New York Yankees Weekly Recap + ESM Yankee Players of the Week 8/5-8/11

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

Weekly Recap:

After coming off a four-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees made short work of the Baltimore Orioles with a sweep at Camden Yards. The bombers outscored the last-place Orioles 32-12 in three games, now sitting at 13-2 against their division rivals. This also includes a perfect 10-0 record at Camden Yards. The last time the Yankees lost to the Orioles was on March 31, the third game of 2019 for both squads.

From Baltimore, they traveled to Toronto, though did not fare as well against the Blue Jays. Despite winning the opener 12-6, they would drop the next two by scores of 8-2 and 5-4. In the finale, the Yankees would take the lead in the fifth on a Brett Gardner ground-rule double but had to endure a 13-pitch battle between closer Aroldis Chapman and Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to scrape away a 1-0 victory.

On the week, the New York Yankees finished 5-2 as they continue to lock down the A.L. East and look towards October. Here are the division standings entering Monday:

A.L East Standings (As of 8/12):

New York (A.L.): 77-41

Tampa Bay: 69-50, 8.5 Games Back

Boston: 62-58, 16 Games Back

Toronto: 49-72, 29.5 Games Back

Baltimore: 39-78, 37.5 Games Back

Gary Sanchez returns from I.L.:

The New York Yankees’ lineup received reinforcements on Saturday when catcher Gary Sanchez was activated from the 10-day I.L. Sanchez had been on the I.L. since July 24 with a Grade 1 Groin Strain, his third groin injury in the past two seasons. In his two games back last week, Sanchez went 1-for-7, his one hit being a 426-foot solo home run in Toronto.

Injury Updates on Severino, Betances:

Sanchez isn’t the reinforcements the New York Yankees will receive, as both Luis Severino and Dellin Betances are making significant progress in hopes of making their 2019 debuts. While in Toronto, Severino threw a 29-pitch bullpen, reporting that the session was “better than I expected.”

Severino’s session was the first time he has been on a pitcher’s mound since March when he went down with right shoulder inflammation, followed by a Grade 2 Lat Strain. This comes after signing a four-year, $40 million extension that has him under team control until 2022.

Betances meanwhile threw a 20-pitch session, reporting similar results. The four-time all-star went on the I.L. in March with right shoulder impingement. He had initially resumed throwing in early June but soon was shut down again after an MRI revealed a low-level lat strain. Betances was set to be a free agent at the end of the year, but his absence may result in a short term extension.

And now, it is once again time for…

Empire Sports Media’s Yankee Players of the Week:

Gio Urshela:

5 games, 9-20 (.450), 5 HR, 10 RBI, 8 Runs Scored, 1.300 SLG %

Mike Tauchman:

7 games, 10-24 (.417), 5 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 7 Runs Scored, 1.125 SLG %

For the second straight week, ESM presents your CO-Yankees of the Week! This time, the honor goes to Mike “the Sockman” Tauchman, as well as Mean (Woo!) Gio Urshela.

Despite starting the week recovering from a pair of pitches fouled off of both legs in the series finale against Boston, Urshela made up for lost time with back-to-back multi-homer games against Baltimore and Toronto. Entering Monday’s doubleheader against Baltimore, Mean Gio is hitting .323 with 17 home runs, 61 RBI, and a .940 OPS.

The Sockman had a very similar week in terms of production, also hitting five dingers and driving in 10. Entering Monday, Tauchman is batting .300 with 12 home runs, 41 RBI, and a .960 OPS.

Honorable Mentions (Not In Order):

Brett Gardner:

6 games, 9-23 (.391), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 Runs Scored, 1.243 OPS, 1 Interesting Ejection

Another solid week is in the books for the longest-tenured Yankee, though it came with some fireworks. During game two of the four-game series with Toronto, many in the Yankees dugout were chirping at home plate umpire Chris Segal over questionable strike calls. The result was Segal throwing out a player who wasn’t involved, namely Gardner.

Upon realizing what had happened, the veteran outfielder stormed out of the dugout and had to be restrained by Aaron Boone as he ripped the young umpire.  Gardner did hit his bat into the dugout ceiling but never said a word to Segal before the ejection.

But the ejection itself was not the source of Gardner’s anger, but rather what came of it. After his ejection, Aaron Judge, who was in the midst of a slump, was brought in as a defensive replacement.

“The whole thing is Judgey finally getting a much needed day off,” Gardner said after the Yankees lost 8-2 that day, “He has to go into the game in the fourth inning because of what happened. That makes me madder than anything. The last thing I would do is intentionally get thrown out and him having to come off the bench like that.”

Two days later, Gardner got his revenge thanks to an RBI ground-rule double in the fifth, the only offense for either side in a 1-0 bomber victory.

Masahiro Tanaka:

Vs. Baltimore (8/5): ND, 5.1 Innings, 10 Hits, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

Vs. Toronto (8/11): W, 8.0 Innings, 3 Hits, 4 SO

Despite giving up five earned runs in his previous start against Baltimore, Tanaka Time in Toronto was a good time Yankee fans. Through eight shutout innings, he allowed only three hits and struck out four. For his career, Tanaka is now 13-5 with a 2.69 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 123.2 Innings against Toronto.

James Paxton:

Vs. Baltimore (8/7): W, 6.2 Innings, 5 Hits, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO

Typically when James Paxton had a quality start this year, the offense couldn’t back him up. That wasn’t the case last Wednesday in Baltimore, as the bombers put up 14 runs in a 14-2 victory. That was more than enough for the Big Maple, who would allow only one run and strike out seven through six and two-thirds innings. This start ended up being Paxton’s second straight quality start.

D.J. LeMahieu:

7 games, 9-28 (.321), 1 HR, 5 RBI

Cameron Maybin:

5 games, 8-22 (.364), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 6 Runs Scored, 1.119 OPS