Last night the New York Yankees lost their second game in a row blowing any chance of taking a series from their rival Boston Red Sox. In the process, they slipped below the Toronto Blue Jays and into fourth place in the AL East, 5 1/2 games out of first place. They are now 3-9 in their last twelve games scoring only 2.4 runs per game.
Jameson Taillon fails to execute
The New York Yankees starter Jameson Taillon didn’t pitch horribly but failed to execute key pitches that gave up runs. Taillon threw 76 pitches, 54 of them strikes while striking out only 3 Red Sox. Last night was Taillon’s third no-decision in his last four starts for the Yankees. In an after-game interview, Taillon said it was not the called pitches, it was his failure to execute them.
Taillon pitched satisfactorily until the sixth inning when he clashed with Rafael Devers. Devers who has always been a problem for Yankee pitching hit a two-run single breaking a tied game. When Taillon left the game after 5.1 innings, he left a runner on base, that runner scored off reliever Jonathan Loaisiga, contributing to Taillon’s final line. Taillon has a 5.09 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 58:16 K/BB across 53 innings this season. Taillon has been the Yankees’ least productive starter as he tries to regain his 2018 form.
Bullpen fails to get the job done
The normally dependable Yankee bullpen imploded last night as Chad Green gave up four runs in only 2/3rd of an inning while striking just one. Two of those runs came from a 2 run home run by Rafael Devers. He took the loss in the game and now has an 0-4 record. Even though he officially took the loss the game was already lost after starter Jameson Taillon allowed three runs in his 5.1 innings of work. After Green was pulled from the game, Wandy Peralta and Brooks Kriske combined for 1.1 scoreless innings.
Chris Gittens added to bolster the lineup
The New York Yankees finally have called up first baseman Chris Gittens. This call-up solves two problems immediately. Gittens, .283/.486/.585 at the Rail Riders this season can take over first base and move DJ LeMahieu back to second base. It also replaces no production from a first baseman to a good hitting performer.
The Yankees have had a hitting problem that doesn’t seem to want to go away. During the last three years since Aaron Boone was hired as manager of the team, they have scored over an average of 5 runs per game. This season they are scoring under 4 runs a game and during the present slide only 2.4 runs per game over the last twelve games. Part of the reason for this is that they haven’t been getting production from left, centerfield, and first base. With the addition of the hard-hitting Gittens, the problem may at least be solved at first base. Last night in his major league debut he went hitless. He struck out once and walked once. With his batting average of .268, he is definitely an upgrade over Mike Ford.
Other hitting problems include the consistency and timeliness of hitting. When the Yankees do hit they fail to bring those runners home. In the last four games, they are 2 for 23 with runners in scoring position. Another problem the hitting coach Marcus Thames must fix is getting the lineup to get the ball up, they have far too many ground balls that lead into double play outs.