by Howie Karpin/The NY Extra/thenyextra.com
For one night, anyway, the Yankees looked like a real baseball team.
Jameson Taillon was fabulous in his longest outing of the season, the offense clicked and the Yankees had a much needed 12-1 “laugher” over the Mariners in Seattle last night.
Coming into the game, Taillon had an ERA of 11.12 in road games, but he was was aggressive with his stuff, which was dynamic, and he attacked the hitters all night long.
The right hander threw first pitch strikes to 18 of the 26 batters he faced and he tied a season high with nine strikeouts while going through the lineup a third time in tossing seven strong innings. (1R, 4H, 1BB) Previously, Taillon was being lit up for a .351 average by opposing hitters, the third time through.
This was the Taillon that the Yankees were expecting when they signed him.
“That was big pick me up. I thought he was probably as good as he’s been and the mix of pitches, the quality of really all his pitches,” Manager Aaron Boone said on the post game zoom. “Used the two seamer and the four seamer, you know the curve ball was there. The slider and the change up were both good pitches for him as well tonight but I just thought pounding the strike zone but mixing up his looks all the time.”
Luke Voit had his first career five hit game to lead an 18-hit attack. Everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit, except for Gary Sanchez, who walked twice as the Yankees reached season highs in runs and hits. “He’s [Voit] huge for us. Just adding the length, the tough at bats he brings,” Boone said. “He did a good job using the field tonight. He hasn’t used right field a lot here in the last week or so, right away he goes the other way for a hit that way, hits the double off the fence that way so it’s good to see him using the whole field.”
D.J. LeMahieu is returning to form with three hits. Last year’s batting champion has hit in 20 of his last 22 games (.337 clip) and has raised his batting average over that span from .251 to .271.
Mariners left hander Justus Sheffield came into the game with a 5.88 ERA, while right handed hitters were putting up a slash line of .317/.382/.535 against the former Yankee prospect.
From the start, Sheffield was offering “meat” for the predominantly right handed Yankee lineup and they were taking huge bites. The Yankees wasted no time in taking advantage of a struggling pitcher, something they haven’t done a whole lot of this season.
LeMahieu led off the game with a single. With one out, Gary Sanchez walked and Giancarlo Stanton gave the Yankees a quick 3-0 lead in the first with a missile that clanged off the second deck at T-Mobile Park.
In the second, the Yankees scored three more on a wild pitch and a two run single by Voit. They added two runs in the third on LeMahieu’s RBI single and Aaron Judge’s RBI double for an 8-0 lead. “We needed to come out early and give Jameson some cushion,” Voit said on the Yes Network after the game.
Rougned Odor hit a three run homer in the eighth to cap off the scoring as the Yankees went 7 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
Boone had the low leverage situation he needed to get Aroldis Chapman an opportunity to “get his mind right.” The hard throwing left hander had some problems but, this time he was able to wiggle out of a self created jam.
Chapman’s first pitch to Ty France was lined to right center field for a single. After Jake Fraley struck out on a 3-2 pitch, Chapman walked Luis Torrens on a 3-2 pitch, an at-bat that featured a fastball that flew way over Sanchez’ head. After Dylan Moore walked on four pitches to load the bases, Chapman fanned Shed Long to end it.
So is Chapman back in good standing after this outing?
“I want to continue to get him out there this week,” Boone said. “It could be in a closing situation or could be in a different kind of situation. Just to get him back out there, get him on the mound and get him kinda locked back in”
The Yankees exhaled and, for one night anyway, they were able to enjoy a well played game and a good start to a crucial stretch of the season.