When you are facing a future first ballot Hall-of-Famer, you don’t want to give him a big cushion to work with. But that is what Luis Severino did. Sevy had an awful first inning, giving up six runs, and after one inning Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw had a 6-0 lead.
The Yanks saw a couple of familiar faces for the first time in a while and were probably glad that they won’t see them as often since they are out of the division with the Dodgers and not with the Red Sox anymore. That would be Mookie Betts (probably a future HOF in his own right) and J. D. Martinez (who can also make a case for the HOF).
Betts hit Severino’s second pitch of the game for a HR, and after a hard-hit out and a single, Max Muncy hit a 2-run HR to put LA up 3-0. Just what you don’t want against Kershaw. If you look at the Dodgers’ team stats on baseball-reference.com, guess who the #1 Dodger of all-time is according to WAR? It’s not Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson or name another Dodger great. It’s Kershaw. Giving him a 3-0 lead is usually death to your team.
But the Dodgers were not done in the first. Four straight singles made it 4-0. A SF made it 5-0. Even the outs were hit hard. The Dodgers batted around, and Betts hit a single to make it 6-0. And Betts wasn’t done for the night.
The only thing encouraging for the Yankees was that both of the sluggers who came off the IL after being on it for over a month homered last night. The first was Josh Donaldson, whose solo HR (2) in the top of the second made it 6-1. Donaldson would hit another HR, a two-run shot, in the top of the ninth.
But Martinez hit a solo HR in the bottom of the third for LA to put the Dodgers up 7-1. It was the third HR Sevy gave up for the night. As I mentioned, even the outs he got were loud outs.
Giancarlo Stanton, the other Yankees’ slugger activated off the IL before the game, homered (5) in the top of the fourth off of Kershaw and it was 7-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Betts proved he wasn’t done, hitting his second HR of the game, this one off of Ryan Weber, to put the Dodgers up 8-2. Betts was 4 for 4 last night with 2 HR and 3 RBI.
Donaldson’s second HR of the game (3), a 2-run shot, closed out the scoring. Yanks lost 8-4.
The Yanks only got five hits on the night, and three of them, all HR, were by guys just off the IL in Donaldson and Stanton.
The loss dropped the Yanks to 34-25. They are in 3rd place in the AL East, 6 1/2 behind first place Tampa Bay and 3 behind second place Baltimore. If the playoffs started today, the Yanks would have the 6th and last playoff spot in the AL. They hold that spot by 2 1/2 games over Toronto. Long way to go, though.
Stanton solo HR (5).
Donaldson 2 HR (3). Solo and 2-run shots.
Severino (L, 0-1) 4 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 3 HR. 5.28
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 0.00 SEASON DEBUT JUST OFF IL
Weber 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.14
Abreu 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.45
I’m starting to worry about Anthony Volpe. He hasn’t stolen a base since May 13. Of course, you can’t steal if you aren’t getting on base. His average is down to .190. Since May 14, he is 7 for 58. That is a .121 batting average in that span. He has just 3 walks to go against 21 strikeouts. He is noted for his good eye and his speed and baserunning ability, but neither has shown up lately. Since May 2, he’s only hitting .152 with five walks and 36 strikeouts. It’s not just a recent slump. It’s been going on a while. He’s only 22, and we all (myself included) advocated for him after his phenomenal spring training. We do need to be patient with him, but remember he only had 22 games of AAA experience before the jump to the majors. For those who say AAA doesn’t matter and want to jump players right from AA to the majors, I disagree and point to Volpe as an example. Sure, some stars can do it. But it is rare. Some, like Al Kaline, never played a day in the minors. But it is rare. You wonder if Volpe, like Mickey Mantle in 1951, needs to be sent down to get his mojo back. Oswald Peraza has been raking at AAA lately. Is a switch in order? Volpe is on a pace for 22 HR and 60+ RBI. He is also on a 35 SB pace. Those are great numbers, but that pace has dropped off. I’m patient, but .190, OPS+ 71 and .152 over the last month is concerning. He’s human and at some point, you probably feel he is pressing or starting to press. You don’t want to destroy his confidence, but at some point, you need to see better results. Here’s hoping he turns it around, but maybe it has to start back at AAA.
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