One down, two to go
The Yankees faced the first of three straight Cy Young winners on Monday night vs the Tigers and somehow emerged with a 2-1 win against the reigning winner Max Scherzer in the series opener.
Brett Gardner entered the game 0-for-14 in his career vs Scherzer, but that didn’t faze the red-hot Gardner, who got two hits in three at-bats against Scherzer and scored the game-winning run.
Brandon McCarthy went 5 2/3 innings and allowing only one run (unearned), improving to 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts since joining the team in mid-July. He now has more wins in those five starts as a Yankee than he did in his 18 starts with the Diamondbacks earlier this season.
Prior to McCarthy, the last Yankee to go at least five innings in each of his first five starts in pinstripes – with the team winning each game – was Joe Cowley (10 straight) in 1984.
Facing their second straight former Cy Young winner, the Yankees kept David Price from getting the win but ultimately lost on Tuesday night, 4-3 in 12 innings.
Brian McCann tied the score with a second inning solo homer, the third time he has gone deep against Price this season. The only other player to hit three homers off Price in a single season was Jose Bautista in 2011.
Dellin Betances pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts for his 36th game this season with multiple strikeouts. That ties him with Mariano Rivera (1996) and Goose Gossage (1978) for the most games by a reliever with at least two strikeouts in Yankees history.
Both teams finished with zero walks, marking the first time in the last 100 years that the Yankees played an extra-inning game without any walks by either team. The last major-league game where each team pitched at least 12 innings and had zero walks was July 25, 1917 between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Although there were no walks, the Yankees struck out 12 times and the Tigers struck out 10 times. This was the first extra-inning game over the last 100 years in which both teams had at least 10 strikeouts and no walks.
Two out of three ain’t bad
The Yankees made history when Brett Gardner stepped into the batters box to face Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning, becoming the first team in major-league history to face the last three Cy Young winners in consecutive games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
They went 2-1 against the trifecta after beating Justin Verlander and the Tigers on Wednesday night. Like I said, two out of three ain’t bad.
The 5-1 victory snapped a streak of 16 straight games decided by no more than two runs, which was the longest such streak in franchise history and the longest by any MLB team since a 16-game streak by the Baltimore Orioles in in 1975.
Brian McCann’s solo homer in the seventh inning gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. He is the first Yankee catcher with a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later vs the Tigers since Matt Nokes in 1992. It was his second straight game with a homer, making him the first Yankee catcher to go yard in back-to-back home games vs Tigers since Thurman Munson in 1973.
Justin Verlander took the loss and remains winless in seven starts at the new Yankee Stadium (including the postseason). That is the second-most starts without a win at the ballpark by any pitcher, behind only Mark Buehrle (8)
Greene is gold
The Yankees once again had their fans on the edge of their seats all game long on Thursday afternoon, eventually pulling out the 1-0 win in the series finale vs Detriot. It was the team’s first 1-0 win at home against the Tigers since July 4, 1989.
Shane Greene was the star, pitching eight scoreless innings against one of the best teams in the league. He is the first Yankee rookie to throw eight-or-more shutout innings against the Tigers since Doc Medich on September 29, 1973.
The last Yankee rookie to go at least eight innings without allowing a run in a 1-0 win by the Yankees was Stan Bahnsen on August 1, 1968 against the Red Sox. Bahnsen won the AL Rookie of the Year that season, going 17-12 with a 2.05 ERA.