The New York Yankees featured Andrew Heaney in one of the most exciting baseball games of the year on Thursday evening. In the Field of Dreams game, Heaney underperformed, which has been a frequent reality for the Bombers as several starting pitchers are working their way back from injury and Covid.
Over 5.0 innings, he allowed seven earned runs on five hits, including three home runs. Hosting a 5.78 ERA, the bullpen fared slightly better until Zack Britton gave up a two-run blast in the ninth inning to walk it off for the Chicago White Sox.
The offense fought valiantly, smacking four homers, two of which came from slugger Aaron Judge. Home runs by Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the ninth and gave the Yankees a one-run lead, but they couldnâ€™t finish off the contest.
Better starting pitching wouldâ€™ve given them a greater probability of securing victory, but Heaney wasnâ€™t up to the task. However, reinforcements are on the way, as Aaron Boone has been forced to deploy the bullpen to supplement the starting rotation.
Both Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery are expected to return from the Covid list in the coming days. Cole hosts a 3.11 ERA this season, including 12.15 strikeouts per nine and a 41.8% ground-ball rate. His current ERA is the highest it’s been since 2017 but still represents one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Montgomery, on the other hand, features a 3.69 ERA, picking up four wins over 21 appearances this year. Aside from Cole and Montgomery, the Yankees also expecting Corey Kluber and Luis Severino to return in late August or early September. In Kluberâ€™s first rehab assignment on Thursday, he threw 45 pitches, 20 of them going for strikes against the Portland Sea Dogs. Kluber gave up five runs on two hits, walking four and striking out just one batter. It is clear he will need time to regain his form, having posted a no-hitter in one of his last performances before going down with a shoulder injury.
“I just think I didn’t control the strike zone obviously like I would like, as I would expect myself to on a regular basis, but I haven’t pitched in a couple of months in a game setting so in a perfect world it goes better than that results-wise,” Kluber said after his start. “But I think if anything it gives me plenty to work on now between this one and the next one.