Brett Gardner’s grand slam fuels the Yankees’ 13-4 win over the Astros

(Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

A win to close out this dreadful month of June. The Yankees bats attacked the Houston bullpen (and Nori Aoki) to score 12 runs from the sixth through ninth innings. Michael Pineda wasn’t perfect but he did an adequate enough job to bounce back from his previous outing (7 ER, 4 IP vs. Texas) and earned his 8th win of the year. It’s Friday night so let’s do this bullet-point style.

  • Trailing: The Astros scored one right out of the gate in the bottom of the first. George Springer doubled to lead it off, Reddick’s grounder advanced him to third and Jose Altuve slapped a very, very low slider to the center field for a sac fly. 1-0 Astros. Bleh. Not the end of the world, but with their best starter on the mound, not a great thing to fall behind. (But what do I know? The Yankees certainly showed me as the game went on.)
  • Multiple attempts at offense: The Yankees tied it up in the top of the third. Brett Gardner led the frame off with a double, which is good! However, Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Judge both struck out swinging to make it two outs. That is bad! Didi Gregorius, on the other hand, lined an RBI double to right to tie the game at 1-1. The bats were back in business in the fourth. Austin Romine led off the inning with a single (that could have been a home run but missed by a few inches, and because it was hit hard, he didn’t have enough time to go for the second base) and Ronald Torreyes followed it up with a bloop double to the left. With runners on second and third with no outs, Tyler Wade and Chris Carter struck out back-to-back to immediately make it two outs. During Gardner’s at-bat, Lance McCullers Jr. uncorked a wild pitch that had a perfect bounce back to the catcher and they were able to tag Romine out, who ran to home trying to score. Welp.
  • Bigger deficit: The ‘Stros immediately made it tough for the Yankees. In the bottom of the fourth, Altuve hit a single just past diving Gregorius and Carlos Correa followed it up with a hard single to right (with both runners advancing on Tyler Wade’s throw that got past Chase Headley). Brian McCann struck out swinging but Carlos Beltran‘s groundout brought Altuve home, and Marwin Gonzalez hit an RBI single to center to score Correa. 3-1 Astros.
  • The weird, weird sixth inning: McCullers Jr., being one of the best pitchers in the AL, seemed overpowering to many Yankee bats. However, he wasn’t all that efficient, having to exit in the middle of the sixth inning with 97 pitches thrown. A.J. Hinch put Michael Feliz in to relieve McCullers and the floodgates opened. With runners on first and second, Torreyes got the rally started with an RBI single. Wade followed it up with a strike out but Carter (!) hit a hard liner that went off Correa’s glove and Romine hustled home to tie the game at 3. Gardner and Ellsbury each followed it up with a pair of RBI singles to make it 5-3. With runners on second and third, Judge walked but the ball got past the catcher and Ellsbury was able to score. 6-3 Yankees. That went from 0 to 100 real quick.
  • Daggers: A three-run lead! But you never know against these powerful Houston bats. It would have been nice to tack on more runs and that’s exactly what the Yankee bats did. The Yankees got the top of the seventh started by loading the bases with no outs (Headley single, Romine single, Torreyes walk). However, the scoring chance dimmed as Wade grounded into fielder’s choice for a force out at home and Carter struck out swinging. Gardner, on the other hand, delivered a two-out grand slam to make it 10-3. That was pretty exhilarating to watch. Two innings later, the Yankees scored three more against … outfielder Nori Aoki. With Aoki floating 74 mph pitches from the mound, Torreyes and Wade drew back-to-back walks and Carter hit an RBI double to make it 11-4. Gardner hit a sac fly and Ellsbury followed it up with an RBI ground out to continue the carnage. 13-4 Yankees. And, of course, Aoki got Judge to fly out to end the inning. That’s baseball.
  • Leftovers: Bryan Mitchell threw the last three innings of the game and allowed only a run. Aaron Judge had his 33-game on-base streak going but had a relatively quiet night, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and two walks. Five of the Yankees hitters (Gardner, Didi, Romine, Torreyes and Carter) had a multi-hit game so that’ll do pretty well.

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph. The Yankees are back at it again tomorrow at the Minute Maid Park. Jordan Montgomery will be up against Francis Martes. Would be nice to win this one and take the series.


