The New York Yankees have lost their last four games and are currently experiencing one of the lower points of the 2021 season, as they now sit just two games above .500. In the AL East, they have dropped down to fourth place, 6.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in first. Even the Toronto Blue Jays have overtaken them by .5 games, so unless the offense can pick up the slack, the Yankees could find themselves floundering and gasping for air.
However, it never helps when the umpiring is lackluster, as the team experienced in Sundayâ€™s defeat against Boston. Tied 4-4 the ninth-inning, the Yankees had runners on first and third base with Rougned Odor at the plate. With a full count, home plate umpire Gabe Morales called one of the most egregious strike threes Iâ€™ve seen in quite a while.
Not only was the ball off the plate, but it also missed by at least 4 inches, which is a significant margin of error in baseball. The Yankees had been pushing for another run, as Gleyber Torres previously tied the game with an RBI double that drove in Aaron Judge. This was a fantastic opportunity for the Yankees to close out the last game of a three-game series and walk away with a victory, but they were thrown under the bus instead.
Even YES Network’s Michael Kay had some harsh things to say about the umpiring during the series:
I think itâ€™s tiring when losses are blamed on umpires calls because there is so much that goes on before and usually after but the strike 3 call on Odor was inexcusable and disgraceful. To make that call on national TV in the bottom of the ninth is ineptitude at its finest.
Good news and bad news for the Yankees:
Focusing more on the performance rather than the awful calls from Morales, the Yankees only managed five runs, four of which came in regular play. They did record 11 hits on the evening, with the top of their order doing the most damage, collecting eight hits in the first five batters.
This was a back-and-forth game throughout, as both teams traded blows until Boston eventually took a late lead in the tenth inning after Xander Bogaerts singled to deep center, driving in two runs.
As for the pitching, Domingo German lasted 5.2 innings and allowed just one run, lowering his ERA to 3.12. Unfortunately, Lucas Luetge allowed two runs over 1.1 innings, and Luis Cessa blew the game in the 10th. The relief pitching has been solid this season, and itâ€™s nice to see German taking a step forward and providing consistency in the starter’s role. Without Corey Kluber, the Yankees needed somebody to step up, and German is doing exactly that at the right time. Unfortunately, it wasnâ€™t enough to extract a victory in this extra-innings loss, but once the Yankee offense begins to provide consistency, we should expect a healthy string of victories.