Yankees: Good news and bad news from 5-4 loss to Blue Jays

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees fell 5–4 to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night, with the starting pitching failing to get the job done once again. Carlos Rodon was knocked out after just four innings, tossing 101 pitches, allowing five hits and three earned runs with four walks and five strikeouts.

Rodon has struggled at times to open the season, currently featuring a 3.66 ERA with an 82.8% left-on-base rate and 32.8% ground ball rate. His walk rate has skyrocketed to 5.03 across 19.2 innings, so he’s been a bit erratic.

Rodon has a 4.52 xERA, ranking in the 36th percentile, suggesting he’s actually gotten a bit more lucky than his numbers show. Opposing batters have an expected .258 batting average, which is certainly not where Rodon wants to be sitting. Batters have hit .286 against his four-seam fastball and .333 against his slider, which are his primary two pitches; certainly not encouraging.

That said, his velocity is hovering at 95.7 mph, the highest in his career, so that doesn’t seem to be a problematic variable in the equation, more so his location and confidence.

The Yankees’ Pitching Was Simply Bad

Aside from Rodon, relief pitcher Luke Weaver also struggled, giving up two hits and two earned runs and just 1.1 innings. The Yankees’ offense couldn’t do enough to get back on track, with Anthony Volpe holding the golden sombrero with four strikeouts over four at-bats. This was a rare down performance for Volpe, who’s been red hot this season, but clearly, something was bothering him, and he just had an off night.

The team recorded 10 strikeouts, with Aaron Judge contributing two and the top four batters combining for eight. In fact, the bottom half of the order did most of the damage, with Gleyber Torres picking up two runs, Alex Verdugo posting two hits, and Jose Trevino recording three RBIs — it was great to see these three get involved, the Yankees need a full-team effort.

The Yankees need more from the top half of the order, which has been dominant to start the season but has quieted down over the past few days. Toronto starter Yusei Kikuchi lasted six innings and gave up only one earned run, striking out nine batters. Toronto enjoyed tremendous starting support, which helped fuel back-to-back wins.

Judge is still patiently waiting to heat up, hitting just .182/.337/.394, well below his expected statistics to open the year. Judge has just barely missed some of his pitches, so once he starts to get on top of those, his numbers should skyrocket.

The Bombers will play at 3:07 on Wednesday afternoon, featuring Marcus Stroman on the mound against Kevin Gausman, who has struggled significantly to open the year.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: