New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from loss to the Phillies

William Parlee
new york yankees, justin wilson
new york yankees, justin wilson

Overall last night was not a good night for the New York Yankees. The Yankee bats again went silent, the pitching failed, and the Yankees may have lost their last lefty reliever. They also lost the game by being shut out by the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Justin Wilson injured shoulder in the game

In a game the New York Yankees were losing last night 2-0, Justin Wilson took to the mound in the seventh inning. He gave up a two-run homer to ex-Yankee Didi Gregorius. But on his 20th pitch of the inning, something went wrong. He turned away from home plate, clamping his hand. He immediately signaled to the dugout for the trainer. Stevy Donohue and manager Aaron Judge responded.

After a very short conversation, Wilson was taken out of the game. Apparently, before the game, Wilson noticed uncommon tightness in his shoulder that made it impossible to continue pitching after that twentieth pitch. In the dugout, he spoke with Donohue and indicated that it was his shoulder where something had gone wrong. This morning he will undergo an MRI to see what the problem is and how severe it is.

Aaron Boone said it might be nothing that a short rest won’t solve, but he will wait for tests to see what’s going on. If it keeps him off the mound for an extended period, it will be a problem for the Yankees as they already have lefty Zack Britton on the IL. If Wilson joins him, it will leave the Yankees with no lefty relievers on the 40 man roster.

Jameson Taillon has a hiccup

Going into last night’s game, Jameson Taillon had the second-best performance of any Yankee starter other than Domingo German. His ERA was 0.00 over 5.2 innings, giving up no runs. Taillon is coming back from his second Tommy John surgery, but in this spring, training looked entirely healthy, and in his own words, he felt great. And he’s pitched great in his first three games, one in relief, and two games started.

Last night that changed. Taillon breezed through the first two innings, striking out 4 of 6 batters he faced. Taillon got his fifth strikeout in the third inning, but then ex-Yankee Ronald Torreyes singled to left. Back to the top of the lineup, McCutchen popped back to Taillon for the second out. Hoskins singled, and Torreyes scored for the Phillies’ one-game lead. Gregorius singled, and Bohm singled, loading the bases, and that was it for starter Taillon. The New York Yankees are not overly concerned about this and consider it just a hiccup for a pitcher that has been performing nicely. Chad Green came to the rescue, closing out the inning but gave up another run in the next inning. The only other Phillies scoring came in the seventh innings against Justin Wilson when Didi Gregorius hit a two-run homer.

Yankee bats fall silent again

Last night against five Philly pitchers, the Yankee hitters could do nothing. They only had two hits in the game and didn’t get a single base on balls. This is concerning because a general lack of hitting so far in spring training has been evident. Besides a couple of games where the hitters prevailed, many games have only produced one or two runs.

There is no question that the New York Yankees have gotten to the top of the Grapefruit League by their excellent pitching, not because of a lot of runs scored. It is obvious that the hitting has gotten off to a slow start. It is generally considered that somewhere in 5 runs scored will win most games. The Yankees in this spring training have averaged 3.7 runs per game.

The lack of Yankee hitting is relatively widespread. DJ LeMahieu, last season’s batting champ for baseball, is hitting only .243 compared to .364 last season. Aaron Judge, who is entirely healthy, has yet to hit a home run. He is batting just .235. Aaron Hicks is batting only .200.  So for the first three hitters of the lineup, they are batting just .226. That batting average isn’t going to win games. Gary Sanchez, although he has 3 home runs, his batting average is the worst of the regular lineup hitters at just .176. Last year’s home run leader, Luke Voit, hasn’t hit a home run and is only batting .214. These players must improve and improve quickly, or the Yankees won’t be winning many games at the beginning of the season.

Some Yankee hitters are performing well. Giancarlo Stanton leads the few with an average of .391 with a homer. Clint Frazier is performing well; his average is .300 with two homers. Brett Gardner has an average of .273 with one Grand Slam and 6 RBI’s. Gleyber Torres has an average of .242 but shows good power with 2 home runs compared to last season. He only had 3 total last season.