After the game the Yankees announced LHP Stephen Tarpley would start Sunday as the “opener,” taking the spot of Chad Green, who was needed Saturday, throwing two scoreless innings.
Nestor Cortes Jr., who allowed five runs in three innings, was optioned after the game to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Both clubs were visited before Saturday’s game by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – in their respective clubhouses.
“We were excited,” Aaron Hicks said. “To have them in our clubhouse…just to be able to meet them, to talk to them, was a great honor. An amazing opportunity.”
One of Gary Sanchez’s staunchest supporters throughout his miserable 2017 was Aaron Judge, who could not have been more thrilled at the catcher getting voted into the AL starting lineup for this year’s All-Star Game.
“Excited for him,” Judge said. “This is a guy that I’ve said from the very beginning, when he first got called up (in 2016), he has the capabilities to be an MVP for not only one year but for multiple years, and we’re starting to see what he’s capable of this year.”
DJ LeMahieu, in his first year with the Yankees and also voted into the AL starting lineup, said he’s been impressed with Sanchez from Day 1.
“One of the most talented players I’ve played with,” said the 30-year-old LeMahieu, who debuted with the Cubs in 2011 and spent the last seven seasons with the Rockies. “For him to be at catcher and putting up the numbers he is offensively, and watching him throw guys out, it’s pretty special. It’s fun to watch him.”
The 6-7, 282-pound Judge can’t really navigate the streets of New York unnoticed anymore and not in a lot of U.S. cities, period. MLB is attempting to gain a foothold here – the reason for these games, of course – and Judge’s story from walking around Thursday morning demonstrates the steep hill the sport has to climb in London. Yankee caps are plentiful; recognition of what sport it is tied to, and those who play it, is not.
“I was actually walking near the London Eye and I ran into a couple of people that had the Yankee hat on,” Judge said Friday, clearly enjoying the retelling of the story. “They had no idea who I was. It was like, ‘I’m Aaron, great to meet you.’ But it’s great. The Yankees logo is pretty recognizable and world-wide famous. I just have to start introducing myself to some of those guys wearing the Yankees caps I guess.”
The Yankees added INF Thairo Estrada, who performed well in his first two stints with the big-league club, as their “26th man” for the two-games series. Each club is allowed two insurance players in case of injury, with the Yankees choosing righthander Chance Adams and catcher Kyle Higashioka. Outfielder Mike Tauchman was added to the 25-man roster when Giancarlo Stanton went on the injured list Wednesday with a PCL strain in his right knee.
Yankees players for the most part were impressed with MLB transforming London Stadium from Olympic/soccer venue to baseball ballpark.
“Feels like a big-league ballpark located in London,” one said before Saturday’s game. “They nailed it.”
According to the Red Sox game notes, these clubs last faced each other outside of the U.S. mainland March 31-April 1, 1967 when they played a pair of exhibition games in the U.S. Virgin Islands…With these considered Red Sox “home” games, it means the Yankees won’t make their 2019 Fenway Park debut until July 25. That’s the latest in a season the Yankees will play their first game in Boston since the strike-shortened season of 1981, when they first traveled there Sept. 18.