CC Sabathia battled through five innings today and only gave up one earned run. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he pitched well enough to give the Yankees a chance. The Yankee’ bullpen then came in and held the Rays scoreless for the remaining four innings. Dellin Betances picked up his second save of the season and looked dominate while doing it. This is a good sign as last year Betances struggled in the closer role, but so far so good this year, hopefully he can keep it up until Aroldis Chapman comes back in about a month. The Yankee’ offense did not look great today, Chris Archer basically shut them down as he struck out 12 Yankees in six and 1/3 innings pitched. However, Didi Gregorius delivered a big RBI single and Brett Gardner delivered what ended up being the game winning two run home run in the second inning. With the starting pitching going through a bit of a slump right now the Yankees are going to have to lean on their offense and bullpen more than they have.
Biggest Offensive Play of the Game
This one is pretty obvious as there was not a lot of offense to speak of in this game. Brett Gardner’s two run homer in the second inning was the difference in this game. Gardner has been on fire in the last couple of weeks and he continued that today with another home run. This has been huge for the Yanks because when a lead off guy is getting on base he sets everyone else up in the lineup. It is also nice to see Gardner’s power surge this year, that was already his eighth home run of the year, he only had seven all of last year. A couple of weeks ago I thought Brett Gardner was done and oh man was I wrong he has really come alive and looks like his old self again.
Biggest Out of the Game
The Rays never really threatened in this game so I am going to go with Aaron Judge’s unbelievable catch in the sixth inning. Judge made a game saving diving catch in the gap to rob Evan Longoria of an RBI double that would have tied the game. Corey Dickerson was on first base and saw RBI double all the way so he was off to the races so he could score. Then out of nowhere Aaron Judge made one of the best defensive plays of the year and was able to double up Dickerson in the process who was rounding third when Judge caught the ball. Judge continues to prove he is an all around ball player and one that can stick in right field for years to come. He didn’t have a great day at the plate today, but still impacted the game with his glove as if he had not caught that ball the game would have been tied. So, in essence Judge saved the game with this play because as I mentioned earlier the Yankees were really struggling at the plate today.
Questionable Move of the Game
Not much to question in this game, but one thing that stood out to me was when Girardi brought Dellin Betances in in the eighth inning to relieve Tyler Clippard who got two quick outs and looked fine. Of course Betances didn’t give up any runs and got the last out quickly, but it’s moments like this where you can try to save bullets in his arm. The Yankees are in the middle of a stretch of games where they do not have an off day until June fifth so these relievers are going to need as much rest as possible. This is especially true with how the Yankees’ starters have been throwing of late as they have given very little length in the past few games. Keep an eye on how Girardi uses Betances in the next few games and how Betances performs. If Girardi is forced to use him three days in a row, which he doesn’t like to do, and Betances blows a lead and looks tired think about this game and how maybe saving a few pitches could have helped him down the road.