For the first time in one month and one day, the Yankees have lost back-to-back games. I don’t like this. Friday night’s series opener against the Athletics was the messiest game the Yankees have played in a while. The offense was mostly listless and the pitching staff allowed the A’s to score in six of nine offensive innings. Yeesh. The final score was 10-5 bad guys. Let’s recap this one with bullet points because it’s Friday and, frankly, because this game doesn’t deserve a longer write-up.
- Gray Days: Geez, imagine how poorly things would’ve gone if Sonny Gray didn’t have his personal catcher. He gave it up every which way Friday night. Homers, weak base hits, you name it. Sonny’s final line: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. The complete inability to miss bats is a Very Big Problem. Seven swings and misses out of 93 total pitches and a 9.0% swinging strike rate going into the game. Really bad. Really, really bad. The last two starts were good. Not great, but good. This was just awful. Gray has a 6.39 ERA (5.16 FIP) in 38 innings.
- Play For One Run, Get One Run: The Yankees had their best chance to make things interesting in the seventh, which Miguel Andujar and Austin Romine opened with back-to-back singles. Then Gleyber Torres bunted them up. What? He homered earlier in the game and he’s been tearing the cover off the ball the last week or so, plus there’s the whole Yankee Stadium is a great place to hit thing. Why bunt? After the game it was confirmed Torres bunted on his own, but geez, I feel like it’s up to the coaching staff to give the “swing away” sign there. What a bad idea the bunt was, even down two. Aaron Judge drew a bases loaded walk to force in a run before the Yankees left the bases loaded that inning. Let the dude hitting .344/.386/.531 (143 wRC+) swing the bat with two men on base. I can’t believe I’m writing that.
- Hale Naw: Aaron Boone decided to dust David Hale off following Gray’s start and the veteran journeyman allowed two solo homers in three innings. The Yankees scored, Hale gave a run back. The Yankees scored again, Hale gave a run back again. David Robertson pitched the ninth down two and allowed a bases-clearing double to Marcus Semien. Robertson allowed three runs in one inning Friday after allowing two runs in his previous 16.1 innings. He’s on pace for 81 appearances this season and looks like he needs a week off. The Yankees need Tommy Kahnle and Adam Warren back like yesterday.
- Leftovers: Judge cranked an opposite field three-run home run in the fifth to get the Yankees to within 5-4. Gleyber hit a solo homer and Judge had the bases loaded walk … a single and three walks for Brett Gardner, who’s reached base eight times in his last three games and looks like Brett Gardner again … the wrap-around 9-1-2 portion of the lineup went 3-for-9 with four walks … the rest of the Yankees went 4-for-24 (.167) with no walks … Didi Gregorius went 0-for-4 to extend his hitless streak to 28 at-bats. He also made too soft a toss to Torres for a would-be force out in the ninth, allowing the runner to beat it out. Hurry back, good Didi … and finally, congrats to Dustin Fowler for picking up his first big league hit, a single off Gray. Must’ve felt good after everything he went through last year with the knee injury. Can’t imagine many guys got their first MLB hit off the dude they were traded for.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Here’s our Bullpen Workload page. Assuming the weather cooperates, the Yankees and Athletics will be back at it Saturday afternoon with a 1pm ET start. Domingo German and Andrew Triggs are the scheduled starters for that one.