After starting off the 2021 season in disappointing form, the Yankees have won three of their last four games and their last two games against the Cleveland Indians. Emerging victorious in the first game of a three-game series 6-3, the Yankees prevailed on Friday evening by a score of 5-3.
While their offense hasnâ€™t completely broken out, theyâ€™ve had a few timely runs thanks to some of their sluggers. The Indians, thankfully, are struggling offensively themselves, which has given the Yankees an advantage after having difficult matchups against the Tampa Bay Rays and Blue Jays.
In the win on Friday, Giancarlo Stanton lead the way, hitting two home runs in the third and fifth inning to give the Yankees a nice two-run cushion. No runs were scored after the fifth, and thanks to stellar relief pitching by the Yankees once again, they managed to escape with a victory.
Good news and bad news for the Yankees:
There were a few positives to extract from this game, including Stantonâ€™s two RBIs and home runs. In addition, Clint Frazier looked a little bit more patient at the play, earning two walks and Rougden Odor smashed a two-run homer in the second inning to tie the game at three apiece.
As for the pitching, the bullpen was fantastic, lasting 4.1 innings and allowing just one hit and one walk during the sample size. Lucas Luetge walked away with the victory after Jordan Montgomery struggled over 4.2 innings to hold things down. He allowed four hits and three earned runs, including three walks. While he didnâ€™t give up any long balls, Cleveland did bat him around a bit in the first inning, but Montgomery shut it down immediately after.
While the Yankees would prefer their starters last a bit longer than the 4.2 innings Montgomery gave them, he had to work his way out of a tough first inning and continue on but showed fantastic resilience to dominate after a tough start. A bit reminiscent of Masahiro Tanaka, who normally struggled to open games but picked up steam as the game went on.
The only other negatives to hit on came on the offensive side, as Aaron Hicks struck out twice but did record a hit and an RBI. Aaron Judge struck out twice as his batting average slowly reduces after starting the year on a strong note.
Nonetheless, it was positive to see the Yankees string together a few wins, and hopefully they can walk away with a sweep of the Indians as they prepare for a game on Saturday evening at 6:10 PM.