After an improbable series win over the Oakland Athletics, the New York Yankees entertained the Kansas City Royals at Yankees Stadium last night. With the Yankees ace Gerrit Cole on the mound at home, the Royals beat the Yankees 6-5.
Ace Gerrit Cole solid
Although he has been silent on the matter, Gerrit Cole, the New York Yankee ace, must be feeling frustrated that the lack of Yankee hitting is holding down his record. Cole is 8-3 in fifteen games with four no-decisions. Last night was another one of those no decisions. Cole went seven complete innings giving up just two earned runs while striking out six. In the four middle innings of the game, the Yankee lineup missed multiple opportunities to score but didn’t while letting the Royals take away the Yankee lead.
Unfortunately for the Yankees and Cole, the normally solid Yankee bullpen collapsed in the eighth inning, allowing four Royals runs that the Yankees would not recover from. The Yankees’ best middle reliever Jonathan Loaisiga imploded. In two-thirds on an inning, he struck out two batters but also gave up 5 hits resulting in four earned runs and the loss for the Yankees.
Yankees fail to bring runners home
I have been writing about this all season long; the Yankees don’t seem to be able to bring runners home when they do hit. Last night the Yankees had loads of Yankees on base; they got 9 hits and walked 8 times for a total of 17 base runners. Of those baserunners, they could only bring five of those runners across home plate, three of them by the home run. On the night, they were 0 for ten, with runners in scoring position. With multiple chances, the Yankees again couldn’t get it done.
Along with leaving men on base, inconsistent play has been a problem that has dogged the Yankees all season long; they don’t win over the teams they should beat. With the New York Yankees inability to dominate the Tampa Bay Rays and the
Boston Red Sox must win every game against teams they should beat. Last night they slipped another game behind the East-leading Red Sox. Last night after the game, the YES Network’s Michael Kay detailed the problem of leaving men on base.
â€œNow one problem for the Yankees and this has been a problem all year is getting big hits with runners in scoring position. The Yankees had several chances (Tuesday) to break the game open, and just to take a look at one small snapshot, when they had the runner at third with fewer than two outs, they didnâ€™t get a hit. They scored on a wild pitch. Thatâ€™s been a problem all year. So they were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position (Tuesday), including in the ninth inning, and then they left 13 runners on base.â€
One very bright spot in last night’s game was the return of Luke Voit to the lineup. Voit has been out a month recovering from a right oblique strain. Before that, a meniscus tear in his knee. The two injuries have allowed him to play in only 13 games this season. The loss of Voit has meant no production from first base. Last season he was the home run leader (22), and his return to the team is most welcome. Last night he showed what he means to the team. He hit the first ball he saw 423′ into the left-field stands. He also had a triple and walked once, going 2 for 3 on the night.
Umpires are not fooling around
MLB started cracking down on the use of sticky stuff by pitchers to increase their grip on the baseball on Monday. It was a day off for the New York Yankees. Last night the poster boy for substance use Gerrit Cole was checked three times by umpires as he left the mound during the game. Kansas City Royals pitcher Brady Singer was also checked, as were the catchers.
The Yankee pitcher and Royals pitcher did not seem to mind the checking, at least visibly. But that is not the case across baseball. When the National’s Max Scherzer was checked the third time, he lost it, threw his cap and belt on the ground. But he was outdone by Sergio Romo, Oakland’s veteran pitcher sarcastically undid his belt and lowered his pants just below his buttock. Romo has been a respected pitcher for fourteen years. This is only day two of the umpire checks for “sticky stuff,” more to come.
EmpireSportMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow him on Twitter @parleewilliam.