With an off day Thursday, and also next Monday, manager Aaron Boone wanted to give some starting pitchers more rest and also look to set up the rotation for the playoffs. Ok, I can see that. I get that.
The problem was that the guy who made the spot start, enabling him to do that was Sonny Gray. Once again, instead of attacking hitters, Gray was tentative and was once again the disappointment he has been all season.
And Jonathan Loaisiga picked a bad time to have his first MLB clunker.
The Yanks’ (90-55) 10-5 loss to the Twins Tuesday night means that the footsteps are getting louder. Oakland beat the Bad News Bears (um, the 41-103 Baltimore Orioles) and are now just 2 games back of the Yanks for the top wild card spot. The Yanks have to start winning games and go on a winning streak. They can’t continue to play .500 ball as they are doing this September and hope teams like the Orioles help them out by beating Oakland.
The Yanks scored first, when in the second inning, Didi Gregorius tripled and scored on a SF by Gary Sanchez.
Gray, as he has done often this season, started strong but soon fell apart. He had a 1-2-3 first inning, got the first two batters in the second, but had to then work out of a bases-loaded jam in the second to get out of that inning unscathed.
He wasn’t so fortunate in the third, giving up three runs, two on a single by ex-Yankee prospect Jake Cave.
The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, attempting to get back in the game, but Sanchez GIDP.
Jonathan Loaisiga replaced Gray, and in his sixth MLB game, delivered his first clunker, giving up a run in the fourth to make it 4-1, Twins. He came in with a 2.70 ERA, left with a 5.06.
Minnesota got six in the fifth to put the game away. A couple of walks hurt Loaisiga as a couple of runs scored. The Yanks then brought in Tommy Kahnle, who promptly gave up a grand slam to Joe Mauer.
I was at a game on Sept. 2 when Kahnle came in and gave up a HR to the first batter he faced. Now he did it again.
Didi hit a grand slam in the sixth, 10-5, but that was it. It was Didi’s 23rd HR of the season.
The Yanks only got 5 hits in the game, and GIDP 3x.
Andujar 2 hits
Didi triple, grand slam, 4 RBI.
McCutchen and Stanton each walked twice.
Gray (L, 10-9, 4.99) 3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 1 1/3 IP, 6 R, 4 H, 3 W, 3 K. 5.06
Kahnle 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 2 K. 5.89. Gave up a grand slam.
Tarpley 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 7.36