In the pre-game I mentioned that Royals starter Heath Fillmyer was getting lots of groundballs and pointed out that the Yankees had a severely diminished lineup. So of course they hit four home runs off of Heath Fillmyer in four innings.
It was almost five but Alex Gordon made a leaping attempt at the wall on a deep flyball by Gleyber Torres. Whether Alex would have made the catch or not we’ll never know. A fan also made a play on the ball and deflected it away. It was initially ruled a three-run home run but after umpire review it was determined the fan had interfered with a ball on the field of play.
Fillmyer still gave up six runs in his short day. Glenn Sparkman came out of the bullpen and gave up at least three more in at least three more innings of work. But with the score 9-1 it seemed unnecessary to keep subjecting myself to this baseball game.
The Royals lone run came off of a Whit Merrifield opposite field blast. Masahiro Tanaka pitched a gorgeous seven innings in which he kept Royals batters off-balance all day. Hunter Dozier was the only batter to look remote comfortable against him; he walked twice and hit a double. At one point Billy Hamilton hit a lead-off triple but Tanaka struck out Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi before convincing Alex Gordon to ground out to end the inning without allowing the Royals to score.
The two teams will finish the series tomorrow, on Easter Sunday. Jorge Lopez will battle James Paxton. The Yankees lineup will likely be further diminished as Aaron Judge left today’s game with what appeared to be some sort of rib injury after hitting a long single in the sixth. Gary Sanchez might be back or he might not. It seems the Yankees don’t need their stars to beat the Royals.