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Yankees 14, Pirates 2: Cabrera, Torres run roughshod in sweep

Aaron Judge was denied history for one day, but it didn’t matter in the Bronx.

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Yankees Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Alright, if you missed the game, Aaron Judge did not hit his 61st home run. Instead, the likely AL MVP merely went 2-4 with a pair of ringing doubles, was walked in the eighth, and he scored two runs as well. He now leads the AL batting title race by 0.004 points. Yes, I’m disappointed too, but we still have a Yankee win to recap!

It appears as though the Yankees won the Jameson Taillon trade. Roasny Contreras and Miguel Yajure gave up ten combined runs of the 14 New York scored tonight, while Taillon didn’t give up any at all, and the Yankees swept this quick two-game series 14-2 in the Bronx.

The game got started just the way it should. Aaron Judge lined a double to lead off the bottom of the first, Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton had great PAs to work walks, and that brought up Oswaldo Cabrera:

I don’t know if Cabrera will be an every day guy in the majors. Even with the salami, he’s been a slightly below average hitter, but you figure there’s some upside in the stick and he can play well at five or six spots on the diamond. All that adds up, if he can figure out a little better power stroke, to at least a terrific utility player and maybe more.

He added his fifth RBI of the game on a line drive double to left-center, a really nice piece of hitting from a rookie:

But if we’re gonna talk about good pieces of hitting, well, may I introduce you to Gleyber Torres:

That was the first of two long balls Gleyber would hit that inning, bringing home four runs by himself. He also added an RBI single in the fifth to bring Judge around, as he and Cabrera both had five RBI nights — steak was on sale in the Bronx tonight.

Luis Severino was back, making his first start since July 13th. He was going to be capped around 60 pitches, but boy did he make them count — throwing five innings, allowing a single run, striking out six while walking one. His stuff was as good as ever, but what caught my eye the most was his fastball command:

There are two or three mistakes here, but throwing 98 with high spin buys you some margin for error. More importantly, the way he was able to locate that hard along the vertical edges of the zone is super encouraging to me.

We’ve seen that hitters have started to adjust to high fastballs, elevating their swing path and catching up to heat, but coming inside that hard, as long as you locate, there’s just nothing a hitter can do. He’s gonna take it, and be called out, or whiff, or even if he makes contact the bat will saw off at the handle.

For Sevy to be able to command that pitch multiple times tonight is a great building block for the rest of the season. The fact he was able to go five full, throwing 64, including a six-pitch final frame, should also be really encouraging. I expect the Yankees might be careful with his start, maybe slotting a sixth starter in the rotation to give him an extra day off, but tonight sure made me think Severino can start a playoff game without needing much contingency.

Well, the next chance for history comes tomorrow, as the Yankees begin a four-game series with the Red Sox. The weather may be a challenge, but if we have baseball, Jameson Taillon will take on Michael Wacha, with first pitch scheduled for 7:15pm EST.

Box Score