What a nightmare this road trip has become. The Yankees are losing games and players. Thursday’s 8-7 tenth inning loss to the Athletics was, rather easily, the worst loss of the season. At least us East Coasters didn’t have to stay up until 2:30am to watch it or anything. Anyway, West Coast night games get bullet point recaps, so let’s get to it:
- Bad Monty: Okay, maybe bad is too harsh, but Jordan Montgomery wasn’t good. Solo homers to Jed Lowrie and Yonder Alonso aren’t the end of the world. The second inning rally though. Yeesh. Two quick outs, then a five-pitch walk to No. 7 hitter Matt Chapman (in his first MLB at-bat), a loud ground-rule double to No. 8 hitter Josh Phegley, and a double down the line to No. 9 hitter Adam Rosales gave the A’s two runs. Yuck. Montgomery finished having allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk in 5.2 innings. Not his best outing.
- Rally to Tie: The Yankees stranded the bases loaded in the first inning against Sonny Gray, who promptly settled down to retire 13 of the next 16 batters he faced. It wasn’t until the sixth that the Yankees got on the board. Five straight batters reached base with one out (four singles, one walk), including a two-run single by Chase Headley and a game-tying one-run single by Chris Carter. Shout out to Khris Davis and his Axisa-caliber arm for making those runs possible.
- Back & Forth: The late innings, man. After the Yankees tied the game 3-3 in the top of the sixth, Montgomery gave up the solo homer to Alonso in the bottom half to give the A’s a 4-3 lead. Then, in the top of the seventh, Gary Sanchez smoked a double off the wall to plate the tying run. Two singles and a stolen base gave the A’s a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh. In the top of the eighth, Carter hit a solo jack to tie things up. Matt Joyce beat out a double play ball to score a run in the bottom half for a 6-5 A’s lead. Sanchez came through again in the top of the ninth with a game-tying single. Exactly one run in six straight half innings. The A’s took the lead. The Yankees tied. The A’s took the lead again. The Yankees tied again. The A’s took the lead one more time. The Yankees tied it yet again.
- A Lead & A Loss: I knew I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. Thanks to Brett Gardner’s studly baserunning — he went first-to-third on an infield single! — the Yankees took a 7-6 lead in the top of the tenth on a Starlin Castro sac fly. Woo! One problem: Gio Gallegos was the last guy in the bullpen, apparently. He got two quick outs in the tenth! Then a single, a double, and an intentional walk loaded the bases with two outs. Suboptimal. Gallegos got ahead of Davis with a 1-2 count, missed high with a breaking ball, then left another breaking ball up, which Davis lifted to shallow center. It was in no man’s land. Too far out for the infielder and too far in for the outfielder. Castro ranged out, the ball clanked off his glove, and two runs scored to end the game. 8-7 A’s. Brutal. Absolutely brutal.
- Leftovers: Tyler Clippard, man. He retired only one of the three batters he faced before Joe Girardi yanked him … Dellin Betances actually pitched! He allowed the run-scoring fielder’s choice to Joyce after replacing Clippard, then added a scoreless ninth … Castro and Sanchez each had three hits. Gardner, Headley, and Carter had two each … Aaron Hicks (Achilles) and Sanchez (abductor) left with injuries, though Girardi said after the game neither seems serious … Adam Warren has a trap issue and wasn’t available … and finally, Didi Gregorius extended his hitting streak to 17 games with his sixth inning single. That’s the longest by a Yankee since Jacoby Ellsbury had a 17-gamer in 2014. The last Yankee with a longer hitting streak was Derek Jeter in 2012. He got to 19 games.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t watch the highlights. Just trust me. This four-game set is just getting started. The Yankees and A’s are back it again Friday night, in the second game of the series. Luis Severino and Sean Manaea are the scheduled starters. I wonder how soul-crushing that game will be.