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Yankees GBU – That’s eight series in a row

Eight in a row.  The Yankees have won eight series in a row, their latest victim being the San Diego Padres.  The Yankees took two out of three from the Pads, with the only blemish being the middle game of the series.

It was more of the same from the Yankees;  A lot of clutch hitting, some monster home runs and contributions from everyone on the team, both pitching wise and in the batter’s box.  You couldn’t ask more from the Yankees, as they’ve kept pace atop the division despite the Tampa Bay Rays winning their last six games.

 

The Good

Some more home runs

The Yankees have gotten contributions from just about everyone in all different facets.  However, the Bombers got a ton of production from the long ball and everyone was in on the home run parade.  The Yankees got eight home runs from seven different players.

In Game one, Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner erased an early 2-0 deficit with home runs in the second inning.  Frazier’s was a solo shot and Gardner’s, the game winner, was a two-run shot.  Sanchez put some distance between the Yanks and the Padres with a solo shot in the eighth.  He also had the only home run in a 5-4 loss on Tuesday night.

In Game three, the Yankees pounced on former National League Player of the Month Chris Paddack early.  The very first two batters of the game, D.J. Lemahieu and Luke Voit, hit back to back homers to start off the game.  Gio Urshela extended the lead to 3-0 in the second and Gleyber Torres polished off the series with a two-run homer of his own.

The bullpen picks up the pace

The Yankees’ bullpen has surprisingly been the worst part of the Yankees all season.  Most of the big guns have been inconsistent at best but the past few weeks have been extremely important for the team.  From Chapman down to Cortes Jr., the Yanks are getting good pitching from the entire bullpen.

Game one was an “opener” game and the faction of Chad Green, David Hale, Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman got the job done.  Hale did most of the heavy lifting with four innings of work, and he was able to limit the Padres to two runs over those innings, with both coming in the second.

Game two was a success from the bullpen as well despite the loss.  Masahiro Tanaka was mediocre at best (we’ll get there) but the combination of Joe Harvey and Luis Cessa was surprisingly efficient for three full innings.  In Game three, the bullpen spelled a very effective James Paxton after he hit his pitch limit.  Chad Green, Adam Ottavino, Jonathan Holder and Nestor Cortes Jr. all helped the Yankees string together a 7-0 shutout win.

‘Big Maple’ makes a big splash in return

There’s so much that can be said about the return of James Paxton.  It takes some major cojones to come back from a serious injury and pitch four innings of no-hit ball.  Paxton was excellent in four innings, pitching four clean innings.

His biggest highlight was his seven strikeouts over those four innings.  His pitches were crisp, his fastball peaking at around 97 MPH and his breaking pitches had some real bite.  Paxton’s return also means that the Yankees can rest their pitches a bit, as they don’t need to rely on their bullpen for two games.

The Bad

Tanaka is ineffective, once again

Masahiro Tanaka has had the ultimate roller coaster ride this season.  He’s been up and down all season and Tuesday’s effort was more of the same.  Tanaka labored through six innings of nine hit, five run (four earned) ball and his splitter wasn’t sharp again.

If Tanaka is going to be on his game, his splitter needs to get going.  Without it, he’s a two pitch pitcher who tops off at around 93 MPH.  He doesn’t have the velocity he did just a few seasons ago and without that pitch he just isn’t the same pitcher.

Tanaka didn’t look terrible against a decent Padres team, but he sure isn’t the ace that he’s looked like earlier in the year.  He is the ultimate boom or bust pitcher this year and for every bad start that he’s had, he’s equally had as many dominant ones.  Will the real Masahiro Tanaka please stand up?

The Ugly

No Ugly for this series.

 

The Yankees aren’t going to win 162 games every year, but winning each series should be the benchmark.  Considering the Yankees have won each of the last eight, it’s safe to say that they’re on the right track to competing for a World Series.

With the Red Sox playing much better of late and the Tampa Bay Rays on their tail, the Yankees cannot take their foot off the gas pedal.  The Yankees now welcome Boston in for a weekend series in the Bronx.  If the Yankees can take this series it will be nine in a row and each win will bury the Red Sox deeper down the A.L. East standings.

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