Upon arriving in Cincinnati, the Yankees promptly secured the first game of the series in an expedited evening of baseball.
The team’s offense delivered, the pitching team maintained control in critical moments, and Aaron Judge continued his formidable run of form.
Schmidt offered a commendable performance tonight, though the notion of obtaining more than five innings from him seems to be an unrealistic expectation. The Yankees have been exhibiting impressive form recently, with even victories against teams like Cincinnati carrying equal weight.
The Yankees’ pitching was exceptional:
One of Schmidt’s better performances of the season was evident tonight, although, as the innings progressed, he encountered some difficulties. I firmly believe his potential is maximized as a reliever. With Severino’s imminent return, it will be intriguing to see how the Yankees manage their rotation.
Schmidt pitched 5.0 innings, allowing two runs — which Cordero conceded following a Fraley double — and striking out six batters. All things considered, I would deem it a successful outing.
After Schmidt exited with runners on base, Jimmy Cordero entered the game, surrendering a 2R double, but regained his composure thereafter. The Yankees maintained a 3-2 lead, and from that point, they were in firm control of the game. Cordero has proven to be a valuable asset this season, with his strikeout ending a critical inning. He has been reliable, and the team frequently utilizes him in a role similar to Luetge’s last season. Following Cordero, Albert Abreu delivered a solid frame before handing over to Wandy for the 8th.
Wandy appeared reinvigorated, displaying top form as he effortlessly navigated through the 8th inning. He managed two strikeouts and a check swing groundout, taking us to the 9th. Although Wandy occasionally has a rough outing, he’s usually stellar. The bullpen is already exceptional, and it’s set to improve as reinforcements arrive and players overcome their challenges. After Wandy, Clay Holmes seamlessly closed out the game to secure the save.
Judge and the offense put on an impressive display:
Judge continued his extraordinary form, launching a solo home run in the first inning, setting the tone for the rest of the game. His home run, the 13th of the season, marked his 7th in seven games. A surging Judge is a significant boost for the offense; when he’s in form, he’s arguably the best hitter in baseball. Achieving a repeat MVP season is no small feat, but if anyone can accomplish it, it’s Judge. Despite missing some time, he’s already amassed 2.0 fWAR this season.
Rizzo also made his presence felt amidst Judge’s impressive streak, smashing a 2R homer, extending the lead sufficiently for the offense to settle in and tally additional insurance runs later. Rizzo has proven to be a vital asset for the team, with his defensive contributions far surpassing last season’s. Volpe also added a hit of his own, while Oswaldo Cabrera reached base on a beautiful bunt that stayed fair down the third-base line. Gleyber also managed a walk during the game and currently boasts a .760 OPS for the season.
Higashioka delivered the final blow with a crucial two-out, two-run double to extend the lead to three. Following that, Harrison Bader added another with an RBI single.
Scoring six runs is a noteworthy achievement, irrespective of the competition. It’s heartening to see the team sustaining their momentum, even when leading by a mere run. With Judge back in the lineup, the team continues to perform admirably, demonstrating that when they’re at their best, they pose a formidable challenge for any adversary. Despite the occasional stumble, the past few weeks have been marked by stellar performances from the team.
There’s something unique about this Yankees team that gives me the impression this year might hold something different. Currently, the team stands at a 27-20 record for the season.
If it weren’t for the intense rivalry in the AL East, the media’s portrayal of this squad might be decidedly different. Giancarlo Stanton is on the brink of a comeback and is expected to commence his rehabilitation assignment shortly. In addition, Tommy Kahnle made his debut appearance with Tampa yesterday.
Furthermore, Severino is set to pitch on Sunday, and we continue to receive promising updates on Carlos Rodón. The team is receiving additional support just in time for the demanding stretch of the season, perfectly timed to boost their performance.