In his previous four starts, Reynaldo Lopez allowed eight home runs, and his ERA in that stretch was 7.50. You can chalk it up to the fatigue, or lack of focus, or just plain regression. Whatever you call it Lopez has been bad the past 20 days. Coming in tonight against the league leader in homers, Lopez had to figure out a way to keep the ball in play and hopefully bounce back from this challenging stretch.
Only allowing one run over seven innings, in massive thanks to a spectacular home run robbing catch by Adam Engel, Lopez found his groove and had a stellar outing. Unfortunately, the offense struck out 20 times, and the Yankees were able to come up with one more clutch hit to win 4-3 in 13 innings.
Lopez had a no-hitter going through five innings. Only jam he got himself into was the second inning where he walked Gleyber Torres to start the inning and hit Miguel Andujar with a pitch. Lopez was able to escape striking out Neil Walker and inducing a Kyle Higashioka flyout to right field. Higashioka in the fifth inning appeared to give the Yankees their first run with a shot to deep center, but Adam Engel had other ideas. Perfectly timed jump with a full arm extension above the wall and for consecutive nights Engel stole a home run away from a Yankee hitter.
Engel’s in the Outfield! pic.twitter.com/ytBa24vEBe
— MLB (@MLB) August 8, 2018
New York was in a great position in the sixth inning when Aaron Hicks lead it off with a double and advanced to third on a passed ball. With a runner on third and nobody out, Stanton hit a sharp grounder at Yolmer Sanchez covering third. However, he was too far away from running down Hicks and made an off-balance throw to first base that Stanton beat out for an infield single. With runners on the corners, it appeared that the dam would finally burst for Lopez. Instead, Lopez got both Didi Gregorius and Torres to pop out and struck out Greg Bird to come unscathed.
Starting the seventh, Miguel Andujar hit his 15th homer of the season to put a dent into Lopez’s line, but that’s all the damage they could muster. Lopez finished off the seventh and his night allowing just the one earned run on four hits with two walks to six strikeouts. By far a vast improvement in performance compared to his previous four starts.
Unfortunately, the White Sox offense didn’t do much to help support Lopez. Facing old nemesis C.C. Sabathia, the Sox did get on the board first in the third inning as Omar Narvaez walked and Avisail Garcia doubled to put runners in scoring position for Jose Abreu. A deep-ish fly ball to left field was enough for Abreu to drive in Narvaez for the sacrifice fly and giving the Sox a 1-0 lead.
Then came the strikeouts. Lots of strikeouts. Sabathia turned back the clock to his Cleveland days as he struck out 12 batters in just 5.2 innings. The Sox didn’t fare much better against the Yankees bullpen, as they struck out 20 times as a team. Yet, the game went into extras, and it appeared it was in hand for the Bronx Bombers when Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run shot off Tyler Danish in the tenth. With newly acquired Zach Britton on the mound, Abreu provided some heroics by crushing a sinker to deep center for a two-run shot of his own, and the 20th home run of 2018.
Tied 3-3 into the 13th inning, Andujar provided the game-winning hit for New York as he scooped a low breaking pitch from Luis Avilan for an RBI single. Sonny Gray pitched three scoreless innings out of the bullpen, and the Yankees won 4-3.
Record: 41-72 | Box Score
I see you joined the Patrick Nolan haters club. Lopez’ last start v. KC was pretty good. So that’s two in a row by my count.
Did not see the game but checked the box score after the 6th and had a hard time understanding how Sabathia was able to K so many.
Moncada continues to be a mess. Soto, four years younger, killing it for the Nats and could have been had for Sale.
Moncada will be fine, just needs an approach change. Hindsight is 20/20, Juan Soto had played only 51 pro games with 45 of them being in rookie ball at the time of the Sale trade. Not even the Nats knew he would be so good so quickly.
How good would Lopez be if he got to pitch to Moncada, Engel, Leury, Yolmer…?