The New York Yankees bowed to the Baltimore Orioles again, for their second loss in this four-game series at Camden Yards, which will prevent them from taking this series, they so badly needed to win. The Yankee pitching ace Gerrit Cole lost again, and the Yankees have lost his last four starts in a row.
In my recaps, I usually cover the play by play highlights of the game. In this game, positive highlights are lacking to talk about, so I want to look instead at the game in its entirety, and what went wrong in this embarrassing loss to the lowly Baltimore Orioles. Here is what went wrong… everything!
Gerrit Cole gave up another home run in a game. He has given up a home run in every game he has started for the New York Yankees. He has given up 13 home runs in his nine starts. In all of his starts, he has seemed to struggle, and not show confidence in his stuff. Going into last night’s game he had not shown the dominance that he did pitching for the Houston Astros, last year. Last night, however, was different. Cole struck out eight of his first nine Orioles. The dominance was there, the confidence was there. But it all changed in the sixth inning when he gave up a homer to D J Stewart, that traveled into the Baltimore night, beyond the centerfield seats.
The run led to a series of events that caused Cole to give up five runs in the inning. The poor defense of Thairo Estrada caused the meltdown when his bad throw led to Cole being tagged for four unearned runs in the inning. Of course, Cole’s leadoff home run didn’t help. When your pitching fails and your defense fails you hade better have a good offense. That wasn’t there for the Yankees either last night. Clint Frazier’s home run was the only offense in the game. The Yankees only managed to muster up five hits, two of them by Frazier and two of them from backup catcher Kyle Higashioka.
For the last few weeks, the New York Yankees have just been playing horrible ball. Deficient pitching, lacking defense, and bats that remained mostly silent. The Yankees who scored nearly six runs per game last year, in the past three weeks have only produced 3.6 runs per game. The Yankee’s lack of hitting is also leading to leaving men on base. Last night the Yankees were 0-9 with runners in scoring position
The Yankees must right the ship and do it quickly if they don’t they may not even earn one of the AL’s eight postseason spots. With all that is going wrong for the Yankees, you also cannot discount the trickle-down effect of the injuries the Yankees are suffering. In the last sixteen games, there are many times that if the right player was handling a base or the right player was in the lineup. the result may have been different.
The Good Stuff:
Gerrit Cole showed the kind of dominance his presence on the mound can be. Before the meltdown, he was headed to a recond number of strikeouts. Clint Frazier showed the kind of impact he can have in a lineup going 2-4, with a homer. Gleyber Torres returned to the team, off the IL, and had a double in the game. With the Yankees being so short in the bullpen, Miguel Yajure pitched two scoreless innings.
The Bad Stuff:
Gerrit Cole continues to suffer from the long ball. Thairo Estrada bungled a throw that cost the Yankees four runs. The “next man up” mentality from last year is missing this season and in the game last night. They just aren’t getting the job done. New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone was not committal in when Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton might return; saying that he hoped they would be available for postseason play. Gary Sanchez continued his horrible play going 0-4.
After the game manager Boone had this to say about the team’s play:
“I don’t worry about confidence. Looking at our guys, we have to play better, period,’’ Boone said following an embarrassing 6-1 loss to the lowly Orioles on Saturday night at Camden Yards. “It is incumbent on all of us, and starts with me to set a good tone as far as putting a good plan in place and in position to succeed. I don’t worry about the confidence, because these guys have had a lot of success but we have to kick it in gear a little bit more.’’
In an after-game interview, Gerrit Cole put his take on what’s presently wrong:
“I’d like to see us turn the corner and start going in the right direction. Results don’t always dictate exactly what is going on. But at the same time, whether the offense has a good night and the pitchers can’t pick it up or the pitchers have a good night and the offense can’t pick it up or we pitch well and hit well and we don’t play good defense. All the things aren’t clicking for us. By and large we need all three areas of the game going in the right direction. If we don’t rattle off six wins a row that is fine, but we have to see some improvement across the board and start picking each other up.’’
Today, the New York Yankees will try to come away from Baltimore with a split in the four-game series. The Yankees will have Masahiro Tanaka, who has shown improvement lately, taking the mound against the Baltimore Orioles yet to be announced starter. When the Yankees leave Baltimore, they will travel to Buffalo, for three games against the Toronto Blue Jays.