Yesterday, the New York Yankees suffered an embarrassing loss in game one of a day-night doubleheader after another loss on Saturday. Still, they salvaged the night game, just another series loss. Yesterday was a microcosm of the whole Yankee season. Down, up, and down again. The Yankees, at the halfway point of the season, are now ten games behind the East-leading Boston Red Sox and are only trailed by the Baltimore Orioles.
The New York Yankees have suffered all season long with poor pitching at times and poor hitting most times. The was evident in yesterday’s two games. In game one, the Yankee pitching completely collapsed, with Yankee ace Gerrit Cole having his shortest outing as a Yankee. Then the bullpen imploded behind him. In game two, the pitching was much better, with Nestor Cortes Jr. getting his first start of the season and Chad Green having one of his best games of the season, resulting in a win. However, the hitting was mostly missing as the Yankees only mustered up eleven hits between the two games.
Game one, Pitching collapses:
Yankee ace Gerrit Cole has been struggling recently and had his shortest outing since being acquired by the Yankees. Cole went only 3.1 innings giving up 6 hits and 4 earned runs, one of them a home run. Giving up long balls has been a problem for him recently. Loaisiga replaced Cole, and Green came in and pitched two scoreless innings.
Then Aroldis Chapman came in for the save as they were ahead 5-4. In his last few outings, Chapman, who has struggled mightily, immediately gave up a home run into the visitor’s bullpen in left to Pete Alonso blowing the save. Then hit a batter, followed by walking one. Next, Boone came to the mound and removed him. He was charged with 3 earned runs. From the game, Boone brought in the usual good Lucas Luetge, who made things even worse, giving up another 3 earned runs for the 10-5 loss.
There isn’t much positive to say about the game. The New York Yankees did get seven hits in the game, but they weren’t timely. The brightest spot in the game is when catcher Kyle Higashioka hit a double, driving in two runs. But, unfortunately, the Yankees hit no home runs.
Game two a different story
The disaster in game one of the doubleheader caused manager Boone to use Michael King in the game. He was scheduled to start the second game, but having to pitch on Friday thrust Nestor Cortes Jr. into a Sunday start. Then, after Justin Wilson gave up 5 runs Saturday, Boone had to call in King to pitch 4 innings for the Yankees, preventing him from getting the start on Sunday.
Reliever Cortes who had pitched 18 innings with an ERA of 1.02, finally got his chance to shine in a start in game two, and shine he did. Cortes Jr. went 3.1 innings for his longest outing of the season, giving up just one earned run while striking out four. Chad Green, who got the win, pitched three scoreless innings, including an immaculate inning in the seventh when he stuck out the side with nine pitches. Nestor Cortes Jr. now becomes an option for future starts.
The Yankees could only make five hits in the game, but the stellar pitching saved the deficient lineup. The hitting star of the game was Gio Urshela hit a two-run homer giving the Yankees the three-run lead.
A tale of two different teams
The New York Yankees at the beginning of the season a the team to beat by baseball analysts. So when they opened the season, winning only 5 for their first 12 games, it was shocking. Unfortunately, that shock has disappeared, and the Yankees have done the same thing all season. They have had good stretches, but bad ones follow them. They tease fans by becoming the Bronx Bombers we all know and then losing the next few games in a row. At the start, the Yankees just could not hit, scoring less than three runs a game. More recently, the Yankees’ pitching has been subpar. With the loss of Corey Kluber, who had a no-hitter, to shoulder problems, the Yankees starting pitching, and even the bullpen has struggled at times.
Now that we are at the halfway point of the season, getting out of the hole the Yankees have dug for themselves seems more and more remote. They are certainly not out of it mathematically, but they have much work to do with being five games out of getting a second wild card slot.