Source: FanGraphs

Youngsters thrive in a 12-3 blowout win against the White Sox

What is one way to make sure the bullpen doesn’t ruin the game? An offensive outburst! The Yankees took game three of the four-game series with the White Sox thanks to youngsters driving in tons of runs and Masahiro Tanaka coming up solid. This was a very, very stress-free game especially considering how things have gone lately for the Yankees. 10/10, would watch again.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

#TANAK

The narrative so far has been that Masahiro Tanaka has been in a serious funk this season. However, he’s shown signs of coming out of that slump lately. Including tonight’s start, Tanaka has marked a 2.92 ERA in the past four GS (8 ER in 24.2 IP), striking out 32 and walking 7. That’s more like it. Four games wouldn’t really qualify as the stretch that turned the season around, but for now, it is an encouraging sign.

Looking at Brooks Baseball, Tanaka got 15 whiffs total, with 12 coming from his slider, sinker and splitter. He also brought some extra juice tonight, topping out at 97.3 mph with his four-seam fastball and averaging 94.9 mph. Whoa. His splitter also hit 90 mph multiple times in the YES gun, for what it’s worth. Good conditions? Amped up?

The only major trouble came in the bottom of the fifth. With the Yankees carrying a 3-0 lead, Tanaka allowed the first four hitters to reach base. Omar Narvaez singled to lead it off and Adam Engel hit a double to put two runners in RISP with no outs. Yolmer Sanchez walked to load the bases and Melky Cabrera hit a 2-RBI single to center to make it a 3-2 game.

Fortunately for the Yankees, that was all the damage Tanaka allowed in the frame. Jose Abreu grounded into a double play to give Yankees two quick outs and Tanaka got Todd Frazier to force out to second to end the inning. When it was all said and done, it was a solid 2 ER, 6 IP outing for Tanaka. His season ERA dropped from 5.74 to 5.56 and he earned the 6th victory of the year. It would be very ideal for the Yankees for that ERA to keep decreasing.

(Jonathan Daniels/Getty Images)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Runs! 

The Yankees scored the first runs of the game thanks to some sloppiness from the White Sox. Carlos Rodon, making his first start of the year after missing the first few months suffering biceps injury, was clearly rusty. Brett Gardner walked to lead off the game. In a span of three hitters, Gardner reached to second and third respectively with two wild pitches from Rodon. He scored when Didi Gregorius hit a grounder that looked like an out at first glance, but SS Tim Anderson’s high throw pulled the first baseman off the bag as Didi reached safe. 1-0 Yankees.

Rodon’s command continued to struggle as Chase Headley and Austin Romine worked a back-to-back walk to load the bases. Miguel Andujar, a 22-year-old making his ML debut, hit a grounder up the middle to drive in two. 3-0 Yankees. Not a bad way to make an impression, eh?

As noted, Tanaka got into a bit of a pickle in the bottom of the fifth and allowed two runs. Holding a slim 3-2 lead, the Yankees needed to extend it to make it a stress-free ending after a whirlwind of bullpen nights they had lately. Thankfully, that’s exactly what they did. In the top of the sixth, the kids and Aaron Judge dropped a five-burger on the ChiSox pitching.

With one out, Romine doubled to right to get on base. Andujar grounded softly to put the runner at third and Tyler Wade followed it up with his first ML base hit, an RBI double drilled to left field. Ronald Torreyes continued the doubles parade by hitting one to the right field and scoring Wade. Gardner hit an RBI single to center that drove Toe in. Aaron Judge, being Aaron Judge, then hit a 115 mph screamer of a home run to make it 8-2 Yankees. An all-around enjoyable inning right there.

The Yankees tacked on four more in the top of the ninth. Against the tall RHP Michael Ynoa, Judge started it off with a swift, 5-pitch walk. After Gary Sanchez struck out swinging, Gregorius brought two runs in with a home run just above the right field fence. 10-2 Yankees. They were not done there. Headley and Romine worked back-to-back walks and Andujar doubled to drive both of them in to make it 12-2 Yankees.

