Poor Bullpen Management Finally Bites New York Yankees Against Tampa

New York Yankees, Zack BRitton

On Saturday, the New York Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 7-2.

However, the score was close for most of the game. A few decisions regarding the bullpen over the last few days may of been the reason for the lopsided loss.

A fresh-ish Kahnle

A lot of people were left asking why Tommy Kahnle didn’t pitch on Saturday. His ERA has been one of the best in baseball, sitting at 1.13.

Kahnle was used on Thursday and Friday, but got it done so efficiently that he threw just 18 total pitches over an inning each outing. He would of likely been fine to pitch a third day in a row.

Green was available

The Yankees also mentioned before the Tampa series began that reliever Chad Green was about ready to rejoin the team from Scranton during the weekend. The plan is that Green would not appear in anymore AAA games, and his next outing would be an MLB outing.

If the Yankees needed a fresh arm, I don’t understand why you don’t just call him up. He could potentially give you two innings with his revamped stuff.

Why inning-by-inning doesn’t always work.

With guys pitching an inning a night, it allows them to pitch multiple nights in a row. If a pitcher throws multiple innings in an outing, they likely become unavailable the next night.

Well, the Yankees threw all of their big guys on Thursday and Friday, those being Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, and Aroldis Chapman.

You know that if you have several close games in a row, you will want to have you best pitchers throw, right?

In the Yankees mindset, if there would be three close games in a row, it would be on the low-leverage guys to get the job done.

Instead of throwing all four big guys for two nights in a row, plan so you have say Kahnle and Chapman throw one night, and have throw Britton and Ottavino the next, each pitcher throwing two innings. So each pitcher would throw two innings, then get a night off. Then, stick a low-leverage guy in there if you get a short start or are forced to do so in a long game. But, extra innings games often see all of your high leverage pitchers anyway.

Since the Yankees had none of their good arms ready on Saturday, Jonathan Holder and Nestor Cortes Jr. came in and combined to give up five runs over three innings.

Maybe if Aaron Boone had better bullpen management, the Yankees would be able to win a few more games. The management of his bullpen is one of the two things holding the team back, the other obviously being injuries.

New York Yankees: Adam Ottavino The Reliever The Yankees Hoped For

After several up-and-down years with the Rockies, the New York Yankees decided to take a chance on Adam Ottavino after one of his better years being 2018, and the risk is proving to be a reward. Through 18 and 1/3 innings, he boasts a 1.96 ERA with 24 strikeouts.

Monday’s example of his greatness

During Monday’s 7-3 win over the Mariners, Yankee middle reliever Jonathan Holder loaded up the bases, only getting one out.

Enter Adam Ottavino. He got Mitch Haniger to fly out and Tim Beckham to groundout, getting out of the inning unscathed.

That inning was definitely a turning point in the game. CC Sabathia had just came out of the game after fighting through five innings, and Ottavino was able to clean up the mess that Holder made. If those runs scored, it would’ve been a totally different game.

Just one bad outing

Throughout 16 appearances in 2019, Adam Ottavino has only had one bad showing, giving up three of his four earned runs on the season.

The game was on Easter Sunday against the Kansas City Royals. Ottavino gave up three hits and three runs as the Yankees blew a 5-0 lead. He gave up two home-runs in the outing, but luckily the Yankees managed to win on a walkoff from the bat of Austin Romine.

Otherwise, he has been fantastic for the Yankees. The only other run he surrendered this season was on April 8th against Houston.

The Yankees will continue to rely on him to be their set-up man as the Yankees enter a stretch of must-win games to try and take the division lead over Tampa.

Gary Sanchez Goes Yard Twice and Paxton Injured as New York Yankees Win 6-3

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

James Paxton only pitched three innings due to an injury, but the bullpen stepped up, as well as the offense for the New York Yankees to beat the Twins 6-3.

The Yankees return home, and so does their offense

The Yankees got it going early in the first when Gleyber Torres singled home Brett Gardner. Luke Voit walked in the inning to extend his on-base streak to 42 games.

