J. A. Happ had problems. He made three bad starts in 2019 in three attempts and three runs on the blackboard in two sets of start # 4 on Wednesday night.
To make matters worse, his fastball – not just his best pitch, but the one he throws more often than anyone else in the sport – continued to have a piñata quality on it. The Yankees were down 3-0. The stadium crowd was booing. Questions arose again as to whether the Yankees were right in bringing Happ back to $ 34 million for two years instead of meeting Patrick Corbin's purchase.
Happ took advantage of this desperation to become the MVP under the radar of what has become a captivating 5-3 victory over the Red Sox. Happ did not win this game, but he helped the Yankees a lot not to lose. The veteran southpaw managed to reinvent itself as the game progressed, almost giving up his signature fastball and continuing in the seventh inning while holding the Yankees in his place.
"First of all, he's a professional," said Austin Cat, receiver of Happ.
The Yankees had a lot to feel good after the Red Sox sweep in two games. First, they swept their most hated rival, now defending champions in free fall to 6-13. The Yankees, having lost their first three home games against the dregs (Orioles, Tigers, White Sox) won this set by dominating the first game and rallying at the end of the final.
Brett Gardner's grand slam was a great success and in both games the Yankees played as quietly as they did all year long. The pen continued to recover in the expected strength. Clint Frazier has compiled a good game after the other.
But overall, there will be nothing more relevant in these two games: James Paxton, who dominates the Red Sox Tuesday, and Happ not giving in to a long period of throws and finding ways to launch a handful of goalless heats after the game a difficult start.
The Yankees, despite all outside calls to Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, identified the rotation as the region they wanted to strengthen the most. They exchanged for Paxton, giving up their best hope, Justus Sheffield, to do it. And having found the financial demands of their first choice as an independent agent as too demanding (Corbin signed with Washington for 140 years for a budget of $ 140 million), they met with Happ. Initially, it was not a happy return commitment.
Happ did not manage to overtake the fifth in any of his first three starts, beating at 8.76. This was mainly because the teams were on his fast four-sided ball, slashing .813 in bat that ends in this pitch, with four homers. Then, in the first round of Wednesday, J.D. Martinez scored a pass of four sailors that was not good enough for a circuit. In the second, Christian Vazquez gave a two-point circuit at the first porch, another two designers.
And Happ without both of its seams is tantamount to depriving Aaron Judge of his striking eye. Happ may only be throwing 92 to 93 mph, but the way he works in the area is speeding up the game for the batters. His dependence is obvious. Last year, he used the four sailors in 59.4 percent of the time, or 63.8 by three starts this year.
In the first run on Wednesday, Happ delivered 12 shots, including seven to four earphones. The pitcher's coach Larry Rothschild and Romine explained the need to get away from this pitch and Happ threw it once in the second inning – the one that Vazquez hit. By that time, Happ could have collapsed in view of the changing situation in 2019. But he has a saying: "Hold the vision, trust the process". It's basically a way for him to believe in his accomplishments again. and the work that he does and the confidence that he has that his team will support him.
In the words of Aaron Boone, this allowed Happ to put on "blinkers" and block what had happened before. Rothschild credited Romine for doing a remarkable job by navigating to Happ, her two seams, her back slider and her change of direction. Romine ricocheted the applause to Happ.
"He made a very good adjustment," said the receiver. "He participated in the competition and gave us a very good chance of winning."
Of his 84 courts, only 16 were four dressmakers. After Vazquez's counterpart, Boston made only three more shots, all single, two in the infield. Happ stays with a goal in seventh, the Yankees still at hand, down 3-1.
"I rely on my past and I know I have the ability to deal with certain innings," said Happ.
He did that. He did not dominate like Paxton. But in his own way, just as impressive of know-how and courage. With Luis Severino released at least until July, Paxton and Happ will have a lot to do to validate the Yankees' decision to invest. For two days in April, they honored that, which was the best news of that period.