Braves, Yankees try to keep doing right thing
NEW YORK — If there is a common theme for the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees through two games at sweltering Yankee Stadium, it is a matter of inches for fly balls hit to right field and right-center field.
Heading into Wednesday afternoon’s series finale, the teams have combined to hit nine homers with both teams capitalizing on dimensions to right and right-center.
On Monday, Aaron Judge made a half-swing and golfed a first-inning homer off Anibal Sanchez down the right-field line, where it is 314 feet, but the Braves wound up getting a 5-3 victory by also capitalizing on the dimensions. Rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run homer in the 11th off David Robertson over Judge’s leaping attempt and into the front row of the right-center field seats.
A night later, both teams capitalized again as the Yankees evened the series with an 8-5 victory.
“Balls get kind of sucked up out there so that’s just frustrating,” Newcomb said after pitching a season-low 2 1/3 innings.
Stanton was also involved in two straight plays in right-center in the seventh. First, he appeared shaken up after crashing into the wall in an attempt to catch Nick Markakis’ 364-foot two-run homer off Adam Warren but he stayed in to make a leaping catch on Kurt Suzuki’s 360-foot fly ball.
“You just never know here with fly balls that are homers,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said.
Still, with both teams benefiting and getting burned by the dimensions, the first two games have been tight ballgames decided in the late innings. The teams have combined for 21 runs and 38 hits in a combined seven hours, 39 minutes while playing in humid conditions.
“We’re obviously capable of those nights where we have a big night and can run away from a team, but we’ve seen time and time again that we can scratch and claw our way,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I think the one thing about this club that they’ve shown through the first 80-plus games is that we’ve shown an ability to win games in a lot of different ways.”
After neither team received a lengthy start and Atlanta will hope for some distance from Julio Teheran while New York is seeking the same from CC Sabathia.
Regardless of how long their starters go, both teams will have different situations with their closers.
Atlanta’s Arodys Vizcaino is expected to be available for a save situation after being activated off the disabled list Tuesday. He experienced shoulder discomfort after pitching four times in a span of five days from June 13-17, resulting in two weeks on the DL.
New York’s Aroldis Chapman has pitched three straight days for the first time all season. While he has thrown 48 pitches in those outings, it would seem unlikely the Yankees would use him for a save situation Wednesday.
Sabathia will continue his climb up various leaderboards. Sabathia is getting his first chance to tie Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for 55th place on the all-time wins list with at 243.
Sabathia is 5-3 with a 3.02 ERA and is the 12th pitcher to get at least 125 wins with the Yankees. Sabathia also has 1,519 strikeouts for the Yankees and is seven away from tying Red Ruffing for fourth on the team’s all-time list.
Sabathia last pitched Friday in an 8-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox when he allowed one run and six hits in seven innings.
Sabathia is 3-1 with a 3.31 ERA in four career starts against Atlanta.
Sabathia’s start will take place before the Yankees focus on events in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where Masahiro Tanaka will make a rehab start. Tanaka has been out since injuring both hamstrings running the bases June 8 against the Mets but said Monday he feels better and could have started in the majors Wednesday.
Teheran (6-5, 4.21 ERA) is making his 17th and seeking consecutive wins for the first time in nearly two months.
Teheran was 4-0 with a 2.06 ERA in six starts from April 16-May 14. He is 2-4 with a 5.12 ERA in seven outings since.
Teheran’s last two wins have been scoreless outings. He fanned 11 in six scoreless innings June 17 against San Diego but then gave up seven runs in 4 2/3 innings June 23 against Baltimore before pitching six scoreless innings Friday at St. Louis.
Teheran is making his fourth start since a brief absence because of a thumb contusion that impacted his velocity. In his last start, he walked the first two hitters but settled down and retired 15 of the next 16 hitters.
“Velocity is better,” Snitker said. “With the exception on an inning here, he’s been really, really good. His stuff has picked up.”
Teheran will be making his second career start against the Yankees. In a 20-6 loss in Atlanta on Aug. 30, 2015, he allowed eight runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings but the only Yankees he faced still on the team are Brett Gardner, Greg Bird and Didi Gregorius.