What going on with the New York Yankees? The Yankees themselves spoiled what was to be a triumphant return to Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have taken another step backward after the exciting debut of new players and a sweep of the Miami Marlins. After an exuberant start by Anthony Rizzo in Miami, it seems that he, too, has caught the Yankee flu. That has nothing to do with Covid; it’s a flu that the Yankees haven’t been able to shake all season, not being able to hit a baseball even against a lousy team with a subpar pitcher.
Andrew Heaney flopped and flopped big time
After last night the new New York Yankee pitcher Andrew Heaney is saddled with the worst debut of a Yankee pitcher in the franchise’s history. It’s the first time a Yankee pitcher gave up four home runs in a debut start. Heaney was horrible.
Heaney took to the mound for the first time as New York Yankee facing Cedrick Mancini, who flew out to left. Austin Hays popped out to LeMahieu. Trey Mancini flew out to end a perfect half for Heaney. At the second, Ryan Mountcastle led off by doubling down the left-field line. Anthony Santander struck out. Ramon Urias flew out to Stanton playing right field for the first time this year. Pedro Severino tapped back to Heaney for the final out. So far, so good.
Then came the third inning when Heaney turned into Dr. Jeckle, and Mister Hyde wrapped up in pinstripes. Mullins homered to center for the Orioles lead. Austin Hays hit a back-to-back homer this one to left field. The fourth inning was led off by Mountcastle, who got the third Oriole home run. Urias hit another home run, and just like that, Heaney had forgotten how to pitch. With the Yankee’s lack of hitting, Yankee fans saw the all too familiar behind four runs in the fourth, blown out early in a game. The Yankees lost 7-1.
Yankees still can’t consistently hit the leather
Yesterday the Yankees faced a Baltimore Orioles pitcher that was sub-par to be polite. Jorge Lopez had an ERA of 6.19. The Orioles had lost 14 of his starts. With a right-left, right-left power-hitting lineup, the Yankees couldn’t get a single hit off Lopez until the fifth inning. After that, it would be the only hit the Yankees would get off of Lopez. It’s not that they didn’t have their opportunities; they did; he walked five Yankees hitters as the Yankees went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
What has dogged the Yankees all season is their inability to hit the ball in the air. Instead, they continually hit ground balls into the infield and hit into double plays. As a result, they have hit into more double plays than any other team. If there was a Yankee star yesterday, Joey Gallo made some amazing defensive plays and hit a double in the sixth inning.
With all the opportunities the most exciting moment of the game was a cat running across the field that a battery of ground crew and security took several minutes to shoo off the field.
Yankees now have a big pitching problem
To add an even bigger downer to the Yankee’s loss, the Yankees announced that pitching ace Gerrit Cole has tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, he will miss his start today and at laest another one or two starts. In the best-case scenario, he will have two negative tests and miss only two starts assuming he has been vaccinated; if not, he could miss three starts or more if the virus hits him hard.
Add to that that Domingo German has been put of the 10 day IL with shoulder inflammation. With those two pitchers out for at least two starts, the Yankees have a big pitching problem. They have at least four slots to fill and no one to fill them. Their best chance to win a game is with Nestor Cortes Jr. on the mound today, replacing Cole; beyond that, they are in an uncharted area. Micheal King is on the IL, Deivi Garcia is pitching horribly with an ERA over 7 at Scranton. Clarke Schmidt, Luis Severino, and Corey Kluber won’t return to the team before August 20th. This means that the Yankees will probably have to use Heaney again, Holmes, and likely have to piece together at least a game or two from the bullpen.