It was a team-wide effort on Tuesday night as every hitter except Aaron Judge had at least one hit, the defense flashed leather all over the pitch and Jordan Montgomery stopped two of the best baseball players. Buoyed by this widespread success, the New York Yankees won Game 1 of that three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, 9-1, to give their starter their first win of the season.
In many ways, the first run tells the story of the game in miniature. On the first pitch of the game, Taylor Ward popped the ball into foul territory in right field; Joey Gallo covered a lot of ground and caught a running field goal to take out the hard-hitting right fielder. Four pitches later, Shohei Ohtani drilled a 1-2 fastball at 107 mph, a surefire home run to the left center field wall. Luckily for the Yankees, a 6-foot-7 giant was patrolling center field, and he just reached over the wall and turned it into a really long, really strong one.
Montgomery then fanned the next hitter, Mike Trout, on four pitches to put the top of the Angels lineup in order.
The bottom of the first was just as nice for Yankees fans. After DJ LeMahieu’s ground pitch to second for the first out of the inning, the next five batters reached base safely. First, the judge hit a four-length walk. As the big guy ran on the play, Anthony Rizzo doubled into the right center field gap on Trout’s bounding try, allowing Judge to score all the way from first on the play, giving the Yankees a lead. quick 1-0. Gleyber Torres – who has been on fire at the plate lately, entering the night with an OPS of exactly 1,000 over the last seven games – then brought on Rizzo to score on a double against the wall in left center field ; he was originally ruled a triple, but the Angels successfully disputed that his swing took him out of the bag, and he was ruled out.
Torres’ teammates, however, picked him up immediately. Miguel Andújar curled a single into center field that had everyone saying, “If only Gleyber hadn’t slipped the sack.” Matt Carpenter, coming to the board for the first time in the home stripes, cured that craving by nailing his second home run of the season, a not-quite-93.3-mph porch job that traveled 356 feet and had an xBA of just .150.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa retired in the third to end the inning, but the damage was already done and the Yankees had an early 4-0 lead.
After Montgomery faced the minimum at the start of the second, the team got back to work at the end of the second. Gallo kicked the ball off with a one-out single to left field, going all the way to score from first when LeMahieu drilled in a left double.
Torres continued his big day by leading the bottom of the third with a single, then he continued his night of terrible luck by appearing to injure his left shoulder while getting sent off trying to steal the second. Torres grabbed his shoulder after pinning it in Luis Rengifo’s left leg while sliding headfirst into the second base sack. Fortunately, despite immediately disappears down the tunnel to the locker room with the coach, Torres returned and played the rest of the game without a hitch; Still, given the number of injuries the Yankees have faced in recent weeks, it’s something to watch for over the next few days.
Although the Yankees threatened in the fourth, loading the bases with one out and Judge and Rizzo owed, they didn’t repel a run until the sixth, and again they did after the first batter recorded a withdrawal. This time it was Jose Trevino who kicked things off with a one-out single, advancing to third when Gallo threw a 102 mph double off the start in the right corner of the field; it was the outfielder’s first multi-hit game since May 13 against the White Sox. Then LeMahieu scalded a groundball at second base. With Trevino running into contact, Rengifo kicked the ball home. The throw beat the runner by half a mile, but through some Ichiro-like sorcery, Trevino managed to avoid the tag and score.
Gallo placed third on the play and would score himself on a sacrifice fly from the judge to extend the lead to 7-0.
As the offense crashed into Noah Syndergaard and Kenny Rosenberg, Montgomery put it on cruise control against one of the toughest offenses in the American League. His last line is pretty impressive — a run on four hits in seven innings, striking out four (including Ohtani and Trout) and walking just one — but that really doesn’t do his performance justice. The southpaw never had any problems, allowing only one extra hit (a solo shot by Rengifo in the 7th inning) and facing only one batter with a runner in scoring position all the way. along the sleeve.
Of course, part of what made the night so easy for Monty was that the defense behind him came in to play. In addition to the two first-inning games mentioned at the top of the recap, plenty of other Yankees flashed leather tonight. First, you teamed up Trevino and Rizzo to catch Matt Duffy wandering too far from the first base sack to complete the second inning.
In the fifth, Torres made an elegant play, going wide to his right and making an off-balance throw to catch Max Stassi early for the second out of the inning.
And then in the sixth, IKF stole Trout an RBI single across the left side of the infield, diving to his right and throwing a strike to first base to end the inning and keep the shutout intact.
Miguel Castro came on as a relief for Montgomery in the eighth, and he immediately set about making every Yankees fan sweat for a reason other than the scorching heat of the night. Juan Lagares started the inning with a brace, and old friend and Bronx native Andrew Velazquez singled to put the runners in the corners with no one and the top of the order due. Castro, however, knocked out Ward and prompted smooth outs to center field by Ohtani and Trout to get out of his self-induced troubles.
Concerned about the bullpen’s tendency to make things interesting lately, the squad took matters into their own hands in the bottom of the eighth. Kiner-Falefa started the inning with a single. Trevino then capped off a big night with his third home run of the season, a 379-foot blast into the left field seats.
It was now 9-1 in favor of the Yankees, and although David McKay did his best to make it interesting by loading the bases in the top of the ninth, that’s where the score would ultimately hold.
Montgomery finally gets his first victory of the season, just in time for the end of May (in a fair world, that would have happened a long time ago), while Syndergaard is marked by defeat. With the win, the Yankees improve to a whopping 34-15, 19 full games over .500. They’re looking to bring that down to 8 p.m. even tomorrow night, when Nestor Cortes takes on Reid Detmers, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.
The score of the box.