The New York Yankees dropped their fifth consecutive game on Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays. In a must-win game to keep their Wild Card advantage, the hitting once again faltered, posting just three runs while Toronto scored six to secure the win. Over the last three games, the Yankees have only scored four runs.
With the offense struggling to get going and the postseason quickly dissipating from their view, the Yankees have an internal decision to make. We know they are capable of stringing together wins at an unseen rate, but they also go on massive cold streaks that plummet them down the standings. Currently, the Bombers are only 1.5 games ahead in the WC, as the Blue Jays are quickly picking up ground. With one game to finish off the series on Thursday, the Yankees must extract a victory and put themselves 2.5 games ahead.
Good news and bad news for the Yankees:
Again, the bad news continues to mount, but luckily, they have a series against the New York Mets coming up. The Mets are playing better as of late, but they still represent a struggling team with plenty of weaknesses the Yankees could take advantage of. On a more positive note, they will have three of their best starters featuring in a three-game series against the Mets, including Jordan Montgomery, Corey Kluber, and Jamison Taillon.
General manager Brian Cashman anticipated these three starters to have impactful seasons, but most have underwhelmed due to injury or inconsistencies. Montgomery hosts a 3.47 ERA, representing the best option of the three, but has still struggled in some categories. Montgomery has walked nearly as many batters as earned runs as he’s allowed (43 to 52).
Kluber, who suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out for a significant portion of the season, is looking to make a comeback, posting a 3.69 ERA so far over 61 innings. Taillon, on the other hand, hosts a 4.41 ERA, allowing 68 earned runs and 24 homers this season over 138.2 innings.
All three starters have had their ups and downs, and with Gerrit Cole picking up a hamstring injury against Toronto on Tuesday, it seems the perfect storm is brewing. I would be remiss not to mention Aroldis Chapman giving up a blast to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the ninth inning. Chapman has been an absolute liability during the 2nd half of the season, seeing his ERA elevate to 3.86. He’s given up eight homers, and 20 earned runs this year.
One positive Takeaway is Luis Gil, who gave up three runs over 3.1 innings. Some might look at that stat line and extract negativity, but he managed to battle his way out of a tough bases-loaded jam. Gil walked seven batters against a strong Toronto lineup — an unacceptable number but a good learning experience. He struck out six batters, tossing 91 pitches during a short amount of time on the mound in his third career start at the MLB level.
It is clear the Yankees have something special in Gil, and they need to continue utilizing him, presenting him with more reps and experience. He has earned a 1.42 ERA over 19 innings pitched this year, but I anticipate the Yankees relying on him a bit more moving forward.