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Playoff Vibes: Tanaka And The Yankees Pen Combine To Shut Down The Red-Hot Indians And Get a Massive W

Cleveland Indians v New York Yankees

Yankees 3 Indians 2

Last night had a big playoff vibe the whole way through. Minimal runs, timely hits, and clutch pitching. It was nice to get through a top of the first inning without giving up 7 runs. If we could implement that moving forward we might have something here folks.

For the second straight outing, Masahiro Tanaka was nails. It seems he’s really starting to find that new grip he’s been seeking with his splitter. I thought on Friday night he had his best movement in a while. If you take away his at bats versus Jose Ramirez, he allowed just one base runner. Ramirez is just a menace right now and has to be pitched around plain and simple. It’s gotten out of control. But as for Tanaka, he was superb on Friday and has given this rotation a boost over the last week or so. Friday was Tanaka summed up best. You don’t want him against the White Sox in June, but a mid-August game against a red hot Indians club fresh off a blow out win? Yep, he’s exactly the guy you want with the ball.

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The Yankees did scrap together 10 hits, but the Indians made some big pitches with men on to limit the damage. In the 5th however, needing an insurance run desperately, Gio Urshela laced a two out pitch to right and put enough magic spells on it to have Puig bobble it and allow Judge to come around free of harm.

Urhsela’s out of this world fairytale movie season continues. He’s now up to .342/.383/.587 good enough for a .970 OPS. I mean what in the world are we witnessing here? I never want Gio Urshela out of my life. The dude has 339 at bats this year. This is real. He’s just a really, really good hitter who is just figuring it all out now. Cleveland and Toronto you idiots!

I thought the biggest outs of the night came via the arm of Tommy Kahnle. Ramirez was standing on second with one out as Kipnis and Reyes came to the plate in the 7th. Bulldog Tommy went on to dispatch them with no problem. Gas face 98 mph upstairs to Kipnis and his devastating 92 mph changeup to get Reyes out in front.

The fastball to Kipnis was the only non-changeup he threw in the 10 pitch sequence to both hitters. That’s how good the Kahnle changeup is. You know it’s coming and he still misses your bat. It’s so nice having vintage Kahnle back this year.

The play of the game without question was this Brett Gardner catch in the 8th inning. Mike Ford had just made a brutal error at first by just dropped a bare handed throw from Didi. It sort of sucked the life out of the stadium for a second. Lindor put a drive into one to right center but Gardner raced over at the last second to make an outstanding catch and save the lead. I hope Ford gave him the biggest hug of all time in the dugout afterwards. That could have been ugly.

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Aroldis Chapman came in the 9th to face the heart of the Indians order. A leadoff walk brought all the anxiety in the world to Yankees fans faces, but Chapman locked in and shut the door, ending the game on a 102 mph tailing fastball. Virtually unhittable.

August Chapman has been unstoppable. He’s back to being completely dominant. 7 IP 0.00 ERA .125 opponent batting average 12K 2BB. Thank God.

The last bit of great news last nightn was that Aaron Judge looked like Aaron Judge. The right fielder reached base three times, with two rockets off the bat. His only out was a line drive hit on the nose to right. Thursday may have been rock bottom for Judge with his 4 strikeouts and helpless feel at the plate. Friday was a big step in the right direction. I mean he even pulled a ball for crying out loud! Let’s hope he can build off this. All it takes is one night to get the confidence back in that head of his.

Paxton on the bump Saturday. He’s looked like a different guy of late, but that still doesn’t mean we’re not talking “Yes” runs in the first inning bet.