New York Yankees: Takeaways from Yankees stunning loss to the Astros

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

The New York Yankees went into last night’s game at Minute Maid Park in Houston hoping for the sweep of the Astros after shutting them out in the first two games. Instead, what they got was a kick in the butt in the last inning of the series. They lost that game when their hated rival had a walk-off 8-7 win.

Yankees pitch well through eight

Following Jameson Taillon‘s best outing of the season yesterday, he again pitched well. He again had good control of his pitches, allowing only three hits over six innings of work. However, something that still dogs him is giving up home runs. Of the three hits allowed, two were for home runs—one to Maldonado in the third inning and one to Tucker in the sixth inning.

When Taillon’s night was done, Boone made an unusual move bringing in starter Domingo German. The Yankees entered the eighth inning with a tight 4-2 lead. With DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge on board, Gary Sanchez hit a three-run homer to left to give the Yankees a five-run lead. At the bottom with that lead, German was masterful in getting a 1-2-3 inning and protecting that lead.

With the New York Yankees almost assured with the sweep of the Astros, everything went south for the Yankees. The Houston Astros that only scored two runs in 24 innings of the series erupted for six runs for the walk-off win. German gave up two runs, and he was replaced by Chad Green still with the lead; he gave up four runs for the complete collapse of the Yankee closers.

Yankees missed multiple opportunities

After shutting out the Houston Astros in the first two games, the Yankees in the eighth inning of last night’s game looked to be on the threshold of a complete three-game sweep of the Astros. But that was not to be as the Astros would score six runs for a stunning walk-off win. But that didn’t have to happen. Something that has dogged the Yankees all season long is the lack of timely hitting. That lack of hitting was evident again last night as the Yankees missed several opportunities to score far more runs. The Yankees went 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position. Although the Yankees had plenty of traffic on the bases, they got 8 hits and a season-high 14 walks off of Astros pitching.

The New York Yankees have a closer problem

The New York Yankees have had plenty of problems this season with starting pitching and a lineup that most of the time fails to hit, causing the Yankees to lose games. But now, an even bigger problem may be emerging. The Yankees don’t have a dependable closer.

Aroldis Chapman, after a strong start to the season, not giving up a run in his first 18 games, he’s given up a whopping 14 earned runs over his last 5 2/3 innings for a 22.24 ERA. It’s not a question of his “Cuban Missile” power; it’s still there, but he no longer has consistent command over his blazing fastball, and the results have been disastrous. In his last four attempts to save, he has given up 9 runs while walking 8 and only recording 5 strikeouts.

In a huge implosion against the New York Mets, he gave up 3 runs in the ninth inning of the first game of a 7 inning doubleheader on July 4th. Then, on July 6th against the Seattle Mariners, he gave up a hit and walked two with an eleven-run lead. He got out of the inning, but it took 24 pitches to register 3 strikeouts. Since then, Boone has been afraid to send him out onto to mound in save situations.  The next possible closer is Zack Britton, but; he has been on the IL with a hamstring injury and is not ready to return. Next in line is Chad Green, who can be lights-out but isn’t consistent, as seen in last night’s game when he gave up three runs and took the loss. The Yankees have to find out what’s causing Chapman’s dilemma and get it fixed sooner than later.

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