Game 80. Ugly loss. Boston 11, Yanks 0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks ran up against their nemesis, Chris Sale, last night and lost to Boston 11-0. Sale has the lowest ERA against the Yanks of any pitcher in the past 100 years.

The loss drops the 53-27 Yanks one game behind 56-28 Boston. Tonight is game 81, meaning the last game of the first half of the season.

Since the Yanks only got two hits in the game, one against Sale and one against a reliever, it probably would not have mattered if the Yanks threw Ford, Gomez, Ruffing, Guidry, or Pettitte on the mound against Sale. It probably wouldn’t have mattered because Sale was that dominant.

But it wasn’t any of those Yankees legends on the mound. It was Sonny Gray. And Gray’s struggles against Boston (and not just as a Yankee) continued.

I give Gray a lot of credit for standing up to the interviewers after the game and in answering all their questions honestly instead of cowering in the trainer’s room. But in watching that interview on the post game YES show, I also had the feeling I was listening to a lost soul who had that deer in the headlights look.

Gray is 1-6, 6.98 in his career vs. Boston. When you feel more confident in maybe starting Jonathan Loaisiga, in what would have been his fourth MLB start, against Boston than Gray, well ….  at least Boston hasn’t seen Loaisiga and maybe you catch lightning in a bottle. And remember, “Johnny Lasagna” had only as 45 IP above Low A before pitching in the majors.

But in watching body language, doesn’t it seem like Loaisiga is more calm and collected and that Gray is scared to throw a pitch?

Gray got the first two hitters out, then gave up a single, walk, single, and with two strikes, a grand slam. The Yanks didn’t even come up to bat yet, and were down 4-0 to Sale. Game effectively over at that point. Then Gray gave up two more runs in the second and was knocked out in the third.

Gray is 5-6, 5.44. Here is a damning stat. Of all pitchers with a dozen or more starts as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium, Gray has the worst ERA, 7.10. That’s worse than Pavano, Jeff Johnson, Tim Leary, Scott Sanderson…. worse than anyone, even Ed Whitson. In 14 starts at Yankee Stadium, including as a member of the Oakland A’s facing the Yankees, Gray is 4-6, 6.78.

He’s getting booed, and as long as he is pitching like this, the boos will get more merciless.

We have a problem.

One reporter from Newsday suggested Cashman “work his magic” and trade Gray. Of course, the Yanks have to get a starter first, then trade Gray, and right now, you are trading low on Gray.

I hope he can get straightened out. But it could be that Gray is better suited for a small market team like Oakland and that he can’t handle NY. We’ve seen it before. One scout a few weeks ago suggested that that wasn’t going to be the case, and said the Yanks have and will continue to have a problem with Gray.

One thing we do know. This isn’t good with Gray. It has to improve or Gray and the Yankees would be better suited if he pitches elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Austin Romine, with a tight hamstring, was removed early from last night’s game for precautionary reasons. Hopefully it’s just a day-to-day thing and Romine doesn’t have to go on the DL. But Gary Sanchez already is on the DL and won’t be back for a month. Losing Romine would be a crippling blow. The lack of Yankees’ catching depth was proven in this year’s MLB draft when they took catchers in BOTH the first and second rounds.

The Yanks sent Giovanny Gallegos down to AAA and haven’t made a move yet, pending Romine’s leg. Kyle Higashioka is Romine’s backup right now, and Higashioka is 0 for 21 now in his MLB career. If Romine has to go down, Wilkin Castillo would be coming up from SWB. Castillo, 34, last played in the majors in 2009, and has just 22 games of MLB experience. A switch-hitter, he was an OF/IF back then before being converted to a catcher. He started this year in independent league baseball. He only hit .218 last year for SWB, .244 now.

One guy the Yanks did have was 38 year old Erik Kratz, but they traded him to Milwaukee a few weeks ago when they re-signed Castillo. In 14 games for the Brewers, Kratz has hit 3 HR. Go figure. In his brief Yankees’ career, Kratz was 2 for 2 last year.

Not much to say about last night’s game. As mentioned, Gray put the Yanks into an early 6-0 hole, they couldn’t do anything against Sale, and Boston dominated.

With the ace, Severino, on the mound tonight, let’s hope Seve is as dominant tonight against Boston as Sale was against the Yanks last night.

The offense has been sluggish lately as well, with a couple of shutouts. Let’s hope they awaken.

Gleyber Torres hit cleanup last night, the youngest Yankee to do so since Mickey Mantle in 1953.

Brandon Drury was called up and played 1b last night.

Gray (5-6, 5.44) 2 1/3 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up Grand Slam.
Warren 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K.  1.35
Gallegos 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 3 K.  3.86    Gave up 1 HR. Sent down to AAA
Holder 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K.  2.01
Shreve 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.  4.97

 

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