Green’s solid outing, dingers lead the Yanks to a 6-3 win over the Padres

(Getty)

Imagine being swept by the Padres. Not a good thought, right? Thankfully, the Yankees didn’t suffer another one-run heartbreaker today. Youngster Chad Green tossed a solid outing and the offense backed him up with a bunch of dingers for his first career ML win. Its the weekend so let’s do it bullet-point style.

  • A Run!: The game started well for the Yankee offense. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner reached on base in the first with a single and walk, respectively. Mark Teixeira followed it up with a strikeout, Brian McCann flew out and Starlin Castro struck out as well to immediately kill the chance. However, they did score in the next inning. Didi Gregorius led off with an error by Alexei Ramirez. Aaron Hicks snared a single to center to put the runners on corners. The next hitter, Ronald Torreyes, grounded into a double play, which scored a run. 1-0 Yanks.
  • Another One!: In the fourth, Didi did it again. The Yankees’ hottest hitter not named Carlos Beltran went deep on a 86-mph slider that had some break, but Didi reached down low enough to drill it to right field seats. That’s his ninth homer of the year. It’s halfway through the year so a 15~20 HR year isn’t a dream for Gregorius if he keeps it up. In this bleh Yankee season, Didi’s offense has been one of the bright spots. Oh, and the Yankees led 2-1 thanks to the dinger.
  • Seeing Green?: Starting pitcher Chad Green has had a solid season down in Triple-A, In 14 starts, he had a 1.54 ERA and the peripherals suggest it to be legit – 9.04 K/9, 2.09 BB/9 and 0.22 HR/9. He had a start with the Yankees earlier this year and, well, he took a loss against the D’Backs. Today was a different story. Green threw six solid innings, allowing only three hits and one run (on former Yankee great Yangervis Solarte’s solo HR) while striking out eight and walking none. I know I shouldn’t buy into young pitchers too easily but I think the Yanks should give him more chances in rotation.
  • Tex Back: Boy, has this season been a struggle for Teixeira or what? Coming into tonight, he had a .187/.273/.290 slash line, which is “good” for a 52 wRC+. Dreadful. Today, however, he hit two homers – both of them coming against two loopy curveballs versus Carlos Villanueva and Kevin Quackenbush. The first one was his 400th dinger and it had a 48 degree launch angle, which, according to Statcast, is the highest of all the homers hit this year. If you’re gonna hit a milestone homer, why not make it special? Congrats Tex. His second homer in the top of ninth made the game pretty much out of reach by giving New York a 6-1 lead.
  • Hicks Hits Good: Aaron Hicks, who has struggled mightily this season, reached base four times today. He had two singles and a ground-rule double (oh, and a walk). I thought it was probably the best day for him in terms of squaring the ball up. He’s also been a much better second-half hitter in ML career so should we expect something special from him? We’ll see.
  • Ninth Inning: With a five-run lead in the ninth, Girardi brought in Anthony Swarzak to face the Padres. Swarzak immediately made it a game by giving up a single to Solarte and a dinger to Alex Dickerson. 6-3 Yanks. A save situation! The Yanks didn’t waste much time bringing in Aroldis Chapman and he retired the side for a Yankee victory.

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


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees fly out to Chicago next to face the south siders for a three-game series. Happy Fourth of July weekend, you guys.

Some Runs DMC: Bullpen (and offense) blows it in 2-1 walk-off loss to the Padres


Source: FanGraphs

That walk-off loss would be more annoying if it didn’t feel so inevitable. I just didn’t expect Andrew Miller to give it up. The Yankees dropped their second straight game to the Padres on Saturday night, this one by the score of 2-1. West Coast night games get bullet point recaps, so here we go:

