The Yankees have made themselves at home in Cleveland
Different night, same teams, same story.
For the second night in a row, Cleveland opened up a 3-0 lead in the first inning. But rather than rely on defensive miscues to put runs on the board, the team took advantage of Jordan Montgomery’s inability to find the strike zone. Back-to-back walks put Cesar Hernandez and José Ramírez at first and second before Franmil Reyes barreled a high changeup over the head of Clint Frazier in left field for an RBI double. Eddie Rosario followed with an RBI groundout and Amed Rosario squeezed a sharp grounder through the left side of the infield to score Reyes.
And for the second night in a row, Cleveland blew a 3-0 lead. Logan Allen wasted no time evening the score, serving up a solo shot to Aaron Hicks and a two-run bomb to Rougned Odor the very next half inning. Then he thought he could get away with this 90 mph fastball to Giancarlo Stanton:
Stanton put that fastball on an 118 mph express train to the left field bleachers, giving the Yankees a 4-3 lead in the third inning. After issuing a walk to Aaron Judge and retiring Gleyber Torres on a 102.7 mph lineout, Terry Francona came out to collect Allen, marking his second consecutive third inning exit. If not for a diving catch by Jordan Luplow in right field to rob Gio Urshela of a hit and then double Judge off first to turn a double play, the damage could have been worse.
After securing the final two outs of the third inning, Phil Maton held serve in the fourth, recording three strikeouts in perhaps his best outing of the season thus far. His curveball came to play, notching a 60% CSW%. Unfortunately, Trevor Stephan was not as effective, and thought he could get away with this fastball to Giancarlo Stanton in the fifth inning:
You can guess what Stanton did with that. Cal Quantrill, who has been getting bludgeoned of late, struck out Stanton in the seventh inning. A remarkable achievement.
Whereas the Yankees punished mistakes, Cleveland flailed at them.
Montgomery needed 37 pitches to get through the first inning, and only 51% of those pitches went for strikes. Blood was in the water, but instead of feasting, Cleveland went limp like a dead fish. They failed to register another hit until the fifth inning — with Montgomery still in the game — when Luplow laced a one-out double down the third base line. Of course, he was left stranded. Montgomery managed to retire Hernandez on a checked swing strikeout before giving up an infield single to José to put runners at the corners. He ceded the mound to Lucas Luetge, who proceeded to strike out Reyes on four pitches to end the inning.
Cleveland recorded only one hit in the final four innings and that was promptly erased by a double play. Another abysmal performance from a lineup that could be historically bad.