- Long Leash: I, for one, am surprised letting CC Sabathia face the middle of the lineup a third time did not work out. Mike Napoli smacked a homer in the sixth to give the Indians a 3-2 lead. It’s the fourth time in the last five starts Sabathia was left in long enough to allow extra runs without completing the inning. Like I said earlier, he’s not the same pitcher after 75 pitches or so, and at some point Joe Girardi needs to change the way he manages Sabathia’s starts. CC allowed three runs on six hits (two homers) and four walks in innings. He fanned five.
- Two Token Runs: The Yankees jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Gary Sanchez muscled a two-strike pitch into the left-center field gap, scoring Starlin Castro all the way from first. Hooray for youthful bat speed. The Yankees scored their second run on a wild pitch. It looked like a slider slipped out of Kluber’s hand and sailed way inside on Ronald Torreyes, far enough that catcher Roberto Perez couldn’t reel it in. And that was the extent of the offense.
- The Late Innings: Only three of the final 21 Yankees to bat reached base. Two of them were Brett Gardner, who drew a leadoff walk in the sixth. He then got doubled off first base because he misread Jacoby Ellsbury‘s fly ball and went first-to-third. Yuck. The Indians tacked on insurance runs in the seventh and ninth. Dellin Betances, who hadn’t pitched since Monday and needed the work, got the last two outs of the ninth.
- Leftovers: Gardner and Aaron Hicks each had two hits. Sanchez and Castro had the team’s other two hits. Gardner drew the only walk … the 2-3-4 hitters went a combined 0-for-12 with four strikeouts … the Yankees have allowed at least one homer in 12 straight games now, tied for their second longest streak this century. The longest? A 14-gamer back in May. New York’s pitchers have a 1.36 HR/9 in 2016, fifth worst in MLB. Their starters have a 1.49 HR/9, fourth worst.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t miss our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages too. The Yankees and Indians will play the rubber game of this three-game series Sunday afternoon. That’s another 1pm ET start. Hooray for that. Masahiro Tanaka and Carlos Carrasco are the scheduled starters. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch that one live.