ALDS Game 4 is here, and it’s the good kind of elimination game: the Yankees can go home and the Rays cam move onto the ALCS if they win tonight. Ryan Thompson opens for the Rays against Jordan Montgomery starting for the Yankees.
7:10 pm: First pitch, go Rays!
Top 1st: Yandy! Third pitch of the game and he’s on base with a single. Too bad it doesn’t matter since Brandon Lowe swung at the fourth pitch of the game and grounded into a double play.
I think the Yankees heard about Randy Arozarena’s ability to hit the fastball, because Montgomery struck him out with a called strike and back-to-back whiffs at curveballs.
Bottom 1st: WHAT A STOP BY JOEY WENDLE, it almost prevented a leadoff baserunner, but a short-hop and missed pick at first allowed LeMahieu to reach base.
Thompson struck out Aaron Judge with a pretty nice inside four-seamer before Aaron Hicks grounded out to record the second out.
Whew, Thompson did it again, this time to Giancarlo Stanton to end the inning.
Top 2nd: Nobody told Jordan Montgomery to pitch like New York’s #4 starter, because he quickly put the first two hitters in the inning down on groundouts before striking Joey Wendle out to end the inning with only 20 pitches thrown.
Bottom 2nd: Well, Luke Voit finally got into one. 1-0 Yankees. And Brett Gardner walks, so I’m not sure how much longer Thompson has out there. Turns out he’ll stay out to walk two more batters and load the bases for Kyle Higashioka.
At this point you might as well leave the groundball pitcher in there and hope he can find the zone or induce a grounder. Doesn’t matter, he struck out the Yankees catcher!
Now it’s DJ LeMahieu and I have no idea what I’d do when it comes to leaving Thompson out there or bringing Yarbrough in. I’ll take a sacrifice fly, it’s better than a grand slam. 2-0 Yankees and now Yarbrough comes in to face Aaron Judge with the bases still loaded.
Grounder to third and the inning is over, phew.
Top 3rd: Willy drew a leadoff walk you love to see it, let’s get those runs back.
KK!!! A ground-rule double over Gardner’s head puts two runners in scoring position with no outs . Zunino’s up and a three-run home run would be quite nice. Full count... Strikeout. Can Yandy do something here? A walk works, loading the bases for Brandon Lowe.
Just please don’t hit into another double play. He didn’t, although he almost did, grounding out but allowing Willy to score to make it a one-run game. Randy grounded out to end the inning.
Bottom 3rd: Aaron Hicks singled to start the inning and baserunners are the last thing you want when Giancarlo Stanton is on deck. What you do want is Stanton to ground into a double play and Luke Voit to groundout after that, and that’s exactly what happened.
Top 4th: Ji-Man Single! Willy two-out walk! Kiermaier inning-ending groundout!
Bottom 4th: Another leadoff baserunner for the Yankees as Brett Gardner singles. Gleyber Torres hurt himself with a foul ball off his shin, and Yarbrough took advantage, getting Torres to fly out. Gardner was stranded at first to end the inning, so despite the couple of leadoff runners, Yarby looks sharp so far.
Top 5th: Mike Zunino hit a loud, and I mean loud flyout that I was convinced was gone, but it only went 345 feet. Yandy struck out looking on a dotted pitch by new pitcher Chad Green. Brandon Lowe, who looks completely lost at the plate, also struck out.
Bottom 5th: Finally the leadoff guy didn’t get on as DJ LeMahieu grounded out, but Aaron Judge walked right after him so it’s a moot point. Yarby just needs to keep the runners from coming home. He did that this inning, getting Hicks to pop out and striking out Stanton, who the TBS announcers were just in love with tonight.
Top 6th: If Yarby is going to be smooth sailing then the offense needs to help him out. Too bad they aren’t doing that, as the Rays go down 1-2-3. The clock is ticking...
Bottom 6th: Luke Voit flew out but once again Yarbrough allows a baserunner as Brett Gardner hit a single. There it is. Gleyber Torres makes Yarby pay with a two-run home run to extend the lead to 4-1. It was inevitable with a baserunner reaching every inning so far, and it might be the decisive blow in this game.
Top 7th: Zack Britton comes in for Chad Green who didn’t allow any hits while Mike Brosseau replaced Joey Wendle in response to the pitching change. Brosseau struck out. Adames grounded out. Hunter Renfroe came in for Kevin Kiermaier and Renfroe grounded out. None of those moves worked!
Bottom 7th: Yarbrough stays in, so at the very least he is providing innings for the pitching staff and with a 4-1 game it’s unlikely we’ll see anyone from the ‘A’ bullpen. Judge popped out to Zunino for the first out. Hicks grounded out for out number two.
Stanton, who once again was receiving nothing but high praise from the TBS crew, doubled with two outs. Aaron Slegers is going to enter the game, so Cash is definitely avoiding using any of the highest quality arms tonight, no offense to Slegers. Slegers got Luke Voit out to end the inning.
Top 8th: Britton staying in and at this point all we can hope for if we aren’t going to come back is that Aroldis Chapman is used tonight. Mike Zunino struck out. Yandy struck out. Britton looks to be in prime form. And with that, his outing is over, as the Cuban reliever in question is on his way in. This will at the very minimum have him throw pitches tonight in case he's used tomorrow.
Chapman walked Brandon Lowe, so maybe some hope? Nope. Randy struck out.
Bottom 8th: Slegers is staying in and he struck out Brett Gardner! Torres singled before Urshela lined out, but Higashioka scored Torres with an RBI single to make it 5-1 .
DJ LeMahieu hit a perfect single to right field and Aaron Judge reached on a Mike Brosseau to load the bases, and I’ll tell you what, the effort has completely disappeared at this point in the game. Aaron Hicks hit a long flyout to right that was a foot from leaving the yard, but it stays 5-1 as we head to the ninth.
Top 9th: Chapman stays in and Choi pops out. Margot lines out to center for the second out. Brosseau’s up and strikes out to end it.
Well, there’s one game left in the series and it’s a must-win for both teams. Kevin Cash more than likely has managed every game this series planning for five games, so let’s hope it pays off. First pitch tomorrow night at 7:10 pm on TBS, both pitchers TBD but it’ll likely be Gerrit Cole vs Blake Snell.