Voit also got a hit in the second, the ball staying in the infield, also registering an RBI.

The Yankees picked up two in the fourth off a wild pitch and a ground-ball to second off the bat of Gardner.

To conclude the offense, Gary Sanchez hit solo-home runs to left in the fifth and seventh for his ninth and tenth of the season.

Paxton’s brief evening

James Paxton was removed after the third inning with knee soreness, and will get an MRI on it Saturday.

He gave up two hits and a run, while walking three. It just looked like he was uncomfortable up there, and it showed in his performance. Now, the Yankees just have to hope that it isn’t too serious.

But luckily, the Yankees had a well rested bullpen.

Jonathan Holder pitched two perfect innings to continue his stretch of strong outings. Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle each followed with perfect innings.

But, come the eighth, Zack Britton came in for an inning of work. After a walk, he served up a two-run homer to Nelson Cruz.

But it never amounted to anything, as Chapman shut it down for the save in the ninth.

Andujar is ready

Miguel Andujar will be in the line-up and be activated on Saturday. He will be the first of a few that are close to returning. Stanton and Hicks will be ready next.

To make room for Andujar, the Yankees sent Mike Ford down to AAA.

Game two of the series will take place on Saturday at 1:00PM on MLB Network, ESPN+, YES, and Fox Sports Go. JA Happ (1-2, 4.68 ERA) gets the ball for the Yankees against Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.34) of the Twins.

CC Sabathia Picks Up Strikeout 3,000, But The New York Yankees Lose To Arizona

New York Yankees, Yankees, CC Sabathia

With his five strikeouts, CC Sabathia became the 17th in MLB history to register 3,000 career strikeouts. However, the New York Yankee offense was quiet and scored just one run in a loss to Arizona.

CC was solid

Over 5 and 1/3 innings, CC Sabathia gave up five hits and two runs, and got charged with the loss. He just had no run support.

CC walked two and fell behind too many batters, getting just nine first pitch strikes to 23 faced batters. He got six ground-balls and five fly-balls, and one ball left the yard. The home run was to former Met, Wilmer Flores.

The batter that CC struck out for 3,000 was former Yankee John Ryan Murphy, the player that caught Mariano Rivera in his final MLB appearance.

CC Sabathia hitting 3,000 strikeouts is just one of many great accomplishments for the lefty, adding on to his hall of fame career. Now he can focus on his final season without milestone pressure.

A lack of offense

After explosive offense in San Francisco, the Yankees had some trouble hitting in Arizona. But, you can’t expect much with guys like Mike Tauchman batting fifth.

The Yankees got just five hits, and their lone run came in relatively early. Gleyber Torres bounced in a run on a ground rule double in the fourth inning. Torres had two hits, the only Yankee with multiple.

Gardner, Sanchez, and newly acquired Cameron Maybin each had a hit. Luke Voit extended his on-base streak to 40 with a walk.

DJ LeMahieu did not play as he was listed as day-to-day with knee inflammation from the San Francisco series, and Gio Urshela was also listed day-to-day but pinch-hit later on. Urshela was hit by a pitch in his wrist on Sunday.

Holder looking more normal

After a rough start to the season, it appears that Jonathan Holder is back to his usual self. He pitched 1 and 2/3 hitless innings, walking one. His ERA is now down to 4.50,  and was a 7.00 two weeks ago.

Zack Britton relieved Holder, and gave up a run and two hits. The run scored off a sacrifice fly. This was Britton’s first bad outing in a while, after a few bad ones to start the season he had settled into a groove.

The final game of this short two game set takes place at 3:40PM (ET) on YES and Fox Sports Go. Masahiro Tanaka (2-2, 3.60 ERA) gets the ball against Merrill Kelly (2-2, 3.94 ERA) of the Diamondbacks. The Yankees head home after Wednesday to face the the Twins and Mariners.

New York Yankees Beat The Giants 11-5-But At A Cost

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

The New York Yankees took down the San Francisco Giants 11-5 for a three game sweep, but it came at a cost. Gio Urshela and DJ LeMahieu were both removed with injuries.

