Domingo German may have come into the game 16-3, but he and his Yankees’ teammates knew they would have their hands full with Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has an MVP award, 3 CYA, and has finished twice as the CYA runnerup.
German matched Kershaw pitch for pitch. Bested him, even.
And a guy who didn’t start the game, but who came into the game as an injury replacement (Mike Ford) turned out to be the key to the game as the Yankees (85-47) won 5-1. With the win, their lead in the AL East goes to 9 games, and the magic # to clinch the division (barring any tiebreakers) goes to 22.
Both teams started off with a bang. D.J. LeMahieu hit the third pitch of the game for his 22nd HR of the season to put the Yanks up 1-0, but Domingo German’s first pitch of the game was hit for a HR by Joc Pederson to tie up the game.
Aaron Judge homered in the third inning (16) to put the Yanks up 2-1.
Brett Gardner made a great catch to end the third inning and save two runs.
Then, in the sixth, a shocker. Mike Ford, who didn’t start the game, but who replaced Didi Gregorius in the lineup when Didi had to leave with a sore shoulder after being hit by a pitch, homered off of Kershaw (6) to put the Yanks up 3-1.
Kershaw, who came into the game with a career ERA of 2.41, and who has career numbers that compare favorably to another lefty Dodger great (Sandy Koufax), doesn’t usually give up 3 HR in a game, and especially to guys like Ford, who has spent most of the year at AAA and who is a lefty hitter.
So after six innings, Kershaw had 11 K, but had given up four hits, three of them HR. He wound up with 12 K.
In the eighth, LeMahieu singled and Ford doubled him home to make it 4-1.
The Yanks got one more run in the ninth, when Brett Gardner singled, advanced to third on an error on a pickoff attempt, and scored on a single by Gio Urshela.
Yankees pitchers really did a good job containing Cody Bellinger (ex-Yankee Clay Bellinger’s son) all weekend long.
LeMahieu HR (22), 2 hits. .331
Judge HR (16)
Ford HR (6), 2 hits, 2 RBI.
German (W, 17-3, 4.03) 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Ottavino (H, 27) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.61
Kahnle (H, 24) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.79
Britton (H, 28) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.18
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 2.31