The emergence of Gio Urshela continues. What this will mean for Miguel Andujar, last year’s ROY runnerup, will be interesting once more people start coming off of the DL. Andujar may have to DH more. If that’s the case, Stanton has to play OF more, and that then affects people like Clint Frazier or Brett Gardner, esp. when Hicks and Judge return. A domino effect.
Aaron Boone will have to make decisions. But these will be tough but good decisions and not decisons made out of necessity because half of your roster is on the DL.
Urshela, who didn’t start the game, got a big bases-loaded single with two outs and two strikes on him in the bottom of the eighth to give the Yanks two insurance runs they would need in a 3-1 win over Seattle Thursday night.
The win puts the Yanks (22-15) 1 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay in the AL East (2nd place) and the Yanks now go into the Trop (one of, if not the WORST stadium in MLB) for a three game weekend series. The Yanks can take over first place if they can sweep the Rays this weekend.
They won’t have Aaron Hicks yet, though. Hicks, 0 for 11 on his rehab stint so far, obviously doesn’t feel his swing is there yet, so he will go from playing for A+ Tampa to AAA SWB for this weekend, play three games for SWB, then rejoin the Yanks on Monday. We’ll see what the corresponding move will be.
The Yanks’ pitchers two-hit the Mariners last night, with the only blemish being a two-out, two-strike HR given up by Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth which made Urshela’s hit that much more important.
J.A. Happ pitched five innings of scoreless ball, giving up just one hit. The bullpen up to Chapman was superb, especially Adam Ottavino who got out of a jam in the sixth.
The Yanks got a run in the second when Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres singled. After Andujar (2 for 22 since coming off the DL) and Mike Tauchman flied out, Cameron Maybin doubled in Frazier. It looked like Torres may have had a chance to score, but he held at third. Thairo Estrada grounded out to end the inning.
That was all the scoring until the eighth. Ottavino got a big DP ball to end the top of the sixth and keep Seattle from scoring.
In the bottom of the eighth, with the score still 1-0 Yankees, D.J. LeMahieu and Gary Sanchez both singled. Brett Gardner grounded into a forceout, then stole second. Clint Frazier struck out. Torres was intentionally walked to set up a force at any base. Urshela, who replaced Andujar for defensive purposes, then drove in two runs to make the score 3-0 Yankees. Tauchman then struck out to end the inning.
As mentioned above, the single by Urshela proved huge when Chapman gave up a HR in the ninth. Final, 3-1 Yankees.
LeMahieu 2 hits (.344, what a pickup; leads AL in batting average (won one already when with Colorado)
Torres 2 hits
Urshela 2 RBI (.354, came into the year a .225 hitter; what a surprise)
Maybin RBI double (.323, great pickup so far).
Happ (W, 2-3, 4.36) 5+ IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 W, 1 HBP, 7 K.
Ottavino (H, 7) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.86
Kahnle (H, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.20 (what a rebound from last year)
Britton (H, 5) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.52
Chapman (S, 8) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.63
I am fighting a URI/Chest cough, so bear with me on the reports. Thanks!