The Yankees were always going to have a bit of a tougher time in this Sunday night matchup against the Dodgers simply due to the fact that Aaron Judge was out. After crashing into the wall in Saturday’s game, the Yankees opted to hold Judge out of this game due to a sore foot/toe.
However, they were also up against it thanks to the pitching of Bobby Miller. The talented Dodgers rookie held the Yankees in check for six innings, continuing the impressive start to his career. Despite that, the Yankees’ struggles against Miller didn’t hurt them too much, thanks to an also impressive outing from Domingo Germán, who matched Miller every step of the way.
Thanks to that, the Yankees stuck around and eventually eked out a couple runs. The bullpen held on from there as the Yankees took the game and this series in LA with a 4-1 win over the Dodgers.
The game was a pitchers’ duel early with the Yankees unable to do much against Miller. Meanwhile, Germán was equally breezing through LA’s lineup, with the only reach chance for the Dodgers coming on David Peralta’s second-inning double. While a pair of first-inning walks gave the Yankees a runner in scoring position, they didn’t get their first hit off Miller until Anthony Volpe’s fifth inning single.
There was a slight injury scare for the Yankees in the bottom of the fifth. After one particular pitch, Germán seemed to land a bit awkwardly and was walking around a little gingerly. The trainers did come out to talk to him, but he remained in the game after the incident. Considering that earlier in the day, Nestor Cortes was placed on the injured list, and Aaron Judge didn’t play after crashing into the fence, another injury would’ve put the cherry on top of an annoying day.
The Yankees finally got into the Dodgers’ bullpen in the seventh inning, although not by anything of their own doing. Dave Roberts opted not to push the rookie past the 86 pitches over the first six innings, and went to Brusdar Graterol for the seventh. For his day, Miller allowed no runs on one hit and two walks, striking out seven.
After starting off the seventh with a strikeout, Graterol allowed a single to Jake Bauers. Isiah Kiner-Falefa then hit a soft roller right around the mound, and Graterol seemed to greatly overestimate his fielding abilities.
IKF lays down a nice bunt and the pitcher throws it away so the Yankees are all set up pic.twitter.com/1tbWg8mbew— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) June 5, 2023
The play was officially ruled a single with the runners each moving up a base on the error. That set the Yankees up with runners on second and third, allowing them to score on a Kyle Higashioka groundout.
After six dominant innings, Germán came back out for the seventh, now with a lead. While he got the first two outs, he then made a rare mistake and hung a pitch that J.D. Martinez took over the wall in left field, tying the game. An infield single in the next at-bat would mean the end for Germán, as Aaron Boone went to the bullpen. Clay Holmes came in and did walk a batter before getting a strikeout to end the frame. In his 6.2 innings, Germán allowed one runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out six.
In the eighth, the Yankees got some more offense to retake the lead. With one out in the inning, Anthony Rizzo drew a walk. Giancarlo Stanton followed him by smashing a double, setting the Yankees up with runners on second and third. Just like with the first run, the Yankees then got a run thanks to a groundout, as the only play the Dodgers had on a very slow roller from Oswaldo Cabrera was at first. Rizzo scored to reinstate the one-run lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Holmes got the first two batters of the inning before Boone went to Wandy Peralta. The southpaw got Freddie Freeman to ground out to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth, the Yankees got some much needed insurance. With Isiah Kiner-Falefa on after a walk, Anthony Volpe hit a two-run home to give the Yankees some breathing room going into the bottom of the ninth.
The bottom of the inning didn’t get off to the most ideal start when Peralta walked Will Smith. However, he then picked off Smith just a couple pitches into the next at-bat. Now with the bases clear, Peralta got the next two outs uneventfully, sealing the win and his fourth save of 2023.
After a day off tomorrow, the Yankees will return home to open a series on Tuesday. Clarke Schmidt is set to get the start for a set against Lucas Giolito and the White Sox at Yankee Stadium.