Yankees: Good news and bad news from 6-1 loss to Toronto

mlb: milwaukee brewers at new york yankees, michael king
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees had a lackluster outing against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night, finishing with a 6–1 loss that evened their season record at .500. Michael King, a rising star transitioning from the bullpen to the starting rotation, took the mound for the Yankees.

Entering the game with impressive statistics— a 2.77 ERA, 11 K/9, a 79% LOB rate, a 42.7% ground ball rate, and a 9.1% HR/FB ratio across 87.2 innings— King didn’t disappoint.

He continued his stellar form, tossing 101 pitches across seven innings. Of those, 75 were strikes, leading to 13 strikeouts and only one earned run over five hits. In September alone, King’s been exceptional, entering this game with a 1.84 ERA over 14.2 innings. His performance suggests he’s primed for a major role in the Yankees’ 2024 starting rotation, potentially filling the void left by Luis Severino and Frankie Montas.

Yankees’ Offensive Struggles, But Austin Wells Offers Hope

On the offensive end, the Yankees’ bats were mostly quiet, accumulating just five hits and striking out 14 times. However, Austin Wells provided a glimmer of excitement, recording two hits, one of which was his first MLB home run— a 416-foot blast to right field. While this was the Yankees’ lone scoreboard contribution, Wells’ display should give the team something to feel positive about.

Currently competing for the backup catcher role behind Jose Trevino, Wells has a prime opportunity to make a case for himself for the 2024 season. If he maintains this level of offensive production, it could even prompt the Yankees to part ways with Kyle Higashioka in favor of permanently promoting Wells, who has also proven to be a reliable defensive asset behind the plate.

Gerrit Cole Set for Friday Night Showdown with Blue Jays

The Yankees are scheduled to meet the Blue Jays again on Friday night, this time with ace Gerrit Cole taking the mound at 7:05 PM. In the midst of a Cy Young Award campaign, Cole boasts the third-best ERA in baseball at 2.81 and ranks fifth in strikeouts with 208. He’ll be aiming to secure his 14th win of the season in the upcoming game.

Though the Yankees faced a setback in their recent matchup against the Blue Jays, the performances of rising talents like Michael King and Austin Wells suggest that the future still holds promise. As the Yankees continue their season, eyes will be on both the current roster and upcoming talents as they gear up for what lies ahead.

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