Close, but no cigar for the GCL Yankees1 on Tuesday. A win would have given them a division championship and a playoff spot, and entering the ninth inning the Yankees 1 led 1-0. Their starter, Luis Cedeno (5 IP, 3 H, 4 K, 0 ER), had kept the Phillies off the board along with relievers Reynaldo Polanco and Matt Marsh. Jonny Drozd came to the mound to start the top of the ninth sporting a 0.00 ERA on the season, and the Yankees had to feel pretty good about their chances of getting three outs and escaping with a narrow win. Drozd got the three outs, but not without giving up three runs, only one of those being earned because of a leadoff error in the inning.
If the Yankees 1 find themselves in the playoffs, they will hopefully be able to throw Cedeno at their opponent. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in three starts, and going back five starts has thrown 21 innings, allowed one run on 11 hits, and struck out 19. He has been dominant.
If you are wondering where the Yankees’ run came from, remember they have Bryan Cuevas on their team. He homered to provide all of the scoring, but the Yankees also got singles from Ryan Lindemuth, Thairo Estrada, Alexander Palma, and Leonardo Molina.
A notable name in the lineup today was shortstop Jorge Mateo, who is one of the most exciting players in the system and hasn’t played since July 7 because of a hand injury. In fact, the theme of the day could have been The Shortstops Are Back, because Angel Aguilar returned to action for the Yankees 2. Aguilar hadn’t played since August 8, and his return now means the GCL teams have Mateo, Aguilar, Thairo Estrada, Yancarlos Baez, and at times Bryan Cuevas to play short, and they are all interesting prospects.
Offense was scarce in the GCL Yankees 2 contest against the Braves on Tuesday. The Yankees scored in the first on a Chris Gittens sacrifice fly that scored Angel Aguilar, and then they tallied no further until the top of the tenth inning. That run was not gained conventionally. The Yankees loaded the bases with one out and Tyler Palmer at the plate. Palmer struck out. He was the third out. And the Yankees scored. Somehow, Jake Anderson got picked off third with one out, but he managed to get in a run-down so the other runners could move up. That put Chris Gittens on third and Kevin Alexander on second with two outs. A wild pitch scored Gittens and gave the Yankees a lead they would not relinquish.
They pitching for the Yankees 2 was very good on Tuesday. Cale Coshow started with two scoreless innings, and he was followed by a solid effort from Derek Callahan. The lefty from Gonzaga went 5.2, struck out seven, and let in the only run of the game for the Braves. Jose Pena continued his dominance by going 2.1 and punching out four. He’s now thrown 19.1 scoreless GCL innings and rung up 25.