(Jonathan Daniels/Getty Images)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Leftovers

Boy, how about Miguel Andujar’s night? He put himself in elite company with tonight’s 3-for-4, 4 RBI performance … a company of only himself. Per Katie Sharp, he’s the only Yankee to have 3 hits and 3 RBI’s in an ML debut. Not bad for a guy who was behind Gleyber Torres in the system’s 3B depth chart. Wade did not have as an awesome night but he did have a double and a stolen base. Pretty fun stuff when the team calls up talented youngsters and they contribute right away.

Aaron Judge, as mentioned, hit another HR tonight and had a solid 1-for-3, 2 BB game. He became the first player this season to crack the 5.0 fWAR mark. By my calculation, he’s on pace for a ~10 fWAR season, which is Trout-esque. His line for this season? .333/.449/.704.

The Yankees brought in Tyler Webb to close the game out and he allowed a HR to Adam Engel, who was one of the very few bright spots for the Sox tonight (2-for-3 and a great catch to rob Torreyes of an extra base hit). Besides that, Webb finished the inning and the game for a 12-3 Yankees victory.

Box score, standings and WPA graph

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will look for a series win tomorrow at the Guaranteed Rate Field. Luis Cessa will be on the hill seeking for his first win of the season while the White Sox will start James Shields.

Montgomery dominates in a 6-5 Yankees win over the White Sox

After all the futility that we saw in that homestand (and the past few weeks), it’s refreshing to see a win tonight to start the road trip. Jordan Montgomery stepped up as the stopper and the Yankee bats did their thing – despite losing Starlin Castro – to win this one 6-5. The bullpen was a bit shaky in the end but it sure is nice to have a 5-run lead heading into the ninth inning. They remain in first place along with the Red Sox, who also won a game tonight.

(Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Gumby Good

Ho-hum, another good start from Jordan Montgomery. He’s been the Yankees best starter for the past few weeks – marking a 2.52 ERA in his last 6 starts.

The Yankees rookie did a great job being a stopper: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8 K. He’s done much more than the Yankees could have hoped for and has become a legitimate ML starter. The only blemish from Montgomery tonight came in the bottom of the second. Todd Frazier hit the second pitch he saw from Montgomery over the left center field seats for a 1-0 White Sox lead. That was the only run Monty allowed all night.

Let’s go to Brooks Baseball to look at his arsenal tonight, shan’t we? He got 17 whiffs alone from his offspeed pitches, including 8 from his curveball. That’s pretty good. Yankees looked at him as a guy who can get hitters out with savvy approach using different looks and that’s exactly what he’s been able to do. After tonight’s start, his ERA dropped to 3.53 and he’s up to 1.6 fWAR, which is the 25th best among all qualified SP’s in the MLB. Not a bad

(Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Let’s go get some runs

Trailing 1-0, the Yankees scored three in the fourth to get it started. Aaron Judge led off the frame with a walk. Gary Sanchez grounded to third but Judge advanced to third on an error by 3B Todd Frazier, making both runners safe. Tyler Austin followed it up with a sac fly to score Judge to make it 1-1 game. The Yankees didn’t stop there. Jacoby Ellsbury singled to put runners on first and second and Chase Headley followed it up with an RBI single of his own to make it 2-1 Yankees. Austin Romine walked to load the bases and Ronald Torreyes hit a sac fly that ultimately became a double play when 1B Matt Davidson cut the throw off and got SS Tim Anderson to tag out Headley advancing to second. Meanwhile, Ellsbury scored to make it 3-1 Yankees. Not a bad inning!

Tyler Austin added another run for the Yankees in the sixth. He got the 88 mph up the zone and hit a bullet into the bullpen over the left field fence to make it 4-1 Yankees. Ellsbury followed it up by hitting a roller down the first base line that pitcher David Holmberg couldn’t handle for an E-1. Headley hit a double to deep right to put two runners in RISP and that was it for Holmberg. White Sox brought in Juan Minaya to try to finish the inning off. Romine hit a sac fly to add another run and during Torreyes’ AB, Headley advanced to third on a passed ball by C Kevin Smith. Torreyes reached on a missed catch error by 1B Matt Davidson and Yankees tacked on another, 6-1. The White Sox played some sloppy, sloppy baseball in this frame. A five-run lead was pretty comfortable but man, thank God that Yankees scored that much because they really needed it later on.

