs ended up being enough.
Despite Nelson’s less-than-stellar outing, the Yankees got just enough good pitching to defend their five runs. Luis Cessa, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Chad Green were especially good, and the Yankees eventually came away with a 5-4 win.
Following up last night’s start, the Yankees got off to another fast one tonight. Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez got things going by drawing walks off Kikuchi. Luke Voit then continued his hot hitting from yesterday, scoring Judge with a single and advancing to second on the throw. Gleyber Torres followed that with another single, scoring another two runs, matching the three runs from last night’s first inning.
In emergency starter duty, Nelson had absolutely no command. He struck out the first batter he faced, but then hit and walked the next two. After getting a second out, he walked a third, with ball four coming on a run-scoring wild pitch. Nelson then issued a third walk, loading the bases and getting him removed from the game. Cessa came in to bail him out with a grounder on his second pitch, finally ending the inning with the Yankees in front, 3-1.
After escaping that jam, the Yankees went on to add to their lead in the second. Tim Locastro kickstarted the inning with a hustle double on an otherwise-normal grounder through the infield. Two batters later, Judge launched a blast to left field that sailed 429 feet:
It wasn’t quite as impressive as Judge’s Statcast-breaking moonshot from a couple years ago, but it was still crushed.
Despite his scratch from the start due to the root canal, Germán did end up being good to go later in the game and came in for the fifth. He got through that inning clean, but got himself into some trouble in the sixth.
Germán recorded two outs, but in the process saw a runner reach via a Gio Urshela error and allowed another to hit a single. Tom Murphy then came to the plate and slugged a three-run home run, getting the Mariners right back into the game at 5-4.
Germán bounced back with a scoreless seventh inning before Loaisiga came for the eighth. Loaisiga looked especially nasty in his appearance, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning.
Between his recent struggles and his adventurous-but-ultimately-scoreless outing in the series opener, Aroldis Chapman was not called upon in the ninth. Instead, Green was brought in. A couple counts went all the way to 3-2, but he eventually finished off a 1-2-3 inning to seal the win in both the game and the three-game set.
Dating back to 2011, the Yankees have now won 10 consecutive road series in Seattle, tied for a franchise record. That’s mostly trivia though, and the 2021 Yankees will be more content about simply securing wins however they can find them. They’ll go for another W and the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 4:10pm ET. Assuming there are no further emergency root canals, Jordan Montgomery will face Logan Gilbert.
The circumstances around the victory are a bit strange, but none of that goes in the box score.