Maybe Gary Sanchez needs a benching to light a fire under his butt. Twice he didn’t hustle and it cost the Yanks in a 7-6 loss to the Rays that dropped the 63-35 Yanks six back of Boston, who beat the Bad News Bears (sorry, I meant the Baltimore Orioles) last night.
Maybe he is taking his batting average (.188) into the field now, or maybe he is just a player that you have to stay on top of and keep lighting that fire under his butt, but there is no excuse for those two plays. None.
Luis Severino was not his ace-like self for the third consecutive outing, and you wonder about that.
In the first inning, with two out and a runner on second, Severino and Sanchez crossed signals and there was a PB. But the ball scooted away from Sanchez and went toward the third base coaching box. Sanchez seemed to jog after the ball. The runner meanwhile, rounded third and headed for home. Maybe Severino was a little late getting to the plate, maybe Miguel Andujar at third needed to go after the ball, but there was no doubt in watching Sanchez’ lackadaisical effort in retrieving the ball that more hustle was needed there.
And this is after Sanchez did NOT hustle on a groundball out in his first game back off the DL on Friday night.
But he wasn’t done. We will get to that later.
In the second, the Yanks tied the game at one apiece on an RBI single by Andujar.
But in the fifth, Severino gave up a 3-run HR. 4-1 Rays.
The Yanks got two back in the top of the sixth. With two out, Stanton, who went 4 for 4, singled and went to third when Hicks reached on an error. A PB made it 4-2, and Sanchez singled to make it 4-3.
But Severino gave runs right back. HR, double, single and Seve was gone. Chad Green in, and he gave up a single that made it 6-3. He got out of the inning but not before another run scored, 7-3.
The Yanks got three back in the seventh. With one out, Walker, Gardner and Judge all walked to load the bases. Didi got an RBI groundout and Stanton singled in two runs.
To the ninth. Gardner reached on an infield single. Judge walked. Didi sacrificed the runners over, and Stanton, unsurprisingly, was intentionally walked to load the bases as Tampa Bay hoped for the game-ending DP. Hicks bounced into a 5-2 force at home. Sanchez then hit a hard grounder up the middle, that the second baseman, playing on the SS side of the bag, what with a shift on, fielded. He flipped to the SS covering, but the hustling Hicks beat the throw. The SS threw to first, and got Sanchez for the final out. Sanchez, thinking his grounder was an easy forceout, did not hustle out of the box. He only turned on the jets when he saw Hicks was safe at second. Too late.
Inexcusable. If Sanchez can beat it out, Judge scores the tying run, the bases are still loaded and maybe the Yanks get a hit to win the game.
Instead, they fall six back and are 13-13 since June 22.
Sanchez needs the riot act read to him.
Not surprisingly, all media outlets are calling out Sanchez after that poor display last night, and deservedly so.
Stanton 4 for 4 , 2 RBI
Andujar 2 hits, RBI
Severino (L, 14-3, 2.63) 5+ IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 11 H, 0 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR. Very unlike Sevy.
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.63
Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 1 HBP. 2.39
Cole 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.87 as a NYY.