Bullpen show

After Montgomery finished his 7-inning gem, Jonathan Holder was summoned to pitch in the eighth inning. After getting Tim Anderson strike out swinging, Holder allowed a single and walk to Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu respectively. After he got Avisail Garcia to ground into a fielder’s choice to third, Joe Girardi brought in Dellin Betances to nail down the final out of the inning. After walking Frazier to load the bases, Betances struck out Matt Davidson to finish the eighth unscathed. That was just a prelude to a big egg that the bullpen would lay in the next inning.

Boy, the ninth got edgy pretty quickly didn’t it? The Yankees had a 6-1 lead heading into the 6-1 and, because it was far from being a save situation, Girardi sent Chasen Shreve to the mound to close it out. However, after getting the first out, Shreve allowed back-to-back singles to Smith and Adam Engel, and allowed a three-run bomb to Tim Anderson (on a 0-2 count!) to make it 6-4 Yankees lead.

Aroldis Chapman came in to try to nail down the last two outs. Dude still hits 100, 102 on the radar guns but the White Sox hitters pestered him well tonight. He threw 20 pitches and did not get a single whiff. Melky Cabrera singled to center and Jose Abreu followed it up with an RBI double to make it 6-5. Dicey! Thankfully, Avisail Garcia grounded out to third and Frazier flew out to Brett Gardner to end the game. This was way more stressful than it should’ve been, but a win is a win.

Leftovers

Aaron Judge did not get a hit but man, he still continues to be a wiz at getting on base. He walked three times tonight, which brings his season totals to 50. It’s not even the middle of the season and he has that much! The last time a Yankee hitter had more than 100 walks in a season was 2006 Jason Giambi, who had 110.

Starlin Castro, who’s been having a nice season, hurt himself in the top of the third trying to beat out a grounder for a base hit. He had to limp off the field and the Yankees announced that he had a hamstring strain. Not good! As a response, they are calling up Tyler Wade, who’s been hitting .313 with .834 OPS in the Triple-A this season (.351 BA, .894 OPS this month). Wade coming up is exciting because he’s a young guy (22-years old) with legitimate talent but you don’t want to see your starting second baseman with a good bat go down.

Box score, standings and WPA graph

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees are back again tomorrow at the Guaranteed Rate Field at 8:10 pm EST. Luis Severino is up against the former Yankees farmhand Jose Quintana. It’ll be a nice matchup to watch.

Yankees melt down late to lose 10-5 to the Angels

The Yankees only won 2 out of 6 against the Mike Trout-less Angels team this season, which is not good! They lost 8 of the last 9, which is also not good. Because the Red Sox aren’t playing tonight, the Yankees still stay in the first place (albeit tied), which just seems like a miracle. They had a 5-1 lead tonight that evaporated away for a 10-5 loss. Gross.

(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Taking the lead

Things did not start great for the Yankees. Cameron Maybin drove the second pitch of the game over the left field fence for a home run. But don’t worry, the Yankee bats are in town! They tied it up on the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Aaron Judge and Matt Holliday walked, and Starlin Castro singled to drive a run in to make it 1-1.

The Yankees blew it open (or so it seemed) in the second with four runs. With one out, Chris Carter doubled to get on base. Ronald Torreyes followed it up with a line drive that hit Jesse Chavez on the hip and became a single. Ouch. That seemed painful for Chavez but thankfully, he was able to stay in the game. Brett Gardner drove Carter in with a force out at second and Aaron Hicks extended the inning with a single to make it runners on corners.

Aaron Judge, being the Aaron Judge he is, did what he does the best – working the count and hitting big home runs. On a 3-2 count, Judge got a 90 mph fastball down the middle and drove it into the Monument Park to make it 5-1 Yankees. It was his 25th of the year. A big lead early in the game! With your best starter out there, it would be a walk in the park for the Yankees for the rest of the game, right? Nope. That’s why you gotta play it out.