The bats came out again

The Yankee bats had another big afternoon, tallying 14 hits led by Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit.

Voit had three hits and two RBIs. He is batting over .400 on this west coast swing, with two games left before going east.

Gary Sanchez had a hit and three RBIs, clearing the wall in left by a mile, almost going out of the stadium for a two-run shot.

Thairo Estrada added two hits along with Gleyber Torres and Urshela. Nine of the 13 Yankees that had an at-bat got a hit. With the injuries, JA Happ was actually forced to pinch-hit. He grounded out, but hit it hard.

Injury issues

DJ LeMahieu was removed early on with knee tightness that started on Friday. It got a bit tighter during the game, and with an off-day on Monday, Aaron Boone didn’t want to take any chances. Results came back relatively clean, just inflammation.

Gio Urshela was hit by a pitch in the wrist towards the middle of the game. He was also removed as a precaution, and his results came back clean.

One bad inning

Overall, Domingo German had a good start, but had one bad inning.

He gave up four runs, all in the sixth inning off a series of RBI singles and an RBI double. The sixth was his final inning, giving up a total of five hits.

German struck out four, walking just one. He threw first-pitch strikes to 13 of the 25 batters he faced, getting eight swings and misses, while working eight fly-balls and seven ground-balls.

Jonathan Holder and Tommy Kahnle worked scoreless relief innings, and Joe Harvey gave up one run in the ninth. Holder seems to be pitching better in his last few appearances.

After an off-day on Monday, the Yankees travel down to Arizona for some more inter-league baseball on Tuesday. Game one begins at 9:40PM (ET) on YES and Fox Sports Go. CC Sabathia gets the ball for the Yankees against Merrill Kelly of the Diamondbacks.

New York Yankees: Tanaka’s Rough Start Ends Win Streak At Six

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka gave up two fifth inning home runs, as the Angels climbed out of a 4-0 deficit to win 11-5.

Couldn’t keep it down

Tanaka had a lot of trouble keeping the ball on the ground on Thursday. Along with the home runs, hitters got nine fly-balls off of him, to just five ground-balls. He also only struck out two, which isn’t normal for him. Tanaka is usually good for at least six strikeouts.

He was also quite wild, walking three and throwing balls 38% of the time. Tanaka only got one swing and miss on the game.

Tanaka gave up six runs (five earned) over 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing six hits.

So overall, Tanaka was just off a bit on Thursday. It’s gonna happen to all pitchers, and you just have to live with it. He’ll bounce back on Wednesday at Arizona. Let’s just hope he doesn’t hurt himself running the bases this year.

Boone didn’t handle his bullpen right

The way that Yankees skipper Aaron Boone handled the bullpen on Thursday left a lot of people asking questions.

He had Jonathan Holder get just one out, before Stephen Tarpley and Joe Harvey gave up a combined five runs in the seventh inning. Before the runs scored, the Yankees only trailed by two.

Once the game seemed out of reach, he put in Tommy Kahnle, who has an ERA under two.

Why not go with Kahnle earlier on, or other high leverage guys like Zack Britton. It was unlikely that Chapman would of pitched on Thursday, as he pitched two of the prior three games.

Also, Boone could of went with Holder, who is beginning to improve from the beginning of the season. Situations like Thursday make you wish more and more that Chad Green wasn’t struggling and that Dellin Betances wasn’t injured.

Luke’s gettin’ hot

After a slowish start to the season, Luke Voit is red hot. He went 3-for-5 last night, and his average now sits at .255. Voit has reached base the last 36 games, and has gotten a hit in the last 12.

DJ LeMahieu also added two hits and drove in a run. Gardner, Torres, Urshela, and Wade each had hits in the game.

Urshela’s hit left the yard for his first Yankee home run, and his average now sits at .283. Tyler Wade has been contributing well to the Yankees, playing solid defense and getting on base.

Early in Thursday’s game, Wade singled then stole second and third on back-to-back pitches. The next pitch scored Wade on a single by LeMahieu.

