Yankees GBU – The Yankees are the walking wounded
The New York Yankees won this latest series against the Kansas City Royals three games to one, but they also added another important player to their injured list. Aaron Judge strained his oblique on Saturday afternoon in a 9-2 win and will most likely be out 6-8 weeks.
Regardless, it’s a series win and the Yankees have won five of their last six games. All of this has been done without most of the Yankees stars, and guys like Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman have been contributing without much fanfare. Let’s take a look at the GBU for this series.
Paxton flexes his muscles again
James Paxton showed once again that he could be the man the Yankees traded for prior to the season starting. ‘Big Maple’ went six strong of three hit ball and had his second consecutive 12 strikeout performance. Those back to back 12 strikeout performances were the first since David Cone’s in 1996.
Paxton commanded his fastball, hit 99 MPH multiple times through the day, and used his breaking pitches to keep the Royals’ batters off kilter. He was never in any danger of giving up a lead as the Yankees had built up a 5-0 lead up to his leaving, and even though he didn’t get the win he deserved to he still pitched like an ace.
The Sockman delivers
Mike Tauchman was an afterthought when the Yankees signed him first to a contract, then when they brought him up to be their fourth outfielder. If anything, Yankees fans and media alike thought Tyler Wade should have taken that spot.
No one could have predicted that the young outfielder would be having such a profound impact on this season so far. He’s taken over the reins in centerfield with the injuries to Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Aaron Hicks and has produced with the bat. Katie Sharp’s illustration proves how efficient he’s been over his past four games.
Mike Tauchman Career
First 88 PA: 2 RBI, 0 HR
Last 12 PA: 8 RBI, 3 HR
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) April 20, 2019
Romine delivers in the clutch
We’ll get to all the bad and ugly stuff from this series, but Austin Romine single-handedly won a game for the Yankees on Sunday that should have been in the bag long before. Romine first knocked an RBI single through the left side of the infield in the eighth inning. It tied the game back up at six after the Yankees’ bullpen blew a 5-0 lead.
The Yankees then found themselves in extra innings and with men on second and third base. Romine was up with one out and ripped an RBI whatever you want to call it over the head of Billy Hamilton and the Easter celebration was on. Romine was the hero of the game and without his heroics this series would have a much different tone to it.
AUSTIN ROMINE WALKS OFF IAN KENNEDY LETS GOOOOOOO pic.twitter.com/9mr3KqolAY
— David Mendelsohn (@BigBabyDavid_) April 21, 2019
The bullpen was bad (for the most part)
Tommy Kahnle has been good of late. Aroldis Chapman couldn’t hold on Billy Hamilton to save his life but shut it down in the ninth on Sunday. However, the combination of Jonathan Holder, Chad Green and Adam Ottavino was brutal over the weekend, specifically on Thursday and Sunday.
Domingo German didn’t pitch his best game on Thursday night, pitching six innings of three run ball, but he did leave the Yankees in a position to come back. Jonathan Holder ruined that, giving up two runs and three hits in 1/3 innings. He hasn’t been good and shouldn’t be relied upon in those kind of situations.
As for Chad Green and Adam Ottavino? Well, they don’t have the terrible track record of Holder (although I personally think Chad Green is vastly overrated) but they did not pitch well at all on Sunday. Green gave up three earned and Ottavino gave up the game tying and go-ahead home run to the Royals, back to back. Both have struggled to find consistency throwing strikes and although they have electric stuff they need to be more consistent.
Not enough fanfare for Mike Ford
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing from a team perspective, but it seems as though Mike Ford’s first hit was an afterthought after Romine’s walk-off hit. Ford came into the game 0-for-8 and was gripping the bat a bit too tight.
Ford was able to come through in the clutch with a double and hit the ball on the screws to the opposite field. Ford is looking to find his place on this Yankees team, as he’s been called up due to the injury of Greg Bird. If Ford can provide solid defense and a decent bat, he could find himself starting at first base a lot more.
Aaron Judge sidelined for 6-8 weeks
The only ugly mark of this series, minus a couple of bad bullpen performances, is the terrible injury to Aaron Judge. Judge joins the laundry list of important Yankees on the IL, and according to Aaron Boone has a “pretty significant” oblique strain.
Judge strained his oblique on a swing Saturday afternoon. He got a hit and drove in a run on the swing, but was limping to first base and was visibly upset after he swung. This isn’t the first long time injury for Judge and probably won’t be the last, but it’s a big blow to a team that’s already the walking wounded. Judge just needs to rest for now as hopefully Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar and Gary Sanchez all come back soon.
The Yankees are quite literally the walked wounded right now but they just keep winning. It’s refreshing to see a group of misfits play together and win games. The Yankees have gotten excellent pitching for the most part, clutch hitting by Austin Romine and Clint Frazier, and contributions up and down the lineup. It’s never a good sign when your hottest hitter is Mike Tauchman, but it’s a long season and the baseball gods should reward the Yankees with good health later in the season.
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