Apr 22, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Clint Frazier (77) reacts after striking out in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Yankees missed out on a sweep of the Cleveland Indians over the weekend, falling 7-3 on Sunday. Unfortunately, a rocky performance by Jamison Taillon didnâ€™t do the Yankees any favors, as he gave up forum earned runs and five hits over 4.0 innings, lasting just 82 pitches before handing the ball over to Nick Nelson who enabled the Cleveland offensive breakout.
Fortunately, the Yankees have strung together a few wins, winning four of their last six games, indicating a potential shift of the tides. Their offense has taken gradual steps forward but has scored just four runs in the past two games, remaining weakened and inadequate.
Good news and bad news for the Yankees:
Even starting left-fielder, Clint Frazier understands that his poor performance cannot be rewarded by more playing time. In fact, skipper Aaron Boone has gradually increased Brett Gardnerâ€™s time in the outfield, whoâ€™s hitting just a bit better than the younger Frazier.
â€œItâ€™s not fun to not play but if I were to sit back and say that I deserve to be in there every single day based off what Iâ€™ve been doing at the plate, then Iâ€™d be wrong,â€ Frazier told reporters after the loss on Sunday. â€œI think itâ€™s justified. I havenâ€™t given any production out there in left and if one person canâ€™t, the next person gets the opportunity.â€
Clint had an argument over the past few years to earn more playing time with great performances, but this season heâ€™s hitting .146 and slugging .188. While his defense has remarkably become his strength, his offense desperately needs an influx in production.
Aside from Frazier, Gio Urshela smacked a two-run home run in the fourth inning against Cleveland, despite striking out three times on the afternoon. The Yankees gave DJ LeMahieu a day off, starting Mike Ford at first base, who also hit a home run in the fourth to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead before Cleveland took over.
As for the pitching, Taillon actually performed quite well until the fourth inning, when he gave up all four of his runs. Nelson, who was optioned to the alternate site immediately after the contest, allowed three runs and four hits in just a two innings sample size.
Unfortunately, the Yankees continue to struggle, despite their most recent string of wins. Beating the Indians is nothing to write home about, but now they gear up to face off against a week Baltimore Orioles squad, which represents an opportunity for the Yankees to correct their mistakes.