The Angels got two right back in the top of the third. The Angels got two baserunners on with a Cliff Pennington single and Maybin walk. Kole Calhoun grounded into a force out at second to make it two outs with runners on the corners. Albert Pujols got a hold of Severino’s slider for an RBI single to right field. Yunel Escobar followed it up with another RBI single to make it 5-3 Yankees. Ho-hum, a two run lead. It was still early in the game and you could bank on the Yankee bats on scoring more runs (they didn’t). Halos got another run in the sixth with an Escobar double and a Luis Valbuena RBI single. Heading into the seventh, Yankees had a 5-4 lead…

The meltdown

Top of the seventh, with Severino on the mound, the plan seemed clear: let him have one more inning, then have Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman take care of the last two, right? That is how it should have went, but the Angels had different ideas. Pennington singled to lead off the inning. Maybin followed it up with a grounder to second… that subtly changed its course right before Castro was about to catch it. As a result, the ball went past Castro as he stumbled for an error. Oof. That should have been an easy double play. To be fair, the ball did have a really funky hop and not a lot of infielders would have made such last-split-second adjustment to field it successfully. Anyways, that made it runners on corners with no out. Joe Girardi went to Chasen Shreve and that was it for Severino tonight.

(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Angels tied the game up with a Calhoun sac fly to center. Girardi then played mix-and-match by putting in Betances to face Pujols. During the at-bat, Maybin attempted to steal second and Gary Sanchez‘s throw sailed way over Castro and allowed Maybe  to advance to third. Yeesh. Some sloppy baseball going on right here. Anyways, Pujols singled off Betances’ 99 mph fastball to make it 6-5 Angels. The next hitter, Yunel Escobar, walked to make it runners on first and second. With Valbuena batting, Betances unleashed a wild pitch way over and outside to put both runners on scoring position. One batter later, Andrelton Simmons jumped on the first pitch for a two-RBI double, making it 8-5 Angels. Welp. Betances had allowed only 9 hits this whole season prior to this game. He allowed two tonight. The Simmons double was also the first XBH he’s allowed all year. It was that kind of night.

The Angels tacked on two in the eighth against Domingo German. It involved even more sloppy baseball. With one out, Pennington doubled and a wild pitch advanced him to third. Maybin walked to make it runners on corners. During Calhoun’s at-bat, German made a pickoff attempt to first but the errant throw got past Carter, scoring Pennington and advancing Maybin to third. Calhoun followed it up with a sac fly to make it 10-5 Angels. The score remained this way for good. Definitely not the pinnacle of the Yankees season.

Leftovers

Chris Carter probably had the quietest 2-for-4 game that I can remember in awhile. He had that double to start the second-inning rally. Sure, the bats scored five but from the third inning till end, they only managed three baserunners. With the rotation and bullpen not performing to their strength lately, the team needs as much runs as possible.

Box score, standings and WPA graph

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph.


Source: FanGraphs


New series tomorrow. The Rangers are in town and we have a Japanese pitching matchup – Masahiro Tanaka will be on the mound against Yu Darvish.

Yankees drop their sixth straight and get swept by the A’s with a 4-3 loss


Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees lost six (6) games in a row to cap off this miserable West Coast trip. Getting swept by the Athletics in a four-game series is a cherry on the top. Today, they drew first blood by taking a 2-0 lead, but the A’s scored four off Luis Cessa in the third and the Yankees simply could not rally. Yuck. It is easily the lowest point of the 2017 Yankees season so far. Let’s just get it out of the way with a recap done in bullet-point style.

