In my post regarding Game #47, I mentioned how the Yanks traded for Greg Allen. Allen was added to the major league team right away and in order to make room for him, the Yanks DFA’d Aaron Hicks, eating the rest of his contract.
It may have been a surprise move to some, that the Yanks would eat that much money remaining on the contract (I’d guess about $28MM and the rest of this year plus two more years?) but it was a long time coming. Hicks was hitting just .188-1-5 this year with an OPS+ of only 46 (100 is average). Since his best year of 2018 (.248-27-79, OPS+ 127 and 22nd in MVP voting), Hicks only hit .218 with an OPS+ of 92 whiles being frequently injured. His defense also has suffered, and the former CF was moved to LF what with Harrison Bader taking over the CF job. From 2017-2020, Hicks’ OPS+ was 120, but injuries hurt his 2017 and 2019 seasons, and Covid shortened the 2020 season to 60 games. The big drop-off in Hicks’ production started in 2021 when more injuries limited him to 32 games. He hasn’t been the same since.
Allen doesn’t have the power Hicks does, but does have more speed and unlike Hicks, who has been a starter, has been a bench player for his whole career, so he doesn’t have to adapt to the role like Hicks has had to this year. Like Hicks, Allen is a switch-hitter.
As for the game, the Yanks rode Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo to a 7-4, 10-inning win. Catcher Ben Rortvedt made his Yankees’ debut and got hits in his first two plate appearances.
Jhony Brito struggled and was sent down to AAA after the game to make room for today’s starter, Luis Severino, who will be coming off the IL and will be making his season debut today. It will be a strange starting time today (Sunday) of 11:35 AM.
The Reds struck first in yesterday’s game, getting a run in the bottom of the first. Brito hurt himself with a walk and a balk before giving up an RBI single.
The Yanks came right back in the top of the third to tie the game. Rortvedt doubled in his first ever Yankee at bat and was brought home on a single by Judge.
The Reds took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third. Once again, Brito hurt himself. After getting the first two hitters out, he walked the next three batters then gave up an infield single.
In the bottom of the fourth, Brito once again couldn’t close things out with two out. He got the first two hitters, then gave up a single and a 2-run HR and the Yanks were in a 4-1 hole.
They came right back to tie the game at four each with three runs in the top of the fifth. Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a solo HR (2) with one out in the inning. Rortvedt and Gleyber Torres followed with singles. Judge doubled in a run to make it 4-3. Rizzo singled to tie the game, but Judge was thrown out at the plate on a bad send by third base coach Luis Rojas. It hurt at the time because D.J. LeMahieu singled right afterward. You think, hey, Judge would have then scored, but then you have the fallacy of the predetermined outcome. Oh, well.
The game stayed tied and went into the tenth inning. Allen, who arrived in the middle of the game, pinch-ran for Rortvedt as the ghost runner in the top of the tenth. He was moved to third on a flyout by Torres, and you thought that Cincinnati would then walk Judge to try to get out of the inning by making Rizzo GIDP. Instead, they pitched to Judge, and Judge broke the tie with an RBI single—his fourth hit of the day—to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. But it didn’t matter if the Reds would have walked Judge, for (but once again, the fallacy of the predetermined outcome) Rizzo homered (11) to give the Yanks a cushion with a 7-4 lead, and that is the way the game ended.
The Yankees are 28-20 (3rd in AL East, 6 1/2 out), and even with some guys still out (most notably Stanton, Donaldson, Rodon, Montas, Loaisiga, Hamilton, and I won’t list guys who won’t even be back at all this year like Trivino and Effross) are 13-6 this month.
The AL East is one tough division. Toronto is 25-21, which isn’t a bad record, but they are in LAST place in the division.
Torres 2 hits.
Judge 4 for 4 with a walk, 3 RBI.
Rizzo 2 hits, 3 RBI. 2-run HR (11).
Kiner-Falefa solo HR (2).
Rortvedt 2 hits. (First two at bats as a Yankee, two hits. Yankee debut).
Brito 4 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 4 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 balk. 5.58 Sent to AAA after game.
Marinaccio 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 4.09
King 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 2.10
Holmes (W, 2-2) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.44
Weber (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K 3.68
The Yankee bullpen tossed six shutout innings, giving up just one hit.