On Monday night the Yankees were unable to do much against one of the Dodgers' top young pitching prospects and they lost. The formula was the same on Tuesday night against Julio Urias, but the end result was better thanks to a sparkling performance by the New York starter. The series is knotted up at 3 as we head to this afternoon's rubber date with Clayton Kershaw.
CC Sabathia hasn't been great in the second half, but he's had plenty of games in which he's pitched well enough to win this year and been burned by lack of run support. That was the theme again last night as he put up zero after zero on the scoreboard, and if we're being honest he really held the Dodgers down. 6.1 innings, 3 hits allowed, 1 walk, no runs and 7 strikeouts. That's vintage CC. He retired 9 straight from the 2nd through the 5th, he commanded both sides of the plate to right and left-handed hitters. He was awesome.
The Yankee bats couldn't plate any runs against Urias, but they did make him work hard. He needed 78 pitches to record 11 outs and he did walk 3 and give up 4 hits. It took a few innings to capitalize against the LA bullpen, but when they finally did in the 7th inning, the Yankees did it in spectacular fashion.
It started with Jacoby Ellsbury's first at-bat. He entered as an injury replacement for Aaron Judge and worked an 8-pitch full count against Ross Stripling after going down 0-2. He got a hanging curveball on the 9th pitch of the at-bat and he got all of it, hitting it out into the right field seats for the tie-breaking home run. But the Bombers weren't done. Didi Gregorius came off the bench next to pinch hit for Ronald Torreyes and he didn't waste any time, taking Stripling's first pitch fastball and smacking it into right center for another home run.
The Yanks added a third bomb to the ledger when Gary Sanchez welcomed Jesse Chavez to the game with a solo shot in the bottom of the 8th, and the main bullpen trio of Warren, Clippard, and Betances locked down the last 8 outs. Big win, and an even bigger opportunity today.
- The go-ahead homer was Ellsbury's 3rd in his last 9 games. It's telling that he was out of the lineup again against a lefty in a "must win" game, but I wouldn't mind a little 2 week hot streak from him to finish the year.
- Judge left the game after straining his oblique on a swing in the 4th inning. No word yet on the severity of it, but I would imagine he's done for the year.
- Starlin Castro went 3-4 and was stranded on base each time. The first 2 hits were well placed bloops, so maybe he was the benefactor of the BIP fortunes balancing out after Bryan Mitchell's tough luck in the first game of the series.
- Don't look now, but CC is probably going to be the team's #3 starter next season.