  • Getting ahead: The Yankees got the first run of the game when Matt Holliday drilled a solo homer to lead off the top of the second. He got a fastball upstairs from Jharel Cotton and took it pretty, pretty far (433 feet) into the center field seats. They added another in the top of the third. Brett Gardner doubled to deep right to start the frame and Aaron Judge hit a soft single off the end of his bat to drive him in. 2-0 Yankees. Maybe this game was going to be different than the previous five! And, of course, the bottom of the third came.
  • Getting all of them out of the way: The Yankees gave the lead back and then more (surprise, surprise). Cessa got into a trouble after allowing a single to Josh Phegley and a double to Matt Joyce, making it runners on second and third with one out. Chad Pinder hit a double to right to drive both of them in and the Yankees lead was gone. It was an annoying sequence of pitches – Cessa kept throwing towards the outside corner and Pinder fouled a bunch off. He got a hold of a slider that didn’t break sharply and tied the game up. Two batters later, Khris Davis went deep on a fastball upstairs to make it 4-2 Athletics. I, for one, am shocked that a guy with a 4.15 ERA/4.41 FIP in the AAA this season couldn’t rescue the Yankees out of the losing streak. Anyways, that was all the Athletics needed today.
  • The attempts to rally: The Yankees got one back right after. Leading off the fourth, Didi Gregorius pulled one just inside the foul pole to make it 4-3 A’s. From the fifth to the eighth innings, however, Yankees only managed two baserunners (Gardner single in the fifth and Judge HBP in the eighth) and, of course, came up with zilch. They had a chance to tie it up in the ninth inning. With one out against Sean Doolittle, Gregorius hit a grounder to short that seemed like an easy out, but the shortstop Chad Pinder badly missed his throw and the ball went into the Yankee dugout. As a result, Didi advanced to second. However, Chase Headley followed it up with a strikeout and Chris Carter popped out to end the game rather swiftly.
  • Leftovers: After Cessa, three bullpen arms went scoreless overall to keep it a one-run game. Chad Green continues to make his case to stay in the ML roster long-term by throwing two scoreless innings while striking out two. Tyler Clippard followed it up with a scoreless one in the seventh. Aroldis Chapman made his comeback in the eighth, hitting 100 mph a several times while pitching an easy 8-pitch 1-2-3 inning. The Yankees got one of the big bullpen arms back, so they got that going for them.

Here’s today’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph. The Yankees are back in Bronx on Tuesday against the LA Angels to start a six-game homestand. Thank God that trip is over now. Hope the Astros win again tonight to keep the Yankees in the first place in the AL East. Also, hope you all have a great Father’s Day!

Tanaka’s struggles continue as the Yankees drop their fifth straight, 5-2 to A’s


Source: FanGraphs

The bullpen can’t blow a lead if the team can’t build one, am I right? Well, this loss was not as much of a tease as the past few days but still, as loss nonetheless. Masahiro Tanaka gave up 3 homers and the bats couldn’t rally against Jesse Hahn and the A’s bullpen. It’s Saturday so let’s just do it bullet-point style and get over with.

  • The enigma: Tanaka had literally a one of a kind outing – he’s become the only pitcher to strikeout 10+ hitters and allow 3+ HR in 4 IP or fewer in MLB history (thank you Katie Sharp). So good news: he’s missing bats! Bad news: the dingers. It was nearly a literal hit-or-miss start for him. He got 19 whiffs in 4 innings! That is a lot. 10 of them came from his slider and 7 from splitter. So, at times, his stuff was really working. At the same time, he gave up hittable pitches up in the zone. You’d think the solution is simple: “stop putting meatballs in the zone!” Pitching is hard. If Tanaka could command pitches low all the time, he would. Anyways, after today’s game, Tanaka has a wacky 8.92 K/9, 2.47 BB/9, 2.47 HR/9 rates with a 6.34 ERA. It’s the middle of the June so not so much a small sample size thing.
  • Two runs and nothing much: The Yankee bats didn’t show as much Fighting Spirit as they did the past few days. The only runs they scored came from the second inning. With one out, Ronald Torreyes and Mason Williams hit back-to-back singles to put two runners on. Austin Romine singled to center to score Torreyes and advance Williams to third, who later scored on a Brett Gardner sac fly. Yankees took a 2-1 lead and that would be the last time they’d lead for the game. They did make Jesse Hahn throw a lot of pitches, but he’s no scrub, striking out 6 and allowing only 3 hits overall in 5 IP (105 pitches, 69 strikes). The A’s bullpen, which is not usually the team’s strong suit, shut down the Yankee lineup to the tune of 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R and 6 strikeouts. And that was the story of the Yankee offense today.
  • Domingo on a Saturday: Coming into the bottom of the fifth, the Yankees called it a day for Tanaka and put Domingo German on the mound. In his second ML appearance, German put up another scoreless outing: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K with 79 pitches. It wasn’t without any jams though. The A’s had the bases loaded in both the sixth and seventh innings but German got out of both unscathed. He kept the A’s lead at 3 runs but today, the bats went silent against the A’s bullpen because of course.
  • Leftovers: Gary Sanchez pinch-hit in the ninth inning! He struck out swinging but the Yankees putting him up there is a pretty good sign given his injury. Hopefully it is a precursor to him making it to the starting lineups tomorrow. Torreyes was the only hitter today that had a multi-hit game (2-for-4). Gardner, Chase Headley and Aaron Judge each drew a walk but went hitless (0-for-8 collectively).