The Yankees now head up to San Francisco for their first interleague series of the season. Game time is at 10:15PM (ET) on Friday on YES and Fox Sports Go. James Paxton gets the ball for the Yankees against Madison Bumgarner of the Giants.

 

Gio Urshela Leads New York Yankees Past Angels in 14 Innings

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

Giovanny Urshela had an RBI single in the 14th inning, as the New York Yankees took down the Angels 4-3.

Five lame hits

Despite 14 innings of play, the Yankees only managed to squeak out five hits.

Luke Voit got it going his first time up, belting a 2-2 slider to right-center for a solo home run.  Gleyber Torres had a sacrifice fly in the third to drive in a run to tie it at two. The Angels got two runs in the second off a two-run bomb from catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

It would seemingly stay 2-2 forever.

Urshela had a sacrifice fly in the 12th, and the Angels got a run off of Chapman in the bottom of the inning for his first blown save of the year. Come the fourteenth, Urshela knocked in another run; this one a hit that would win the game.

Urshela ended up with two hits on the night to go along with the hit from Voit, a hit from Higashioka, and a hit from Frazier.

The struggling Jonathan Holder finally got it going in the right direction, pitching a scoreless 13th and 14th en route to a win.

About time it HAPPened

After a rough start to the season, JA Happ settled in and gave the Yankees seven strong innings. He gave up three hits, and his only mistake was a slider that found the seats for Lucroy of the Angels for two runs.

Happ walked two and struck out five. He only threw first pitch strikes to 11 of the 25 batters he faced, which isn’t great. He should have more success if he throws more first pitch strikes.

Happ had a decent start last time out against the Red Sox, with Austin Romine catching. Maybe Happ will continue to have success without Sanchez catching him, and it may be in the Yankees best interest to DH or sit Sanchez on days that Happ pitches. Sanchez is still expected to be activated on Wednesday.

Game two of this four game set begins Tuesday at 10:05PM (ET). Jonathan Loaisiga is expected to come up from AAA to make a start to give the rotation an extra day of rest, and Joe Harvey is being sent down. Chris Stratton gets the ball for the Angels.

New York Yankees: Judge Injured as Yankees Blow Out Royals

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

You can’t make this stuff up.

On an opposite field single in the sixth, the New York Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge felt a pull in his oblique and was removed from the game. He will get an MRI, and Aaron Boone said after the game that it will almost certainly be an IL-stint.

In good news, the Yankees picked up a 9-2 win over the Royals. It got the Yankees back to .500 through 20 games.

Hits all around

The Yankees collected 14 hits all together, with multiple hits from four players. Clint Frazier and Giovanny Urshela each had three.

Judge got it going early before his injury, with a solo-shot to right in the first. Then, Clint Frazier led off the second with a solo-shot of his own.

In the third inning, Gleyber Torres hit one over the wall that was ruled a home run. After a review, it was deemed to be a fan interference, and he was called out. Aaron Boone wasn’t very happy about the call, and was thrown out for the first time in 2019. The score stayed 2-0.

Mike Tauchman made up for it in the next inning, belting a three-run home run to right. The pitch after, DJ LeMahieu had his first Yankee home run for back-to-back jacks.

In the sixth, Gleyber Torres and Frazier had back-to-back RBI singles, and Austin Romine knocked one in on an infield single in the seventh to conclude the scoring.

Seven strong

Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven strong innings, giving up just four hits and a run.

Tanaka fanned seven, but put three on base with walks. He worked seven ground-balls and five fly-balls, also getting twelve swing-and-misses.

Tanaka picked up his second win of the season in five starts, but only his previous start was a bad start. His ERA is now at 2.76 through 29.1 innings.

Jonathan Holder came in to get the last six outs, and gave up a solo home run in the ninth.

The final game of this four game set with Kansas City will take place on Easter Sunday at 1:05PM. The game will be on YES Network and FOX Sports Go. James Paxton gets the ball for the Yankees against Jorge Lopez of the Royals.