  • Ivan’s Good Start: For the first time in a long time, Ivan Nova put together a solid start. Better than solid, really. He held the Padres to one run on four hits and a walk in 5.1 innings while striking out seven. The run scored with Dellin Betances on the mound; Nova walked Wil Myers, was pulled, then Betances allowed a stolen base and a stupid little defensive half-swing double to Matt Kemp. I thought only Didi Gregorius was allowed to do that? Anyway, that was a much-needed good start from Nova.
  • Run, Singular: Drew Pomeranz is a very good pitcher having a great year, but with these Yankees, it’s impossible to tell if the pitcher had a good night or if the offense was just being its usual self. Pomeranz held New York to one run in seven innings, and the run scored on Starlin Castro‘s sixth inning ground out. Jacoby Ellsbury‘s double and Brett Gardner‘s infield single set it up. Unfortunately they couldn’t get Gardner home from second after Castro’s fielder’s choice, so one run was all the Yankees scored, both in that inning and in the game in general.
  • Battle of the Bullpens: Neither Betances nor Miller were especially sharp, but they did throw scoreless seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Joe Girardi opted to send Miller out for the ninth inning as well, which was perfectly cool with me, but he missed his spot with his fastball and the player formerly known as B.J. Upton hit a walk-off solo homer on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth. It was gone off the bat. Upton crushed it into the second deck of the Western Medal Supply Building. When the top relievers are blowing games, it’s time to put the entire roster on the lawn with a “For Sale” sign.
  • Leftovers: Ellsbury and Gardner both went 2-for-4 with a double. Everyone else went 2-for-24 (.083) … Rob Refsnyder threw a runner out at the plate from right field, which was cool … the game featured three replays that totaled nearly ten minutes in review time. The Yankees were on the winning side of all three … the Yankees scored first for the first time in nine games, not that it helped … now that they’re 39-41 on the season, the Yankees are guaranteed to finish the first half with a losing record for the first time since 2007 and only the second time since 1992. They were 40-41 after 81 games in both 1992 and 2007.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Now here are our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Padres wrap up this three-game series Sunday afternoon. That’s a 4:40pm ET start. No more West Coast night games until August. Spot starter Chad Green and trade bait Andrew Cashner will be on the mound in the series finale.

Comeback falls short, Yankees drop opener 7-6 to Padres


Source: FanGraphs

Despite the eventful ninth inning, it wasn’t worth staying up for that game. I hope you didn’t. The Yankees opened their ten-game road trip with a 7-6 loss to the Padres Friday night. Back under .500 they go. The Yankees are now 39-40. West Coast night games get bullet point recaps, so let’s get to it:

  • More Eovaldi Struggles: Apparently Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda are not allowed to be good at the same time. Earlier this year Eovaldi was great and Pineda stunk. Now that Pineda has turned things around, Eovaldi’s been awful. He allowed six runs (two dingers) in 4.1 innings Friday night, and three of those runs came in the very first inning. The Yankees were in a hole immediately. Eovaldi has now allowed 31 runs and 57 baserunners in his last 30.1 innings, including 12 home runs. He looks nothing like the guy we saw a few weeks ago. It wouldn’t shock me if Eovaldi lands on the DL at some point soon. Something’s not right.
  • The Amazing, Disappearing Offense: The Yankees loaded the bases against Colin Rea in the first inning and did not score, in part because Jacoby Ellsbury misread Mark Teixeira‘s single off the bat. He should have scored from second on the bloop to center, rather easily too, but he held up and only made it to third. To be fair, Ellsbury made up for it with an RBI single in the second. Rea was behind in the count all night — he threw a first pitch strike to only eleven of 24 batters — but somehow managed to retire 13 of the 15 final batters he faced. Sigh.
  • Too Little, Too Late: To their credit, the Yankees did put up a fight in the ninth. Brian McCann homered in the sixth for the team’s second run, then, in the ninth, a walk (McCann) and a hit-by-pitch (Starlin Castro) put the wheels in motion. Pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez singled in a run, Didi Gregorius doubled in another run, Aaron Hicks fielder’s choice-ed in another run, and Brandon Mauer wild pitched in a fourth run. That cut the deficit to 7-6. Pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran doubled to put the tying run in scoring position, but alas, Ellsbury and Brett Gardner grounded out to end the game. Almost.
  • Leftovers: Ellsbury had yet another catcher’s interference. This one led off the game and he literally knocked the catcher’s glove off his hand. It was Ellsbury’s seventh CI, one short of Roberto Kelly’s single-season record … the only when losing relievers allowed an unearned run in 3.2 innings … Conor Mullee left the game because he felt something in his fingers. That stinks. Hope it’s nothing serious. He’s had more than his fair share of injuries over the years … A-Rod had his glove and was ready to play third had the Yankees tied the game in the ninth. He looked like a kid on Christmas morning. I wanted the Yankees to tie it just to see Alex in the field again. Alas.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Padres continue this series Saturday night — yes, a Saturday night game on the West Coast — when Ivan Nova and Drew Pomeranz will be on the mound.

