The Yankees are the hottest team in baseball. The squad has racked up 20 wins since the All-Star break. In other words, everything is going according to GM Brian Cashman’s plan. Though the Bombers received some bad news yesterday when Clint Frazier announced he would be taking an indefinite break from the game due to a vision issue, it was offset with the return of pitcher Gerrit Cole.
Cole Leads the Yankees to a Win
Gerrit Cole is back from his bout with coronavirus. The team ace returned to the mound, delivering a 99 mile per hour fastball over the plate with his first pitch to Shohei Ohtani. Cole carried a two-hitter into the sixth inning. All in all, he struck out nine against one of the better lineups in the American League. The lone run off of Cole came from the bat of Justin Upton. Joey Gallo also contributed to the win, launching a two-run bomb. The long ball was Gallo’s 29th of the year.
The Yankees’ Bullpen Excels Without Chapman
Though Zack Britton has made it perfectly clear he doesn’t believe he is worthy of serving as the team’s closer while Aroldis Chapman is injured, he fared well last night. Britton, Joely Rodriguez, Albert Abreu and Chad Green combined for the hold and save after Cole did his work in the prior six innings. It was an important outing for the relievers as the Yankees’ bullpen had blown a lead in three of its prior six contests.
Ohtani Struggles Against the Yanks’ Pen
Cole and the relievers blanked Angels’ slugger Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani was 0 for 4 on the night. He had hit three homeruns in his past three games in New York. Ohtani made solid contact with one of Cole’s pitches, sending the ball flying toward the outfield with a 109 mile per hour exit velocity. The ball was caught along the warning track, ending the Angels’ threat in the sixth.
The Angels’ sluggishness is somewhat understandable as they were battling through a demanding travel schedule to complete this makeup game stemming from an early July rainout. The Angels played Houston at home on Sunday then landed in the Big Apple on Monday morning prior to the tilt with the Yankees.
The Yanks’ victory makes it 10 of the team’s last 13 in the “W” column. New York is now within a couple games of the Red Sox for a wild card in the American League. The two teams will square off in the next three games, starting with a doubleheader on Tuesday.