3 best, 2 worst takeaways from Yankees’ extra-inning win over Angels

Aaron Judge with Gleybar Torres and Anthony Volpe with Oswald Peraza after the Yankees beat the Angels on April 19, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.
Sara Molnick
Thursday April 20, 2023

Table of Contents

The Yankees’ 3-2 victory against the Angels serves as a lesson for both the club and its supporters. Aaron Judge denied Ohtani a home run into Monument Park by blocking the ball with his glove. He grabbed the ball with his bare hand after it bounced off his glove that was unable to compress the 111.5-mile-per-hour hit. The action generated MVP shouts for the guy who defeated Ohtani again after winning the award last season.

Jhony Brito threw a strong comeback game to help the Yankees tie the series against the Angels. They needed extra innings, but they held strong. The offense was nearly totally accounted for in the first inning until the walk off in the tenth. However, that was sufficient tonight. A 3-2 game required the bullpen to perform, and they did it admirably but with concerns. That was a positive indication for the Yankees, who were into a must-win Game 2.

The Best Takeaways

#1. Anthony Volpe’s speed and defense

Anthony Volpe had “probably his finest game all around so far,” manager Aaron Boone said of the rookie shortstop, who batted leadoff and had two singles, a walk, and a stolen base. He also made two hit-saving defensive plays early in the game.

Getting ahead of Aaron Judge, who bats second and is happy with the order, told Volpe: “I want you in as many scoring positions as can.”

Through the Yankees’ first 18 games, Volpe is currently 8-for-8 in stolen base attempts.

“You could feel him creating havoc on the bases,” said Boone, referring to Volpe’s move up on a wild pitch that narrowly went by the catcher.

Volpe failed to execute it neatly in the 10th but was excellent in the eighth, as he worked hard to progress to 3-2 from 0-2. “He’s a load up there because he doesn’t chase,” Boone said.

2. Jhony Brito’s comeback

Jhony Brito, a rookie right-hander, went 4.1 innings and allowed one run with a stronger sinker and some luck. He was removed from his last start against Minnesota in the first inning at the same Yankee Stadium.

Brito made his first start since giving seven runs and getting just two outs against the Twins on April 13 and had a decent, if flawed, comeback. With 84 pitches, the right-hander pitched 4.1 innings against the Angels, allowing three hits and one earned run.

In his fourth major league start, Brito walked a career-high three batters and struck out three more. This brought his ERA down to 5.40.

“He did a really good job of mixing his sinker and his four-seam fastball and using both sides of the plate,” manager Aaron Boone said of Brito. “He just made a lot of mistakes with the sinker last outing, where he was up with it and it was running back to the heart of the plate a number of times. So I thought today he was better not only north and south, up and down with the four-seam and the sinker, but I thought he was on both sides of the plate with it. His changeup was good. He even got some punchouts with the breaking ball.”

Brito added that he was “missing too much in the middle of the plate” against Minnesota.

3. The bullpen warriors

Michael King took over pitching in the fifth inning and kept going until the seventh. King was great in every way you can think of. He threw for 2.1 innings, struck out four people, and only let three baserunners. It was by far his best game of the season, and his ERA for the season went down to 1.50. This team needs King to be a top player.

For the Yankees to win, Ian Hamilton threw a fast 10th inning. With five walks and two hit batters in 7.2 innings, Holmes’ early season ERA is 4.70. He currently has an ERA of 1.86 this season after his shutout frame to keep the game tied. Hamilton earned a bullpen job out of spring training, and he’s proving it now. That was much needed for the bullpen, which was stretched thin after Schmidt’s effort last night.

Jhony Brito and Anthony Volpe are two youngest MLB players on the Yankees roster.

The worst takeaways

1. Clay Holmes still struggling with command

Yankees relief pitchers turned up swinging strikeouts against Ohtani in two crucial situations. Michael King threw a 2-2 sinker at him that concluded the fifth inning, and Wandy Peralta effected the end of the seventh.

Though Holmes forced Ohtani to walk in the ninth inning after hitting Taylor Ward with a pitch with two outs and the game tied at 2-2. But Holmes came back and struck out Mike Trout with a controversial 3-2 sinker that was overturned on appeal by first base umpire Will Little.

2. Boon is unsure

David Dermer/AP

Boone’s pinch-hitting decisions in the ninth inning revealed a lot about the Yankees’ situation. Boone used Oswald Peraza as a pinch-hitter for Willie Calhoun in the ninth inning against lefty reliever Matt Moore. Later in the game against Moore, Boone brought up Isiah Kiner-Falefa to bat in place of Franchy Cordero.

In the ninth inning, Oswald Peraza pinch-hit for Willie Calhoun and was quickly plunked, giving the Yankees a base runner. After that, Oswaldo Cabrera grounded into a fielder’s choice before stealing second, putting the Yankees in scoring position with the game on the line. Boone then chose to pinch-hit for IKF, who immediately struck out. To say the least, that was a difficult inning to watch.

Tonight’s offensive wasn’t very thrilling, but it was sufficient to get the job done.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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