New York Yankees: Clint Frazier With Another Nice Game But Yanks Fall to Royals

New York Yankee’s left fielder Clint Frazier had a solid two hit game, but didn’t get much support from his teammates as the Yankees fell 5-1 to the Royals.

Frazier was the only bright spot on offense

The Yankees had just four hits on the evening, and Frazier accounted for two of them. He singled in the fourth and the ninth.

The other two hits came from Aaron Judge and Luke Voit. Voit’s average isn’t climbing too fast, mainly because he is consistently getting one hit a game, no more and no less. His average currently sits at .219. He’s reached safely in every game this season, with an OBP of .342.

Gleyber Torres was responsible for driving in the Yankee’s lone run on a sacrifice fly in the first.

Mike Ford made his MLB debut on Thursday, batting seventh as the DH. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, and a fly-out in his first at-bat.

Another good start for German

Domingo German continued to impress on Thursday over six strong. He allowed three runs, and struck out nine. He’s beginning to trust his stuff more, and that’s why he’s been so much better than last year. He gave up two home runs, which is slightly concerning, but still got more ground-outs (five) than fly-outs (four).

Jonathan Holder came in to relieve German, and got hammered. He gave up two runs and only got one out before Britton had to clean-up his mess.

He gave up two hits, but Chad Green managed to (barely) work a scoreless inning, ones that haven’t been to frequent for him so far this year.

Joe Harvey came in the ninth, and gave up the first run of his MLB career. It wouldn’t matter, as the Yankee’s put up another zero in the bottom of the inning to end the game.

Game two of the series begins on Friday at 7:05PM on YES and Fox Sports Go. CC Sabathia gets the ball for the Yankees against Jake Junis of the Royals. Junis was the pitcher that hit Judge last year, putting him on the then called disabled list.

New York Yankees Lose to White Sox 9-6 in Rain-Shortened Game

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

The New York Yankees pitching staff gave up 12 hits and nine runs in a game only played through the top of the seventh, and called because of rain. In contrast, the Yankees had seven hits and scored six runs in six innings of at-bats, and lost to the White Sox 9-6.

Happ continues to struggle

JA Happ was hit hard for his third straight time to open the 2019 campaign. On Friday, he gave up nine hits and six runs while walking two and striking out five in just four innings of work.

Happ gave up an RBI single in the first, then worked out of trouble in the second and third.

In the fourth, he gave up a two run double to Leury Garcia to cut the Yankee lead down to one.

After a run in the bottom of the inning for the Yankees, Happ gave it all back when he served up a fastball down the middle for Yonder Alonso to put it in the short porch in right. This tied it up at five.

The next batter that came in was Joan Moncada, and he singled to pull Happ out of the game. Jonathan Holder came right in and gave up a two run home run to Eloy Jimenez. The home run was the first of his career.

The next time Jimenez was up, it was against Chad Green, but the result was no different. A home run to deep center, and then James McCann hit one to right to make it back-to-back jacks for the White Sox.

Friday’s game was called just after the two home runs.

Happ’s poor start raises his ERA up to 8.76, and raises struggling Chad Green’s to 11.81.

The offense was there

Despite the fact that the Yankees lost by three, their offense was pretty good, especially with three less innings of at-bats.

The Yankees started strong by putting up two in the first and the second off White Sox starter Lucas Giolito. In the first, DJ LeMahieu drove in two with an RBI single to right. An inning later, Austin Romine hit an RBI single and Aaron Judge lined one to right, good enough to score Giovanny Urshela.

Come the fourth, it was a Gardy Party as Brett Gardner mashed a two out fastball to right for a solo-shot.

To score the final Yankee run, Urshela had an RBI single to drive in LeMahieu in the sixth.

The Yankees will continue to look for guys to step up on offense, especially with Gary Sanchez now on the IL.

Game two of the series will begin on Saturday at 1:05PM on YES Network, Fox Sports Go, and ESPN+. CC Sabathia gets the ball for his first start of his final season, and former Yankee Ivan Nova gets the ball for Chicago.