Here are today’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph. The dreaded West Coast trip is over tomorrow. The Yankees will have Luis Cessa on the mound against Jharel Cotton. There’s more baseball on the schedule today. Hope the Astros beat the Red Sox so the Yankees still have the AL East top spot outright by the end of the day.

Yankees losing streak hits four after falling 7-6 to Athletics

(Thearon Henderson/Getty Images)
(Thearon Henderson/Getty Images)

The West Coast road trip from hell continues. The Yankees losing streak hit 4 tonight with another close loss. It is their second consecutive loss decided by one run and their third in the last four game. The formula here, again, was simple: the offense fought back to make it a game that seemed winnable, but the bullpen failed to hold on. Pretty annoying! Without two of their best bullpen arms unavailable as of late (Adam Warren and Aroldis Chapman) and Dellin Betances not an option tonight, the Yankees had to rely on the other guys to hold out and, of course, they failed. The AL East lead has decreased to one (1) game after the Red Sox beat the Astros tonight. Not good again! It’s Friday night so let’s do it bullet-style.

  • Falling behind: As you know the Yankees have not had the finest past three games and it seemed like the things were going to get worse when Luis Severino allowed four runs in the second inning. Remember, the Yankees had a Spring Training squad lineup for this and their bullpen is very, very limited (Jonathan Holder was the 8th inning guy, for chrissakes) so Severino doing well today was pretty vital. Here is the sequence of events that happened:yankees-vs-athletics-pbp
    None of the hits were cheapies in this one. Severino’s command was off and the A’s hitters punished him accordingly. The 2016 Severino showed up only for this inning. Fortunately, this was the only inning in which he really stunk. He had an overall 6 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 K night – it’s not the best but really not bad considering the second inning. He bounced back nicely and managed to give the bullpen less inning to work with than we had feared.
  • All Rise: The Yankees made it a game again immediately. In the top of the third, two Yankees reached on infield singles (Ronald Torreyes and Rob Refsnyder) and Aaron Judge delivered the big blow with his 23rd HR of the year. 4-3 A’s. It wasn’t hit particularly hard but still traveled beyond the right field fence for an opposite-field HR. Ho-hum. This guy is good. Judge had a 2-for-3 night with two walks, bringing his season line up to .339/.447/.713. Judge’s insane rookie season continues.
  • Getting ahead: The Yankees tied it up in the fifth inning. With one out, Torreyes hit a deep double and Mason Williams followed it up with an RBI single to make it 4-4. The bats eventually loaded the bases with Judge and Matt Holliday walks, but they did not score more in that frame. No worries, Chris Carter to the rescue. The first baseman led off the sixth inning with a solo homer to break the tie, 5-4 Yankees. The bats added on another in the top of the seventh. With one out, Judge hit a triple to the deep center and Starlin Castro drove him in with a single up the middle. Optimism!
  • Bullpen fail: A 6-4 lead would be much more secure with a regular bullpen routine of Betances – Chapman but we are talking about putting middle-leverage guys into high-leverage situations. With Severino out of the game, Girardi put in Chasen Shreve as the 7th inning guy. After striking out Matt Chapman, Shreve walked pinch-hitting Rajai Davis and allowed a single to Matt Joyce to put the runners on the corners. Chad Pinder hit a sac fly to make the score 6-5 Yankees. Things would get worse when Jonathan Holder (!) was summoned out of the bullpen as the 8th inning guy. With one out, Yonder Alonso walked and Ryon Healy hit a deep double to center to make it two runners on scoring position. The Yankee bench intentionally walk Stephen Vogt to load the bases and have Holder face the rookie Matt Chapman. After getting ahead on a 0-2 count, Holder threw a curveball that should’ve been buried on the ground but hung up just enough for Chapman to hit his first ML hit for a 2-RBI single. 7-6 A’s. Welp. That’s how the score stayed for good and Yankees lost 4 in a row.

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph. The Yankees still have two games left to go on this road trip. They have a 4 pm EST game tomorrow in Oakland. Masahiro Tanaka is on the mound against Jesse Hahn. Hold on tight, folks. We are not out of it yet.


Source: FanGraphs