A walk-off passed ball? That’ll do! Yanks beat Rangers 2-1

(Getty)

The Yankees faced the Rangers four times and they actually split the series. Heck, if it weren’t for rain on Monday, they could’ve taken 3 out of 4. Michael Pineda allowed a leadoff HR to start the game but that was just about all the damage he allowed. Didi Gregorius‘ HR tied it and bullpen held on to keep it 1-1. New York won in the bottom of ninth on a passed ball with runners on second and third. The final score Thursday afternoon was 2-1 Yankees.

Big Mike!

Pineda allowed three hard hit balls to start the game. Lovely. They resulted in a HR (by Shin-Soo Choo), a line out to Aaron Hicks (by Ian Desmond) and a single (by Nomar Mazara).

The next sequence, however, was a bit different. Pineda struck out Adrian Beltre and walked Prince Fielder, but ended the frame with a strikeout of Rougned Odor. Pineda had a sublime second inning. All three batters he faced – Jurickson Profar, Mitch Moreland and Robinson Chirinos – struck out swinging. The strikeouts continued to pile up in third, as he punched out Choo and Desmond. Mazara followed up with a first-pitch ground out so the K streak ended at six. Bum!

All in all Pineda had a superb outing, striking out 12 in 6 IP while allowing only one run. He has a 2.75 ERA in last 6 starts, which is good! I know his overall season basic stats are still not great (3-7 with a 5.24 ERA) but some of his peripherals are pretty darn great. For instance: He leads AL in swing-and-misses, per James Smyth of YES Network. He’s behind guys like Clayton Kershaw, Jose Fernandez, and Noah Syndergaard for the ML top swing-and-misses, which is something. When Pineda’s on, he can absolutely blow hitters away. Just frustrating that he’s much more prone to mistakes than those guys.

(Getty)

One dinger, not much else

The Yankees faced A.J. Griffin earlier in the year and, well, they didn’t do much. He pitched eight innings of one-run ball en route to a 10-1 Rangers win back in April 26. Overall, they didn’t do much today either, scoring one off him in five inning while striking out eight times. That one run, by the way, came in a form of red-hot Didi Gregorius solo dinger.

In the bottom fifth, with Rangers still leading 1-0, Griffin struck out Chase Headley to begin the frame. Gregorius worked the count full and got a 85-mph slider on the inner part of the zone. Didi hit it high and the ball eventually sailed out to the right field seats for a solo tater. Statcast had the batted ball velocity of 93 mph, which is not exactly the hardest-hit ball for a homer but still, it had the distance. 1-1 tie.

With June almost over, let’s look at Didi’s nice month. Prior to today’s game, he’s hit for a .337/.369/.510 line with 10 XBH’s in 98 AB’s, which is great. His overall slash line? .290/.320/.435, good for a 100 wRC+. I’ll take that from him all season long.

(Getty)

A walk-off… passed ball?

The Yankees had a leadoff runner on to start the ninth after Headley drew a walk versus Tony Barnette. The next hitter, Didi Gregorius, last night’s walk-off HR hero, proceeded to bunt him over for a sacrifice. Many watchers, including David Cone in the broadcast booth, weren’t a fan of that move. I wasn’t a fan of it either – Barnette seemed to be having a hard time throwing strikes so yes, let’s give away an out! Anyways, Hicks also worked a five-pitch walk against Barnette, setting up a one-out, runners on first and second situation for Starlin Castro.

Castro followed it up with a weak ground out to first, which at least pushed both runners up to second and third. Next up was Jacoby Ellsbury. Most Yankee fans were praying for a base hit of sorts to end the game. However, it was Rangers catcher Chirinos’ mistake that won it for New York.

On a 1-1 pitch, Barnette threw a slider that was meant to catch the strike zone on a backdoor but it just missed slightly. Chirinos, in effort to frame it, kept his glove a bit high and closed it as the ball passed right below. As I mentioned, Barnette had some trouble throwing strikes in the inning and probably needed all the helps to get some calls. However, this particular pitch ended up like this …

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 5.06.16 PM

… and it trickled to the back. Headley immediately bolted home and was called safe by the HP ump Alan Porter. 2-1 Yankees. What an ending. Also, pretty notably, the Yankees faced a team with best AL record and earned a split. Now they are back to the seemingly-inevitable .500 mark (39-39).

Leftovers

After Pineda’s outing, Girardi plugged in the No Runs DMC equation to keep the game at 1-1 tie. Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman each tossed a scoreless inning, striking a total of four in three innings while allowing two hits. Ho-hum. I know it’s very much an acceptable outcome but why am I a bit underwhelmed?

