The Yankees’ bullpen is supposed to be a strength. Yesterday it turned out to be their downfall—twice.
I do have to ask. Earlier this week, Lucas Giolito of the White Sox tossed a no-hitter, and it was not in a 7-inning DH shortened game. A true 9-inning no-no.
So why is it that Yankees’ starters have to get pulled after 65-70 pitches (except for Gerrit Cole) EVEN WHEN THEY ARE DOING WELL?
I like Aaron Boone as a manager, but feel as if he’s cost them a couple of games lately. By losing BOTH games of a DH yesterday, the Yanks fall to 16-13 on the season, and have a 7-game losing streak. They fall 4 games back of Tampa Bay in the AL East, and worse yet, are only 1/2 a game ahead of third place Toronto.
Mets’ announcer Bob Murphy used to describe the “happy” recap after Mets wins. For Yankees’ fans, this will be one sad recap.
First off, another Yankee could be DH bound. Gio Urshela, with bone spurs in his elbow. The Yanks lineup is starting to look like a spring training lineup. Heck, Estevan Florial made his MLB debut. To show how shocking that is, Florial has not even played in AA yet. The lefty hitter is 22 years old. Another heck. Gary Sanchez, hitting .130, had to be the cleanup hitter.
The Yanks brought up Jordy Mercer. Just tured 34, righty hitter. Mostly a SS, some 2b. Has played for the Pirates (2012-2018), Tigers (2019-2020). 162 game average .257-12-54, OPS+ 91 (average is 100). Pirates’ full-time SS, 2013-2018. 7 postseason games, 2 for 14.
In this game, the Yanks took a 4-0 lead by scoring twice in both the bottom of the first and second innings.
In the first, Luke Voit, hitting leadoff (!) singled, and scored on a double by Clint Frazier. Brett Gardner bunt singled, Frazier going to third. Gary Sanchez walked, and there was a wild pitch enabling Frazier to score.
In the second, with two out, Voit doubled and Frazier homered (3). 4-0.
Jordan Montgomery took a shutout into the fifth. With two out, the loss of Urshela bit the Yanks. A HBP, then an error at 3b by Miguel Andujar. A WP by Montgomery. A gift run for the Mets.
Montgomery started the sixth. He gave up back-to-back singles, then Boone had a quick hook. Out after 68 pitches. It seems like Boone is trying to shorten an already shortened game, by bringing into the game, in the sixth inning, guys used to coming in in the eighth inning. It’s backfiring on him.
That or he doesn’t trust starters to go through the order a third time. Being old school, I’m shaking my head seeing pitchers leave after 5 innings of no runs or one-run given up, and only 65-70 pitches thrown. I’d love to talk to, say, Bob Gibson about that.
Anyway, Boone brings in Chad Green (and I understand he didn’t want lefty Montgomery facing Alonso), who gave up the HR to Freddie Freeman that cost the Yankees a 2-1 loss to the Braves on Wednesday. So what does Green do here? Give up not only a 3-run HR to tie up the game, but two more HR after that. 6-4 Mets, which wound up the final score.
The Yankees struck out 13x. In a 7-inning game.
Voit 3 hits
Frazier 2 for 2 with a walk, 3 RBI, a 2-run HR (3)
Florial First MLB hit.
Montgomery 5+ IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 W, 6 K. 4.44
Green (L, 2-2; BS, 2; 3.68) 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 3 HR
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.61
Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a run in the bottom of the first (Mets home team in this game) but the Yanks came back with three in the third.
Mercer walked. Thairo Estrada singled him to third. 40 yr. old backup C Erik Kratz singled in a run (is it a stretch to say that Kratz, hitting .357 in his limited time, is outperforming the .130 hitting Sanchez?). After an out, Frazier walked to load the bases. Aaron Hicks singled in one run and Sanchez walked to make it 3-1 Yankees.
I like Loaisiga. With Paxton out, he may help in the starting role, but once again, the Yanks need more from their starters. Loaisiga did a good job but needs to be stretched out more. Pulled after 39 pitches.
Rookie Nick Nelson gave up a run in the fifth.
The Yanks took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh. In came Aroldis Chapman. Walk, then a walk-off 2-run HR. Ballgame. Yanks lose, 4-3.
Frazier 0 for 3, struck out 3x. Did have a walk.
Hicks 2 hits, RBI
Loaisiga 3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 3 K. 2.81. Stretch him out more.
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.60
Nelson (H, 1) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 7.27
Cessa (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.22
Chapman (L, 0-1; BS, 1; 27.00) 0 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up GW walkoff HR.
Between the IL and the 7-game losing streak, the Yanks are hurting.
Some guys have to start hitting.
Sanchez 10 for 77. .130. Half of his hits HR, but with Judge and Stanton out, his troubles are now magnified. OPS+ 62.
Andujar 4 for 31. .129. All singles. With Urshela day to day with a bone spur, Andujar has to step it up, defensively as well as offensively. OPS+ -20 (MINUS 20).
Brett Gardner is only hitting .183, Aaron Hicks .205, Mike Ford .170.
With guys on the shelf, some other guys, especially Sanchez and Andujar, have to pick it up.
Not only that, but no Yankees’ starter other than Cole is averaging 5 innings/start. That needs to change, too.