The Yankees started their ace against arguably the worst team in baseball Saturday afternoon, and they lost by five runs. The ongoing inability to beat bad teams continues to haunt the Yankees, who have played .500 ball for a month and are now without their best player and are trying to figure out why their best pitcher is suddenly getting smacked around each time out. The final score in Game One of Saturday’s doubleheader was 10-5 Royals. Gross. Two full recaps in one day isn’t happening, so let’s recap this one with bullet points:
- The Return of 2016 Severino: Fourth straight dud start for Luis Severino. Six runs on eight hits against the Royals — the Royals! — in only 4.1 innings. Couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning against the Royals. Awful. Four of the eight hits went for extra bases (to be fair, one was a bloop double into no man’s land) against a team slugging .370 on the season. Twenty runs and 38 baserunners, including seven homers, in Severino’s last four starts and 19.1 innings. The velocity is there (97.5 mph average in this game and 97.7 mph for the season), so that’s good. I’d be really worried if the velocity was way down. I don’t know what’s wrong with Severino, but I don’t like it.
- The Comeback Attempt: At one point spanning the fifth through seventh innings, 12 of 16 Yankees reached base. 12 of 16! The outs: Didi Gregorius grounded out to end the fifth, Austin Romine grounded into a double play with no outs in the sixth, Giancarlo Stanton lined out to right with the bases loaded to end the sixth, and Gleyber Torres foolishly tried to advance to third on the throw home on a double in the seventh. He was out with ease for the first out of the inning. Terrible mistake. Meanwhile, those 12 baserunners included a Stanton two-run homer, a Neil Walker run-scoring single, Romine’s run-scoring double play, and Gleyber’s run-scoring double. Just like that, the 6-0 deficit became a 6-5 deficit. The Romine double play and especially the Torres baserunning mistake really sabotaged the sixth and seventh run rallies. Gleyber stays at second and the tying run is on base with no outs. Come on, kid.
- Robertson Gives It Back: Given the way things went in the fifth through seventh innings, it felt like the Yankees were going to win this game by like five runs. David Robertson picked a bad day to be off though, and in the top of the eighth, he gave back three runs on a walk, a single, and a three-run homer run. Put a 3-1 cutter on a tee to Brian Goodwin, who hammered it into the second deck in right field. Suddenly 6-5 became 9-5 and that was that. Only the fourth time the Royals have scored at least six runs in their last 42 games, if you can believe that.
- Leftovers: The Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs in the second and did not score. Tyler Wade did not run out a weak little tapper in front of the plate. Salvador Perez picked it up, stepped on the plate for the force, and tagged Wade for the double play. Unforgivable. You’re on the Scranton shuttle all season and you don’t run that out? Wade probably would’ve been out at first anyway, but at least force Perez to make the throw … three more hits for Walker, who is now 15-for-38 (.395) in his last 12 games … Aaron Hicks (two singles, two walks), Torres (single, double), and Greg Bird (two singles, walk) reached base multiple times … eight up, eight down for Adam Warren between Severino and Robertson. Chasen Shreve allowed a run in the ninth.
Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and our Bullpen Workload page. The second game of today’s doubleheader will begin at 7:05pm ET. CC Sabathia and Heath Fillmyer are the scheduled starting pitchers for that one.