Carlos Beltran actually played today! After being shelved Tuesday with a hamstring tweak, Beltran came off the bench in the seventh inning to pinch hit for Ronald Torreyes with two outs and a runner on. Jake Diekman ended up walking him and Ellsbury to get the bases loaded. That would’ve been a nice situation for Gardner to come through but he grounded out to second to end the frame. Oh well.

Box score, highlights, WPA and standings

Here’s today’s box score, video highlights, WPA and updated standings.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

The Yankees play at San Diego tomorrow so there will be no DH, which also lowers the chance of Beltran being in the starting lineup, as Girardi said in postgame. Oh well. But with a 39-year old guy, better safe than sorry.

Yankees lose Beltran and get shut down by Hamels in a 7-1 loss to the Rangers

I don’t know to make this one sound any better than it was besides saying “at least there wasn’t any three-hour rain delays tonight!” (Poor Mike) Okay, back to the sadness. The Yankees ran into one of the hottest pitchers in AL in the month of June and lost their best hitter very early in the game. CC Sabathia pitched well but everything pretty much fell apart in the eighth to make the win virtually unattainable. Last night, the Yankee offense at least showed some life. Tonight, offense was minimal. The final score was 7-1 Rangers.

(Rick Schultz/Getty Images)

Hard Luck CC

One of the more frequently-stated lines of the night was “CC pitched better than his line indicates” and it’s because it’s true. Sabathia had tough luck more than one way tonight. Not only did he not get support from his lineup, but also he was charged for six earned runs in seven innings. If you didn’t watch the game, trust me – he did much better than that.

CC wasn’t too sharp in the very beginning though. The Rangers struck in the very first inning. Ian Desmond got on first with a single and Adrian Beltre followed it up with a homer to the opposite field to make it 2-0 Rangers in the first inning. From then on though, Sabathia was just dealing.

From the second to seventh inning, he allowed only three baserunners and, of course, no runs. According to Brooks Baseball, he topped out at 94.3 mph, which is a good sight. He was hitting 93 mph in the eighth inning against Shin-Soo Choo, so it’s good to see that velocity maintained late as well. Speaking of which, that eighth inning spelled doom for not only CC but also the team.

Sabathia hit Choo with a pitch to start the eighth inning. On a 0-2 count, nonetheless. Desmond followed it up with a single on a grounder that deflected off of Sabathia. If these two outcomes were different, Sabathia could’ve had a nice line to exit with tonight. However, Beltre followed it up with a sharp single that deflected off Chase Headley‘s glove and trickled into center. Choo scored to make it 3-0 Rangers. Prince Fielder followed up with a double down the right field line that scored Desmond. Sabathia exited with a 4-0 deficit and once Anthony Swarzak allowed inherited runners to score, the big lefty was charged with six earned runs. Welp. Life ain’t fair.

Sabathia had a final line of 7 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s and 1 HR allowed. His ERA rose from 2.71 to 3.17. Man, that’s rough.

Handcuffed Bats

(Getty)

Cole Hamels had been on a roll prior to tonight’s start. In the month of June, the lefty had pitched to a 1.82 ERA in five starts. But fear not, maybe guys like Carlos Beltran can make something happen! Except he exited the game early after hitting a single. In the first inning, Beltran drilled a liner that reached the left field wall that looked like a sure double. However, he stopped at first. He is not a fast guy but it seemed like he could have easily taken second. Joe Girardi and athletic trainer Steve Donohue came out to examine him and Beltran soon exited. Not ideal!

The Yankees had a chance in the fourth with one out and runners on first and second. Didi Gregorius hit a bloop single that barely missed Rougned Odor’s glove, and Chase Headley followed it up with a soft grounder for another base hit. The next batter, Aaron Hicks, hit a hard liner to left but it was right towards 3B Beltre. The third baseman caught it and doubled Didi off at second. Ouch. Two very soft hit balls set up the chance but once a guy hits it hard, the entire inning gets wiped away. Story of this team’s season.

Besides the first and fourth innings, uh, not much there to highlight besides that. Hamels pitched seven scoreless. The lefty threw to a 7.0 IP, 6H, 1BB, 7 K line – neat and tidy if you are a Rangers fan. RAB may have New York Rangers fans but probably zero Texas Rangers readers. So uh, a yucky showing by the Yankee bats.

