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Judge Rises to the Occasion in 4-1 Yankees win

Image Credit: Robert Rizzo/Latino Sports

Bronx, New York- Aaron Judge and the Yankees are coming off a six-game road stand which resulted in a 3-3 record in Baltimore and Detroit. This weekend, the Bronx Bombers host the Cleveland Guardians in a three-game set at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees, who have struggled out of the gate offensively this season, must get the bats going. On the other side, the Guardians led by José Ramírez, who already has 20 runs batted in, are off to a phenomenal offensive start. Cleveland is tearing the leather off the baseball. The Guardians have a lot of momentum riding with them as they enter the Bronx. 

Team Ranks in MLB on Offense – Guardians vs Yankees – (Stats based from 4/22)

Guardians

118 Hits – 2nd in MLB                                 

.280 Batting Average – 2nd in MLB                    

.346 On Base Percentage – 3rd in MLB      

Yankees

94 Hits – T17th in MLB

.220 Batting Average – 20th in MLB

.301 On Base Percentage – 18th in MLB

In Friday’s matchup, Jameson Taillon took the mound with 41,062 fans at Yankee Stadium. For the Guardians, Eli Morgan began the game on the bump, but only lasted 3 innings with two earned runs on 51 total pitches. You could not ask for a better April night in the Bronx with weather in the 60 degree range and little to no wind. 

CLE Guardians: Bryan Lavastida – Hialeah, Florida 

Image Credit: Major League Baseball

On Friday night in the top of the third inning, Bryan Lavastida snuck a ground ball to right field, which marked his first hit in the major leagues for his career. The young 23 year-old Lavastida is a durable catcher who provides speed on the bases. In 84 games played last season with the Akron RubberDucks (AA) and Columbus Clippers (AAA), he totaled 83 hits and 16 stolen bases. 

All Rise Judge – Opposite Field Two-Run HR

In the bottom of the third, Yankees took the lead 2-0 from an Aaron Judge opposite field two-run home run, which scored DJ Lemahieu. Yankee Stadium erupted as Judge smashed a 3-1 fastball off Guardians pitcher Eli Morgan. 

Franmil Reyes Clobbers Solo Home Run

Image Credit: Major League Baseball

With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Franmil Reyes delivered an opposite field home run to split the Guardians deficit in half, 2-1. Reyes is from Palenque, Dominican Republic, and displays that unique Dominican firepower in the batter’s box. His swing path+hitting mechanics remind me of Minnesota Twins, Miquel Sanó as well as Chicago White Sox, Eloy Jiménez. 

IKF Setting a Trend

Yankees shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa added his mark to this matchup in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two on base, IKF singled to center field, scoring Josh Donaldson and moving Gleyber Torres to third. This added to the Yankees lead making for 3-1. In his last eight games, Kiner-Falefa is 11-26 with two doubles and two runs batted in. 

Yankees Starting Pitcher: Jameson Taillon’s Final Line on the Night

5 innings pitched, 7 hits, 1 earned run, 5 strikeouts – 84 pitches, 57 strikes

All Rise Judge Once Again

Image Credit: Major League Baseball

In his next at-bat, Judge seemed to have his weight loaded and waited back just a tad more compared to his first HR of the night. On a 3-2 count, Judge delivered a shot off Cleveland reliever Tanner Tully to the bleacher creatures’ vicinity. After five, the Yankees led 4 -1. This marked Judge’s 17th multi-home run game of his seven year career.  

Judge added to the night on defense by gunning down Andres Giménez, who attempted to advance from first to third on a Steven Kwan single in the top of the 5th inning. 

“Sometimes he tells me, he’s got us, but he kind of gave me that look right before the game like I got this. He was great.” stated by Yankees manager Aaron Boone in regards to Judges performance.

The King’s Ransom

Image Credit: Major League Baseball

RHP Michael King had a sensational appearance out of the bullpen when the Yankees needed it most. King entered Friday’s game in the 6th inning up 4-1, and never looked back. He completed three dominant innings allowing just one hit with eight strikeouts. 

Yankees closer, Aroldis Chapman entered the ninth with a save opportunity in front of him. Guardians RF, Josh Naylor led off with a double down the right field line, making the Yankees prepared for yet another difficult three outs ahead. Chapman carried the load, forcing a groundout, followed by two consecutive strikeouts to end the ballgame. The flamethrower Chapman, has only allowed two hits and nine strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched this season. The Yankees won 4-1 and now move to an 8-6 record. 

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