The Yankees started every game in Pittsburgh by giving up the lead in the very 1st inning of each of the three games. It’s not going to be easy to win a road series when you’re playing catch-up the entire time. Quite frankly, the Yankees were lucky to be in each game until their last at-bat, but that’s due in-part to a lot of sloppy defense on Pittsburgh’s part.
Game 2 was a blast to watch as a Yankee fan, but the series opener and finale were frustrating. None of the starting pitchers for the Yankees brought their A game, but surprisingly Jordan Montgomery had the best of the three starts, as he battled through 6, and didn’t give up any homers, which C.C. and Pineda did. This was also the Yankees’ worst showing from their bullpen. Warren finally gave up a run, Holder looked lost at times, and Clippard was inconsistent between games. They held the one lead they had, but they even struggled when they kept the score in place (see: Bryan Mitchell loading the bases in Game 3).
The bats weren’t exactly quiet (double-digit hits in the first two games), but when you’re facing a team who has 6 errors in 3 games, you have to capitalize on more chances to be successful.
The Yankees Top 3 Stars of the Series
- * Jacoby Ellsbury: He’s reached base in 24-Straight games going back to 2016, and had 6 hits with a walk in this series. He was also robbed of a walk in the 9th inning of Game 3, which would have made him the tying run, but that’s another story. Ellsbury has been maintaining his strongest start as a Yankee, and continues to make my favorite number (22) look strong.
- ** Aaron Judge: Banging 460 footers makes you a star… PERIOD. He’s little leap into the wall to make a catch in right-center field was probably his nicest defensive play yet. You can already see teams holding runners due to his arm-strength, so that’s always plus. He was the last at-bat in the Yankees first loss to the Pirates, but then started a rally in the 9th inning of the final game. There’s a lot to like about Judge, and the dude already has 6 home runs, and 13 RBI, this year.
- *** Ronald “The Big Toe” Torreyes: Hit in every game this series, and was a catalyst in the Game 2 win with 4 hits in 5 at-bats. It’s crazy that he’s played so well that he has prompted reporters to ask Girardi if Didi Gregorious’ spot is safe. Of course Didi is safe, but Torreyes making it a question shows how clutch he has been stepping up to start 2017.
Aroldis Chapman: Another save (4), and he’s still got that 0.00 ERA. Coming back with a World Series might have somehow improved Chapman’s performance.
Starlin Castro: The man with the most at-bats on the team (70), and the highest batting average (.357). Castro is tied with Big Toe and Judge for the team lead in RBI with 13, and he’s been showing power with his 4 HRs. His error in Game 1 didn’t factor into the outcome, but you could see him being a little nonchalant when he flicked his wrist at the ball. He may get some chances to DH if Torreyes needs to get into the field when Didi returns.
Austin Romine: One of the top hitting Catchers in the league right now with his .324 batting average. Like Torreyes, I can’t say enough about how clutch Romine has been as an injury replacement for Sanchez.