A Run!

As soon as Hamels departed the mound, the Yankee lineup immediately abolished the shutout. Jake Diekman, a hard-throwing lefty, came into relief in the bottom of the eighth. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a double to lead off and advanced to third on a Rob Refsnyder fly ball to right. A-Rod followed it up with a sac fly to center to drive Ellsbury in. A run! Sound the (moral) victory alarms! The Rangers still led 7-1, a score that would never change.

Leftovers

As mentioned before, Anthony Swarzak came into the eighth inning to somehow make a no out, runners on second and third situation better. Well, I’ll tell you what, Swarzak ain’t David “Houdini” Robertson. He ended up allowing both runners to score and, in fact, he added an earned run of his own! After starting the eighth with a 2-0 deficit, Yankees got out of the inning trailing 7-0.

Conor Mullee, who was called up earlier today, got the call to take care of the garbage time ninth inning. I don’t know how you saw it, but I thought he looked pretty darn good tonight. He struck out Choo and Desmond swinging and retired Beltre with a fly ball.

Box Score, Highlights, WPA and Standings

Here’s tonight’s box score, video highlights, updated standings and here’s the WPA.


Source: FanGraphs


Will the Yankees get a win this four-game series? They will have Masahiro Tanaka on the mound versus Nick Martinez for the Rangers on Wednesday.

Yanks lose to Mother Nature, Rangers 9-6 in series opener

Boy, it’s easy to tell which team is in first place and which team is trying to trick itself into believing it’s a contender, isn’t it? The Yankees blew a multiple leads Monday night, including a one-run ninth inning lead after waiting out a 215-minute rain delay. Brutal. The final score was 9-6 Rangers.

Whatever works. (Presswire)
Whatever works. (Presswire)

Pride, Power, Singles
The Yankees had 12 hits through the first six innings and all 12 were singles. Mark Teixeira, Didi Gregorius, and Chase Headley strung together hits for a second inning run to the tie the game 1-1, then Aaron Hicks plated a second run with a ground out. In the third, the Yankees blooped their way to another run, this one giving them a 3-2 lead. The hardest hit ball of the inning (by far) was Brett Gardner‘s leadoff line out. Ian Desmond made a nice sliding catch in center.

After Gardner’s line out, Carlos Beltran blooped a single to center, Brian McCann drew a walk, Teixeira blooped another single to center, and Starlin Castro blooper yet another single to center to score the run. It was pretty much a typical Starlin at-bat. Rangers starter Chi Chi Gonzalez fed him soft stuff away, Castro hacked at it, and he managed to loop this pitch …

Starlin Castro Chi Chi Gonzalez

… into center to drive in a run. Go figure. That seems to be a Castro specialty.

Four more singles in the fifth inning created two more runs. Gardner and Beltran started the inning with back-to-back singles, then McCann lined a ball off the wall in right-center field. It was one of those “he hit it so hard he held himself to a single” singles. It actually looked like it had a chance to go out off the bat, but it stayed in the park and hit the wall. Still drove in a run. Gregorius came through with a clutch two-out single to score another run later in the inning. That made it 5-4 Yankees.

Ivan’s Last Stand?
You know, there’s no real reason to think the Yankees will pull Ivan Nova from the rotation, but if they aren’t at least considering it after Monday night, I’m not sure what else they need to see. On a night Chad Green dominated (again) for Triple-A Scranton, Nova allowed four runs in five innings to an admittedly great Rangers team. He’s now allowed 31 runs and 67 baserunners in his last seven starts and 39 innings. Yikes.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Desmond, the second batter of the game, swatted an opposite field solo homer to open the scoring. Nova has managed to allow at least one homer in all ten starts this season, and man, I’m not even mad. That’s amazing. The last Yankee to allow a homer in ten straight starts was (who else?) Phil Hughes back in 2012. He did it in 12 straight. The real back-breaker Monday night was Shin-Soo Choo’s two-out, two-strike, two-run single in the fourth. Nova was one strike away from stranding the bases loaded, but nope.

Following Monday’s game Nova is now sitting on a 5.32 ERA (5.05 FIP) in 69.1 innings. He had a 5.07 ERA (4.87 FIP) in 94 innings last year, so he’s basically been the same guy. Ivan’s first three or four starts this year were better than anything he did last year, but man, he is not good. Guys like Nova, who don’t have good command or a reliable third pitch, seem to suffer the most following Tommy John surgery. Maybe this is just who he is now?

