The los angeles angels (4-3, 3.31 ERA) battled against Masahiro Tanaka (5-2, 4.95 ERA) in the series finale. Richards did not have his command and forced the Angels to depend on their bullpen for most of the game. After yesterday‘s ball game (May 26), where the bats were explosive, this game (May 27) had more of a deliberate pace to it. This was supposed to be Shohei Ohtani‘s start but “workload management” forced the Angels to skip his start and instead had him in the lineup against another Japanese superstar.
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the third inning where it all fell apart for Richards.
After giving up the hardest hit (119.9 MPH) to Aaron Judge, Richards struck out Giancarlo Stanton and walked the next three batters. This included a bases-loaded walk to Aaron Hicks to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Greg Bird came up and had his first RBI of the season after he was plunked with a fastball to make it 2-0. Rookie Miguel Andujar hit a groundball up the middle but Andrelton Simmons fielded it and got the out at second, which allowed Didi Gregorius to score and make it 3-0 Yankees. It was obvious that Angels‘ catcher Martin Maldonado was aggravated with Richards‘ location and pitch selection, resulting in Maldonado making multiple mound visits during the half inning.
In the top half of the sixth, Andrelton Simmons hit a solo home run, his fourth on the season, to put the Angels on the board 3-1.
The scoring ended there as the bullpen of the Yankees was able to hold down the lead and had Aroldis Chapman pick up his 11th save of the season.
Angels‘ manager Mike Scioscia, after not making the playoffs the past few seasons, elected to keep both Justin Upton Jr and Albert Pujols on the bench during the ninth inning while the team had Ohtani on third and the tying run at the plate. The Yankees win the season series 5-1 and the only way these two would face each other again in 2018 would be in the postseason.
The battle of Japan
Two of the biggest players from Japan today are Masahiro Tanaka and Shohei Ohtani and eyes were on that particular matchup. . The first at-bat between the two saw Tanaka get the better of the two with a swinging strikeout on the splitter. The second plate appearance saw Ohtani work a walk in the fourth inning and the final at-bat saw Tanaka strike out Ohtani swinging.
What‘s next for the Yankees?
The Yankees will remain at home as the reigning World Series champs (Houston Astros) come to town. Tomorrow‘s game (May 28) will see Justin Verlander (6-2, 1.08 ERA) and Domingo German (0-2, 5.59 ERA) get the ball for a 1:05 PM ET start on Memorial Day and open up a three-game series.