The Yankees needed what they got from Andrew Heaney today, an effective though less than a spectacular start, and the bats do just enough…
The Yankees need not look at the ESPN scoreboard to see what the Red Sox or Tampa Bay Rays are doing because they did all they needed to do today with a win that assures them at least a push in the AL East
Aaron Boone got what he needed from Andrew Heaney with six innings, though albeit a start that began shakily when Heaney had his team down 4-1 after two innings, the Yankees lone run off the bat of Aaron Judge, a screaming blast recording his 23rd home run of the season.
However, lurking in the dugout shadows were Rougned Odor, who would hit a two-run home run off former Met Chris Flexen to bring the Yankees to within a run – but the Yankees were not done.
It was Odor, too, who later told YES commentator Merideth Marokovits on the field after the Yankees win today, “We’re like a family now,” and maybe that says more than any of these words can say.
With Gary Sanchez not available and on the COVID disqualified list along with Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery, the Yankees manager said the hell with it – sending his backup catcher up as a pinch hitter.
As it happens when a team like the Yankees are hot, Kyle Higashioka smashed a ground-rule double to left field scoring Gleyber Torres, tying the game at four.
Yankees: If It’s Luck, We’ll Take It
Call it luck, whatever, but when Anthony Rizzo proceeded to ground into a double play, bringing Higashioka in with the go-ahead run, the game once again sent Aaron Boone to his much-taxed bullpen.
Whatever the outcome of the game, and I’m writing this as play is underway, this Yankees team is not the same team we spoke about three months ago, much less even two weeks ago. Spoiler: The Yankees Win.
Like the one incurred today, Deficits are met with a relaxation that wasn’t there before Brian Cashman added Rizzo and Joey Gallo to the team at the trade deadline.
It wasn’t only those particular players as much as it showed the players in the clubhouse that the team brass had their back, and now it was up to them to do what Hal Steinbrenner had told them weeks ago (paraphrasing) – “It’s on you guys.”
Fast forward today and a Yankees bullpen consisting of Joely Rodriguez, Clay Holmes, who was traded on July 26 by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the New York Yankees for Diego Castillo (minors) and Hoy Park.
It was a move that raised eyebrows in Yankees circles for giving up Park, but the Yankees believed in his 95 MPH four-seamer and cutter, leading to three K’s in 1.1 innings while throwing 12 of 15 pitches for strikes.
The icing on the cake came when Jonathan Loasiaga turned in a perfect closeout inning, replacing Aroldis Chapman, who is now on the Yankee’s IL for an indeterminate length of time.
We all see the immediate future with the team completing a sweep of the Mariners tomorrow when rookie Luis Gil makes a start on the back of a brilliant six-inning outing, but…
Yankees: Too Much Too Soon, Though?
Maybe, and the Yankees have teased their fans before this season.
The team’s starting pitching is still suspect, and no one can predict how Cole and Montgomery will pitch when they return, nor can Aaron Boone continue to rely on his bullpen to carry the weight – not to mention even when the season carries into October.
The Yankees’ run is real, though, and it’s something the Red Sox can’t claim for themselves as their current dive continues.
Seven games with the equally hot Toronto Blue Jays remain on the Yankees’ schedule, six with the Red Sox, and then the final three of the regular season at Yankee Stadium with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Still, the only game that matters is the one the Yankees play tomorrow afternoon against the Mariners.
But, ain’t this fun…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Terry Smith He (Heaney) did a great job
Frank Kovach He’s teachable (Yankees think the same)
Doug Bower Gee…don’t go overboard with the praise It’s all part of the process, no more no less.
Kevin Caldwell It takes some guys a little time to get used to NY. Seems like he was better today than against the Os.
Orlando Fontanez That H.R. by A-Judge plus the 4 shutout innings by Andrew Heaney paid dividends.