A Rainy End
Nova was able to eke through five innings, and the Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the fifth, meaning they were one inning away from handing their big three relievers a lead. The middle innings have been a nightmare all season, but journeyman Richard Bleier came in and retired the side in order in the sixth. He did allow two hard-hit at ’em balls, but hey, outs are outs. It was nice to see a non-big reliever toss a 1-2-3 inning for once.

Dellin Betances carved up the side in the seventh — he’s retired all 12 batters he’s faced in his last four outings — and Andrew Miller allowed a solo homer to Rougned Odor in the eighth. It was a bomb into the second deck too. Can’t say I expected the lefty to do that against Miller. Luckily Teixeira tacked on an insurance run with a cheap Yankee Stadium homer to right in the previous half-inning. The lead was 6-5 after Odor’s homer.

Now, it was raining for most of the game, but for the most part it was a light rain they could play through. It started to get more intense in the seventh, then even more intense in the eighth, and then even more intense in the ninth. The Yankees were up 6-5, Aroldis Chapman started the ninth in a legitimate downpour, and he walked the leadoff man on five pitches. It was light hitting No. 9 hitter Robinson Chirinos. Annoying!

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Chapman then fell behind the next batter 3-1, which prompted Joe Girardi to come out of the dugout and complain about the conditions. The umpires got together and decided to put the tarp on the field. The Rangers were pissed and rightfully so. They pitched through similar conditions in the bottom of the eighth, yet the rain didn’t become a problem until Chapman walked a batter and fell behind another. I’d be pretty angry about that too.

Following what was officially a three hour and 35 minute rain delay (!), Kirby replaced Chapman at 2:15am ET and inherited the runner on first and the 3-1 count to the runner at the plate. Not ideal! I know everyone was hoping the game would be called. Yates was able to come back from the 3-1 count to fan Choo, which was huge. He had no margin for error and was able to get the out anyway.

Home plate ump John Tumpane was giving Yates a nice wide strike zone, yet he managed to plunk both Desmond and Nomar Mazara in 1-2 counts to load the bases. Sure enough, Yates went to a 1-2 count on Adrian Beltre, and thankfully he didn’t hit him. He served up a two-run single instead, giving the Rangers a 7-6 lead. Yates then hit Prince Fielder, because why not, and gave up a two-run single to Elvis Andrus. That gave Texas a 9-6 lead.

Leftovers
The Yankees put 20 runners on base in nine innings and somehow only scored six runs. I guess that’s what happens when only two of your 16 hits go for extra bases. Teixeira hit the homer and Gregorius had a double as well. Every starter had a hit except Hicks. What does Ken Singleton say, there’s always someone who doesn’t get invited to the party in games like this? That was Hicks.

Gardner (two), Beltran (three), Teixeira (three), Castro (two), and Gregorius (three) all had multiple hits. Teixeira’s gone deep in back-to-back games after going nearly two months without a dinger before the knee injury. Ellsbury, Beltran, McCann, and Headley drew the team’s four walks. Didi and Ellsbury stole bases too. The Yankees went 5-for-19 (.263) with runners in scoring position.

And finally, just because the ninth inning wasn’t absurd enough, the Rangers challenged Castro’s leadoff infield single in the ninth inning. At 2:39am ET. The call was upheld and he was safe. The Yankees brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but alas, the rally fell short. I look forward to this one being blamed on the rain and not the crappy roster.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Head over to ESPN for the box score and updated standings. MLB.com has the video highlights. We have Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages too. Here’s the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
This four-game series is just getting started. The Yankees and Rangers will be play the second game Tuesday night, when veteran lefty aces CC Sabathia and Cole Hamels are on the mound. The Yankees won’t play another home game until July 15th after this series, so head on over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch any of these next three games live.

Yankees can’t finish sweep, instead get embarrassed 7-1 by the Twins

That was maybe the single worst game of the season, which is really saying something. It had it all. An ineffective starter? Check. Minimal offense? Also check. A leaky bullpen? A third check. That was not a fun baseball watching experience. The Yankees lost 7-1 to the Twins on Sunday to again fall to .500 on the season. They’re 37-37. This team is mediocrity defined.

