Eight sure is great.
It felt like the Yankees left an army corps of men on base today, but got just enough offense to back up a terrific pitching performance, and they’ve won their fourth straight series with a tight 3-0 win over the Royals tonight. I’m still not used to this club, the Bronx Bombers, having the best pitching staff in the game, but four arms combined to shut out the Royals on a windy night at Kauffman Stadium.
The worst thing about the night was the YES booth, which was really, really weak. It wasn’t just the obligatory worship at the altar of Sal Perez, although that was plentiful. I’m not a fan of Carlos Beltran on color, and actively dislike Flash’s opinions and musings on the game, but hey, if the Yankees win eight games in a row I’ll put up with a subpar commentary team.
I’m not going to complain about the offense because it’s looked so good the last week or so, but it was quite funny that after the Yankees’ ineptitude with the bases loaded became a meme in 2021, one of the newest Yankees stepped onto the rake in the second inning. Isiah Kiner-Falefa did get the first run of the game home, but he did so by grounding into a double play with nobody out and the bases juiced.
The Yankees, for what its worth, scored all three runs of the game without a hit, as Gleyber Torres added a sac fly in the third, and IKF drove in another with a flyout an inning later. The team won with dingers last night, but perhaps the mark of a good team is being able to put up runs in a few different ways, and with no long balls tonight, the Yankees still were able to take the lead.
Gerrit Cole had himself a funky little start. The first four innings he struck out just one batter, facing a Royals lineup with the lowest strikeout rate in the league. As we’ve seen before this year, he couldn’t quite find the black with his fastball like we know he can, but he did more than enough to keep Kansas City off the board.
In the fifth and sixth, he turned up his fastball a bit, gaining about a mph and hundred or so rpm, and voila, five of the last six outs he recorded were via the K. He did get into some trouble in the sixth, putting two men in scoring position, but never fear, Bobby Witt Jr. struck out and Kyle Isabel followed to end the threat and close the book on Cole’s night; six innings pitched, zero runs allowed.
It wasn’t all good news. Joey Gallo tweaked his leg running out an infield single — yes, every word in that sentence is correct. The big lefty was 2-2 on the day but taken out of the game, with just a Twitter update being the only news we have at this time. Tim Locastro came in to replace him.
Both Miguel Castro and Clay Holmes allowed multiple men on in their innings of work. Holmes got himself out of trouble, but Castro needed some truly sparkling help from his infield:
First base defense is hard to quantify but...Anthony Rizzo made an incredible play, full stop.
Side note: I don’t know whose idea it was to invite George Brett into the YES booth, but boy, “Hall of Famer Cuts Promo on The Replacement Level Players They Played With” needs to be a regular segment for the rest of the season.
“I tried being a hitting coach but told the guys they sucked so they went to the other coach”— R Wiggum (@cromulenttweet) May 1, 2022
I was only, at best, listening to 10 percent of the commentary but if Beltran can consistently get the greatest living players to dunk on their teammates on broadcast television, the man has a future.
The Yankees are rolling right now, showing they can win games by outslugging their opponents or leaning on their pitching and timely hits. We’ll see what they put together tomorrow, when they have a chance to stretch this win streak to nine games. Luis Severino gets the ball with first pitch at 2:10pm Eastern.