Heading into Thursday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners – finishing up a four-game set in which the New York Yankees were leading 2-1 on the series, starting pitcher J.A. Happ took the mound in hopes of making it 3-1.
Last year, Happ joined the Bombers and showed his best stuff, going 7-0 over the second half of the season. This year, he hasn’t been nearly as effective. Going into his latest victory with a 4.93 ERA tells most of the story. His pitches have been weak, his velocity inconsistent, and his confidence low, but that didn’t stop him from changing the narrative against the Mariners.
Happ went five innings on Thursday, allowing just one hit and three walks. He struck out seven batters in the process before passing the game on to Adam Ottavino and the Yankees’ lethal bullpen. His day was done, but it begs the question — is Happ finally back to the quality he produced in 2017?
While the starter did have a fantastic day, gathering a no-hitter through 4.2 innings, the bullpen was also stellar. They picked up the remaining four innings and turned it into a one-run ball-game, allowing a late homer in the 9th off of Aroldis Chapman.
New York Yankees’ J.A. Happ stated after the game:
“I felt like it (four seam fastball) had a little better drive… and it was the most consistent it’s been all season,” Happ said of his improvements, according to the NY Daily News. “Which is a good sign for me.”
With the Yankees bats quiet the past few weeks, it’s been the pitching that has picked up the slack in a big way. Solid starting performances and tremendous bullpen efficiency only scratch the surface when it comes to the close wins being pulled out by the injury-riddled team.
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