Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the New York Yankees just lost another game. They dropped their fourth in a row thanks to this simple formula: the Yankee lineup made Chad Bettis look like a decent ML starter (to be honest, they had a ST-caliber lineup out there) while Ivan Nova fell apart in the fifth to give the Rockies a lead for good. I don’t know how to characterize this game other than to say the Yankees played bad and the results showed as much.
All Bettis Off
Chad Bettis has been a mediocre pitcher at best this season. In 13 starts prior to tonight, he’s had a 5.85 ERA while allowing homers at a, well, not a good rate (1.49 HR/9). So naturally, the Yankees failed to hit an extra base hit all day. To be fair, today’s Yankee lineup wasn’t really the most formidable one. All you need to know is that Chase Headley hit cleanup and Didi Gregorius followed him. Yikes.
The Yankees did manage to scratch two earned runs off Bettis though. In the fourth, Didi drove in a run with two on and two out with a single to left. Aaron Hicks followed with a tapper that looked like an easy ground out, but Rockies catcher Tony Wolters threw it way above the first baseman’s head for an error. Another run scored as a result. That made it 2-1 Yankees. That was probably the pinnacle of the game for New York. They scored one more run in the sixth with a Hicks RBI single that drove in Headley, but they were trailing 5-3 at the time.
No No Nova
Good news: Ivan Nova struck out five hitters in five innings, which is 9.0 K/9! Bad news: pretty much everything else. He allowed 10 hits for 5 earned runs to take a loss.
Four of the runs came in the fifth. Charlie Blackmon singled and stole a base to begin the inning. Nova allowed an RBI single to D.J. LeMahieu to tie the game at two apiece. The next hitter, Nolan Arenado, saw a first-pitch fastball and didn’t miss any of it. He drove it over the left field fence for a two-run homer. Nova makes a bad pitch. A good hitter destroyed it. Rinse, repeat. The Rockies added another run with a Trevor Story double and an RBI single by Mark Reynolds to make it 5-2.
The middle innings have given Nova a lot of trouble this year. He came into the game with a 1.71 ERA in innings 1-3, and a 6.03 ERA in the fourth inning and beyond. Those numbers are getting worse after this game.
In the bottom sixth, Anthony Swarzak came in to relieve for Nova. With one out and runner on first, Swarzak hit LeMahieu in the head, which was scary. Fortunately, LeMahieu seemed okay enough to stay in the game. It did not seem Swarzak had any intent to hit him either.
In the next frame, the Rockies reliever Miguel Castro threw two pitches close to Austin Romine’s head, which prompted the HP umpire Gabe Morales to issue warnings to both benches. Well look at that, a possible Yankees-Rockies beef brewing. Fortunately, that was just about all the damage done.
Aroldis Chapman came in to pitch in bottom eighth with team down 5-3. After getting the first two outs, he allowed a single to Blackmon, and LeMahieu followed it up with an RBI triple to make it 6-3 Rockies. Carlos “Not Charlie Sheen” Estevez came in the ninth for the Rockies to close it down.
Box Score, Highlights, WPA and Standings
Maybe the Yankees can start padding their record elsewhere! They are off to Minnesota to face the lowly Twins for a four-game series. Did I imply that the Twins are bad? They are 20-44 this season, which is pretty awful.