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Yankees GBU – The kids are getting it done

The New York Yankees took three of four from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and although they imploded on Thursday night, it was a successful first half of their West Coast road trip.  They now head to San Francisco to face a weak Giants team.

I spoke briefly about how the Yankees have been able to string together wins, but there still should be some GBU from this series.  The Yankees have to be happy winning six of their last seven and although Masahiro Tanaka and C.C. Sabathia struggled mightily, the other starters held up their end of the bargain.

 

The Good

How about this Domingo German guy?

Domingo German picked up another victory for the Yankees, his fourth, even though the Yankees almost blew it for him.  German came into the game 3-1 and improved both his win total and his ERA with a dominant performance.  German pitched 6 2/3 innings, surrendering only four hits and one unearned run.  His ERA now sits at 1.75 and he’s been the biggest surprise of the season so far.

German has always had the talent to succeed but has never had the consistency.  Five strikeouts in a row is followed by three walks.  A 1,2,3 inning is followed by back-to-back hits.  German has all the stuff to be a great pitcher, but he’s finally found the confidence and mentality to get through the hard times of a baseball game.

The kids are alright

For a full in depth look at how much the youth of the Yankees have impacted the team, take a look here.  It’s amazing to see guys like Gio Urshela, Tyler Wade, Mike Ford and Mike Tauchman succeed the way they have.  Urshela hit his first home run on Thursday, and Ford just a few days before that.

The main reason why these rag tag group of Yankees are succeeding?  They’re not trying to do too much.  Tyler Wade bunted for a hit, Urshela has been hitting sac flies all season, and the combination of defense and timely hitting has gotten the Yankees on an absolute roll.

The Bad

Tanaka has been slipping

Masahiro Tanaka may be going through a bit of a rough patch right now.  After Thursday’s poor performance, he’s now had two of his last three starts be subpar.  On 4/14 against the Chicago White Sox he pitched 4 innings and gave up five earned runs on seven hits.  Thursday night, he was nearly as bad, sloshing through 5 2/3 innings and giving up five runs on six hits.  He looked to be cruising through the first three innings as he was spotted a 4-0 lead, but home runs caught up to him once again.

Tanaka isn’t going to be perfect and he’s going to have his bad starts but he can’t start stringing along back to back poor starts because the Yankees just do not have the depth.  If Tanaka can put a stop to this and put together a few good starts in a row he’ll be fine.  He needs to be the ace while Luis Severino is on the mend.  He can’t fall into a lull.  He’s been slipping, but it’s never too late to recover.

The bullpen is still struggling

Aroldis Chapman blew a save, Stephen Tarpley and Joe Harvey looked terrible, and Chad Green was so bad he got demoted to AAA.  The shining light of the bullpen was Jonathan Holder, which is never a good sign.  Although Tarpley and Harvey aren’t usually relied upon, this Yankees’ bullpen has zero depth.  One extra innings game and Aaron Boone is putting Jonathan Holder in the highest of high leverage situations.  Holder was up to the task, but Chad Green, Joe Harvey and Stephen Tarpley were not.

For Chapman?  He’s fine velocity wise and he notched his fourth save of the year on Wednesday night, but even then he looked a little shaky.  Chapman can never just have a clean inning.  It always has to be a walk here, or a hit there.  Chapman isn’t a pitcher, he’s a thrower.  His blown save was blamed on the umpire, even though he could have gotten out of the inning two batters before.  Chapman is going to have one of those up and down years and will be a roller coaster ride all season.

The Ugly

Another one bites the dust

Clint Frazier was having a hell of a year until he injured his ankle during an awkward slide sequence into second base on Tuesday night.  Frazier had stat lines of .324, six HRs and 17 RBIs up until the injury and he was one of the best players in the lineup.  He’s had his bad games, especially defensively in Houston, but he was finally playing as the player the Yankees thought they got in the Andrew Miller trade.

Frazier was placed on the 10 Day IL and will be re-evaluated at the end of the week.  He has a slight tear in his ankle but it shouldn’t be anything that keeps him out long term, according to Aaron Boone.  It’s still a tough loss as now the Yankees are down yet another outfielder.  Giancarlo Stanton is close, Cameron Maybin was just traded to the Yankees and Brett Gardner is red hot.  A loss is still a loss, especially of such a talented young player.

 

The New York Yankees kept rolling and took three of four from the Angels.  While the Angels aren’t the Houston Astros, they still have Mike Trout and some other decent players.  This is a good start to their West Coast road trip because they beat a team they were supposed to beat.

If they can win the series against the San Francisco Giants, that gives them eight wins in ten games.  That’s a remarkable run for a team that’s lost more than half their starters to injuries.  If the Yankees can keep trucking along and keep pace in the American League East, they’ll be in a good position come June.

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Chris Passarelli
Football Editor - Hockey Editor - New York Islanders Lead Writer - New York Lizards Lead Writer - UConn Football Lead Writer
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