The highly-anticipated matchup with the Yankees, who were also riding a nine-game win streak, didn’t go as planned at Truist Park on Monday night as the Braves returned home after winning nine straight on the road. It was the first matchup between two teams with 9+ win streaks since 1901, and just the third time it’s ever happened.
For the Yankees, Jordan Montgomery continued to prove to be a nice complement to Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon in the Yankees rotation. The only trouble he found came in the second inning when Dansby Swanson connected on a pitch out over the plate and shot it over the right-center field wall. Other than that, the Braves could only muster one hit off Montgomery, who finished five innings of one-run ball before turning it over to Jonathan Loaisiga. However, Huascar Ynoa did a fantastic job of matching him frame for frame.
In his second start since May 16th, Ynoa once again showed he’s here to stay in the Braves rotation. Like the Braves, the Yankees were able to strike in the second inning with a home run off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton. It was a slider off the plate — really a quality pitch — but Stanton muscled it into the Chop House to open the scoring. All Ynoa could do was tip his cap, and he was able to do that and settle down, following it up with three straight scoreless innings and keeping the game at a tie until the sixth, where he found trouble.
A hit-by-pitch and a walk led to two baserunners with two outs for Stanton, who delivered again — this time with a 119 MPH double to the left field corner. It was the hardest-hit ball ever recorded at Truist Park, and it led to a two-run lead for the Yankees, who never looked back.
Offensively, the Braves couldn’t get anything going. They finished the game with just five hits and had to settle for the one run. You’re not going to win many games like that, but the Braves should feel very encouraged about how Ynoa looked in just his second time back on the mound since breaking his hand. Doing it against the Marlins is one thing, but the Yankees are an entirely different beast, and he held them in check all night. Three runs over six innings isn’t eye-popping, but New York made the most of their opportunities against him, as they only recorded four hits compared to nine strikeouts. The competition for the final spots in the rotation is fierce, but it’s becoming hard to imagine a Braves rotation without Ynoa.
Another glaring positive the Braves can take from this one is A.J. Minter. He pitched a perfect seventh inning with a couple of strikeouts. That now gives him 5.2 scoreless innings since his stint in Gwinnett, and it’s beginning to look like he might be a guy that Brian Snitker can trust in high-leverage situations again. I don’t think Snitker should rush into anything, but Minter could provide a considerable boost to the weakest part of the team down the stretch.
Nobody likes to lose, but after building a five-game lead in the division thanks to a nine-game win streak, it’s alright to look at the big picture sometimes. In the Braves case, Ynoa and Minter are establishing themselves as key pieces to the team again, which is far more important than just one game.
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