This was one frustrating loss.
The Miami Marlins, a team managed by one Yankees legend (Don Mattingly) and run by another (CEO Derek Jeter) beat the Yanks 4-3 in 10 innings last night. The win ensured the Marlins (the Marlins! One of MLBs worst in recent years) a playoff spot. Their first in 17 years, when they beat the Yanks in the 2003 WS.
For the Yanks, however, it was their fifth loss in their last six games. I don’t know what to think of this team. So inconsistent. From 16-6 to 5-15 to 10-0 to 1-5. That has been their season so far. Which team shows up in the postseason? Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?
Once again, they were sloppy, committing four errors. Once again, an error by Gary Sanchez, another by Gleyber Torres.
With the loss, it is certain that the Yankees will not host a postseason game at Yankee Stadium. They will be the #5 or the #8 seed. At present, they are the #5 seed and would go to #4 Cleveland (who are tied with the White Sox but who own the tiebreaker) for the first round. They still could wind up in Chicago or Minnesota. Even worse, if they continue losing today and tomorrow (and they have two rookies starting in Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt) they could fall to the #8 spot, 3rd in the AL East, behind Toronto. Right now they are only one game ahead of Toronto. At #8 they as of now would head to Tampa Bay, against whom they were 2-8 this season.
We probably won’t know until the last minute.
One thing we do know. The Yankees better snap out of their funk or their postseason will be a short one.
The Marlins got off to a quick 3-0 lead when, after two outs and then two walks, one-time (briefly) Yankee Garrett Cooper hit a 3-run HR off of J.A. Happ in the first inning.
Manager Aaron Boone was tossed in the bottom of the first for arguing a called strike three on Aaron Judge. It was a pathetic call by the home plate umpire. As I wrote many times last year, the umpire has to adjust his strike zone. As Suzyn Waldman said last night, “he can’t help it he’s tall.” Judge’s knees aren’t where a normal person’s knees are. He is 6’7″ . Knee high to a normal person isn’t knee high to Judge. Even worse, on a side view of the pitch crossing the plate, the pitch was just above his ANKLE, far from knee high. Terrible call, and Boone was tossed after the first pitch to Aaron Hicks, called a strike that appeared low as well.
MLB needs to do something about umpires like that. They need to adjust to the hitter’s strike zone, especially if that hitter is tall.
The Yanks got two runs in the third. With two out, D.J. LeMahieu walked and Aaron Judge doubled. A double by Hicks brought home D.J. and Judge.
In the eighth, the Yanks tied the game. Sanchez singled and was PR for by Mike Tauchman. He moved up on an error on a pickoff attempt and with two out, Judge singled him home to tie the game.
To extras, and that “man on second to start the inning” rule (which I hate). A bunt moved the runner to third. Then, a huge error by Kyle Higashioka. With the infield in, a grounder to Gleyber Torres, who ran at the runner on third before throwing home to Higashioka. Rundown. Higashioka ran the runner back towards third but his throw hit the runner, Monte Harrison, with the batter, Starling Marte, advancing all the way to second. No outs on the play. 2nd and 3rd. A SF gave Miami a 4-3 lead.
The anguish didn’t stop there.
The Yanks started the bottom of the tenth with their man on second, Tyler Wade, pinch-running for Gio Urshela. Torres walked. Once again, Higashioka didn’t come through, popping up a bunt. The Yanks have NO sac bunts this year. NONE. Then a double steal, and a walk to Clint Frazier that loaded the bases. So Higashioka’s failure to bunt didn’t seem to hurt, especially with D.J. LeMahieu up.
SF ties the game. A hit most likely wins it.
Instead a GIDP. Game over. Yanks lose, 4-3. Agonizing.
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Hicks 2 RBI
Voit 2 hits
Sanchez 2 hits
Happ 5 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.47
Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.52
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.89
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.09
Green (L, 3-3; 3.51) 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
A 10-inning 3-hitter, but gave up 4 runs, and a loss.