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

Nate’s Homers
Nathan Eovaldi‘s home run problem has gone from annoying to alarming. He came into the season with a career 0.63 HR/9 and 7.1 HR/FB% in 614.1 innings. It was 0.58 HR/9 and 7.8 HR/FB% in 154.1 innings last year. That’s not a small sample! Eovaldi showed a legitimate home run suppressing skill prior to this season, and that skill has totally disappeared this season, and especially of late.

Eovaldi went into Sunday’s start with a 1.45 HR/9 and 17.1 HR/FB% in 80.2 innings this season. After allowing four homers to the Twins, including back-to-back-to-back (!) blasts in the sixth inning, those numbers are now 1.77 HR/9 and 21.3 HR/FB% in 86.2 innings. The 17 homers he’s allowed are a career-high — his previous career high was 14 in 2014 — and in his last five starts, he’s allowed ten homers in 26 innings. Yikes.

Having watched these last five starts, it’s pretty clear the homers are all the result of location problems. He’s not getting unlucky with Yankee Stadium cheapies on well-located pitches. When Eovaldi has missed, he’s missed right out over the plate …

Nathan Eovaldi home runs

… and hitters are just way too comfortable in the box against him. For a guy who throws 100 mph regularly, that should not be the case. Why has Eovaldi’s location been so poor of late? I have no idea. It wasn’t always this bad. Maybe he’s a mechanical mess or maybe he’s pitching through some sort of injury. Maybe it’s something else entirely.

Whatever it is, it’s a huge problem and it needs to get fixed. Eovaldi’s either going to help the Yankees back into contention or get traded as part of the rebuild. It’s hard to see a middle ground. And unless he gets this homer issue corrected and soon, Eovaldi won’t help the Yankees contend and he won’t fetch much in return. Along with Luis Severino being a disaster earlier this season, Eovaldi’s homers are the biggest big picture concern for the Yankees in 2016.

Cy Duffey
What a miserable performance by the offense. You have to give Tyler Duffey credit, of course. He pitched well and deserves all the praise he gets, but we’ve seen the offense disappear far too often this season to think Sunday was just a bad day. Duffey took a perfect game into the sixth inning before Aaron Hicks broke it up with a double to right. Their second and only other hit of the game was Mark Teixeira‘s garbage time solo homer in the eighth. It was his first homer in 43 games and 165 plate appearances.

The Yankees won two of three this weekend but scored only eight runs against a Twins team that came into the series on pace to allow 913 runs (!!!) this season. The last team to allow that many runs was the 2008 Rangers (967). Furthermore, three of those eight runs were unearned, and one of the five earned runs scored when Eduardo Escobar botched an inning-ending grounder Saturday. (Yes, that run was earned.) I can’t remember the last time the Yankees had an offense this boring and ineffective. Even the 2013 offense wasn’t this unwatchable.

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

Leftovers
Luis Cessa (five outs), Richard Bleier (one out), and Kirby Yates (three outs) came out of the bullpen after Eovaldi. Cessa and Yates allowed solo homers. Cessa is stretched out and I’m not sure why Joe Girardi didn’t just leave him in for the final three innings. Getting Bleier, a 29-year-old rookie with almost certainly no long-term role with the Yankees, work shouldn’t be a priority. He was brought in for the left-on-left matchup in a game the Yankees were losing 6-0.

The two hits — Hicks’ double and Teixeira’s homer — was the team’s only baserunners on the afternoon. No walks, no hit-by-pitches, no catcher’s interferences, nothing. I count only three three-ball counts among the 29 Yankees to bat. They saw five pitches total in the ninth inning too. That was very much a “let’s just get this over with and swing at everything” inning.

The Yankees allowed six homers in a game for the first time since September 2012, when the Orioles got them. The Twins hit six homers in a game for the first time since July 2007, when they did it to the White Sox. The Yankees have been out-homered 95-76 this season. Gross.

And finally, the Yankees went 6-5 during this eleven-game stretch against the Rockies and Twins. The hope was they would pad their record and get over .500 for good during these eleven games, but lol no. Their postseason odds went from 16.6% to 13.4% during the eleven games, per FanGraphs.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
ESPN is the place to go for the box score and updated standings. MLB.com has the video highlights and we have Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. Here’s the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The party is over. The Yankees just finished an extended stretch against some of the worst teams in baseball, and now one of the best is coming to the Bronx for a four-game series. The Rangers, owners of the best record in the AL t 49-27, will be in town this week. Ivan Nova and a man named Chi Chi Gonzalez will be on the mound Monday night. That’s the last home series before the All-Star break, so head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch one of those four games live.