Make that five wins in a row for the Yankees! Thanks to Aaron Judge’s 49th home run and an 11-strikeout gem from Gerrit Cole, the Bombers keep the positive momentum rolling. The narrow 3-2 final scoreline doesn’t reflect the Yankees’ dominance throughout much of this contest, so let’s recap how it all shook out.
Neither team could get much going offensively through the first half of this game, though for wildly different reasons. Oakland ran into the buzzsaw that is Gerrit Cole on peak form while the Yankees managed multiple baserunners but couldn’t provide that timely hit to drive any of them in.
New York put two men on in the second but an Isiah Kiner-Falefa double play ended the inning without a run crossing. Oswaldo Cabrera led off the following frame with a triple and Aaron Judge later reached with a walk, but Giancarlo Stanton hit a 118 mph worm burner for another inning-ending GIDP.
They would have to wait for the fifth inning to break the deadlock. Cabrera and DJ LeMahieu led off with back-to-back singles allowing Judge to come to the plate with the opportunity to drive runs in. He wasted no time, jumping all over a first pitch middle-middle slider, sending it to dead center for the 427-foot three-run home run — his 49th of the year.
All in all, the Yankees had no trouble reaching base against their former teammate JP Sears. Sent to the A’s on deadline day as part of the package that returned Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino, the rookie lefty made an instant impact for the Yankees upon his call-up and has been even better pitching for Oakland. Entering this game, he owned a 1.93 ERA (199 ERA+) in 10 appearances (five starts) on the year thanks to a slider and changeup with elite movement. He looked far more pedestrian today, giving up three runs on eight hits and four walks, though I suppose he deserves some credit for keeping it at three considering the volume of baserunners allowed.
Opposite Sears on the mound, Cole turned in a vintage performance that erased a good deal of the stink of some of his recent rough outings. He struck out a pair to open the first and ended up striking out three the next inning to let everyone know it was gonna be one of those nights for the hitter. He actually had a one-hit shutout going through the first 6.2 innings, but a two-out solo shot by Jonah Bride cut the Yankees’ lead to 3-1.
Cole returned for the eighth inning and recorded one out after a leadoff single to complete his night, with Jonathan Loáisiga getting the final two outs of the frame. The fastball was perhaps a tick down relative to recent starts, but the slider and changeup were devastating weapons all night, inducing whiff rates of 64 percent and 75 percent respectively. His final line: 7.1 innings, three hits, one run, two walks, and 11 strikeouts on 110 pitches.
There was a scary moment in the eighth when Jose Trevino was hit on the foot with a 94 mph fastball and took a decent amount of time trying to shake the pain off under the trainer’s watch. He managed to stay in to see out the inning, even attempting a steal of second base, but was eventually lifted for Kyle Higashioka in between innings. Fingers crossed this decision was made only out of an overabundance of caution, we will provide more updates as they are made available.
Wandy Peralta came in to close this one out as the Yankees are currently dealing with a merry-go-round of ninth inning candidates. He surrendered a double to Chad Pinder, who was driven in on a Dermis García single to reduce the Yankees lead to 3-2 and make us all sweat at the end. Thankfully, he struck out David MacKinnon to nail down the victory, the Yankees’ fifth in a row.
Domingo Germán will try to keep the momentum rolling as he gets the ball tomorrow to take on Adam Oller. First pitch is scheduled for 9:07 pm ET so be sure to join us in the game thread.