The stage doesn’t get bigger during the regular season than that of a Yankees-Red Sox series and the Bombers came away with two out of three for the series win, despite losing the rubber game 5-4 on Thursday night.
Fans attribute Thursday’s loss to the Red Sox to a number of factors, such as:
- Manager Aaron Boone’s decision to leave Dellin Betances in to pitch a second inning of relief, which resulted in a J.D. Martinez homerun in the eighth inning which broke the tie and turned out to be the winning run;
- Bad umpiring;
- Fan interference with the Martinez homerun to prevent Aaron Judge from making an incredible leaping grab and preserving the tie.
In fact, the Yankees were not able to mount another come-from-behind victory, as had been the case often during the 17 for 18 winning streak. The team foundered on Thursday night against Craig Kimbrel, whom they had just bested on Tuesday.
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And despite what the fans appear to think, a contributing factor in Thursday’s loss was the inability of Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez to get their bats going—-Gardner was 0-4, Gregorius was 0-5, and Sanchez was 0-2 with two walks.
Prior to Wednesday night’s game Gardner told Kevin Kiernan of the New York Post that:
“With all the talent we have, other guys can pick you up, there is no pressure on me or anyone,” Gardner told The Post of this Yankees ballclub.”
While it is certainly true that the Yankees have a plethora of talent and on any given night can pick each other up if a bat or two is struggling.
However, more than six weeks into the season, we expect to see the bats pick up and averages rise for players such as Gardner, who is batting .208/.325/.609, and Sanchez, who is batting .202/.291/.775.
Maybe it’s time Boone applied some pressure on Gardner and Sanchez by moving them down in the order, or by bringing up Clint Frazier when he’s ready to challenge Gardner for left field.
As for Gregorius, after a torrid start to the season which garnered him the April American League Player of the Month honors, he has struggled at the plate recently.
Gregorius lately looks like an all-or- nothing hitter and he’s currently batting .100/.156/.133 as compared with the .330/.422/.739 numbers he posted for April.
Here, however, is the miracle that is baseball. Today we turn the page to a new series and everything is once again possible.
The Yankees have Sonny Gray on the mound. Gray will face the Oakland Athletics for the first time since being traded to the Yankees last season. The Athletics have yet to name a pitcher for tonight’s game.
Time to look forward to a new winning streak beginning tonight against the Athletics, who are currently five games back in the American League West and 7-10 on the road.