Category: Postgame

Mets 7, Yankees 5: RISPfails Mar Start of Second Half

Another loss to a sub-.500 team.

NEW YORK – The Yankees went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and it doomed them to a 7-to-5 loss in the second-half opener Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees collected 14 hits, and left 14 men on base in a loss that proved beyond frustrating. Gary Sánchez collected one hit in his debut off of the disabled list, but left six men on base. Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andújar each left five men on base. It seemed like the right hits just would never come.

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First-inning Domingo Germán buried the Yanks early. Asdrúbal Cabrera doubled in a leadoff walk to Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto later doubled to score Cabrera. José Bautista then doubled to score Conforto. The Mets recorded 10 hits, and did not record their first single until Conforto singled to score run No. 5 in the fifth inning.

The Yankees scored one in the third on a Giancarlo Stanton sacrifice fly, and two in the sixth on an RBI double by Neil Walker. Two more came across in the eighth on a Didi Gregorius double and Stanton groundout. Noah Syndergaard, the Mets starter, bent multiple times but did not break in his five innings of work. The Mets ran with Robert Gsellman in the ninth inning as reports trickled out that the Mets were close to a deal with an unknown team for closer Jeurys Familia. Gsellman worked around a two-out walk to retire the Yankees. Per multiple sources, the Mets are close to dealing Familia to the Oakland Athletics. At the time of publication, a deal was not confirmed.

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After the game, the Yankees announced Domingo Germán had been optioned and that Luis Cessa will take over his spot in the rotation. Cessa is on turn to start July 25 in Tampa Bay. No word on who replaces Germán tomorrow, though the likely option is a 40-man reliever like Giovanny Gallegos or Tommy Kahnle.

What’s Next:

Sonny Gray looks to build on a promising last start in Baltimore against Steven Matz in a Saturday matinée in the Bronx.

Yankees 7, Cleveland 4: Heroic Hicks 2B Fuels Win

CLEVELAND – What was billed as the ultimate pitchers dual ended up being a battle of bullpen decision making ultimately won by Aaron Boone and the Yankees.

Knowing that his bullpen is his team’s weakest point, Cleveland manager Terry Francona pushes his ace Corey Kluber to throw 114 pitches, while Boone had Luis Severino removed after just 94. The pivotal moment of the game was a clutch double by Aaron Hicks that gave the Yankees a lead they would never relinquish in the eighth inning.

Didi Gregorius led off the inning with a walk, and was in motion on a 3-2 count when Hicks smoked the ball over the head of Cleveland center fielder Greg Allen. Kluber was lifted, and ex-Yankee Óliver Pérez came into face Greg Bird. Hicks barely, and I mean BARELY, stole third and then scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Bird.

Cleveland greeted Severino rudely in the first inning. Francisco Lindor singled, moved to second on a groundout and then scored on a José Ramírez RBI single. Ramírez was then throw out trying to steal second base, but more trouble followed. Edwin Encarnación smacked his 21st homer of the year.

A two-run homer for Brett Gardner tied the game at two in the third, but Cleveland rallied to get another run on a Yonder Alonso single. That lead held for another half inning, when Gregorius yet another home run off Kluber. Bird doubled to score Hicks later in the inning. Gardy homered again in the top of the ninth to ice the game, giving the Yankees a decisive 7-to-4 advantage.


What’s Next

Domingo Germán faces off against Shane Bieber.

Yankees 9, Orioles 0: Stellar Sonny, Big Bats Push Yanks to Split

Six scoreless from Sonny, big hits for Bird and Wade. What could be better?

BALTIMORE – It’s an odd feeling to be celebrating a four-game series split with the worst team in the American League.

And yet, it’s worth celebrating the game for the Yankees where so many positives happen to players that have been mired in bad streaks for so long. Sonny Gray pitched six scoreless innings, and looked as sharp as ever. His velocity hit 95+ mph 13 times, the highest number of times he’s hit that this season. It looked like Austin Romine had him focus solely on sinkers and curveballs, and that might just be what Gray needs.

Greg Bird launched his first career grand slam, as his bat continues to heat up just in time for the All-Star Break. His .250/.407/.550 line over his past six games shows just how good he can be. I’m glad he could bounce back after having the game-winning hit clank off his glove.

Tyler Wade, who began his 2018 season with a 3-for-35 in 13 games, clocked three hits including his first big league homer. The silent treatment he got in the dugout was absolutely priceless. Wade is hitting .444/.444/.889 in six games since being recalled to replace Gleyber Torres.

Giancarlo Stanton collected RBI singles in the first and ninth innings, while Romine cranked home run No. 6 on the season in the seventh inning. Aaron Hicks should’ve been given an RBI infield single, but the Orioles official scorer decided to rule it a fielder’s choice + E1 instead (It was ruled a missed catch error on the pitcher fielding a chopper; something I’ve never seen before).

What’s Next

The battle of the aces. Luis Severino (14-2, 2.12 ERA) faces Corey Kluber (12-4, 2.49 ERA) in a marquee matchup in Cleveland. This is the opener of a four-game set from Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Yankees 5, Orioles 6: Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend

Another frustrating loss in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE – Dellin Betances has been here before.

September 5, 2017: Manny Machado hits a walk-off home run on a hanging breaking ball from Betances to beat the Yankees.

July 10, 2018: Jonathan Schoop pokes a single off Betances to push the Orioles to a 6-to-5 walk-off win.

Losing twice in a four-game series to the last-place Orioles is beyond frustrating. Doing it while the Red Sox have lost just once in their last 10 games could be the difference between winning the division and suiting up in the Wild Card game.

Betances did not set himself up for success in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the game tied at 5, his 2-2 pitch hit .187-hitter Caleb Joseph to put the winning run the O’s needed on base. After retiring Tim Beckham, Adam Jones doubled into the gap to give them two runners in scoring position with one out. Machado, who already homered twice in the game, was intentionally walked in order to set up the double play with the slower Mark Trumbo due up. Once Trumbo struck out, that brought up Schoop.

On a 1-1 count, Schoop sent a ground ball toward first base that clanked off the glove of first baseman Greg Bird and into right field. That hit pushed the final run across and was the nail in the coffin for the Yankees. It was the first earned run allowed by Betances since a similarly frustrating loss May 23 against the Texas Rangers.

“It’s a play I want to make. That’s the way I classify it,” Bird said. “A big spot there. That’s a play I want to come up with. He put a decent swing on it. It rode up and I didn’t get [the glove] up in time. That’s it.”

The other five runs the Orioles scored came via the aforementioned Machado homers and a two-run double by Joey Rickard. The first Machado shot came on a get-me-over cutter at 89 mph from Masahiro Tanaka. The second blast, off Chad Green, came in a sequence of six consecutive fastballs to a hitter with a .311 batting average against heaters in 2018. For a team whose reputation is to not throw fastballs, they sure got burned by throwing fastballs in predictable situations.

Bird represented most of the Yankees offense, driving in four via a three-run home run in the fifth and sacrifice fly in the seventh. Neil Walker hit an RBI single in the seventh as well to give the Yankees a two-run lead that they ultimately could not hold. Each time they got a lead, Machado homered in the following half-inning to tie the game.

Didi Gregorius was the only Yankee with multiple hits in the game, as he went 3-for-4 with a double. His single in the fifth inning broke up O’s starter Andrew Cashner‘s perfect game.

Overall, Tanaka was disappointing in his return from the disabled list. He was limited to 80 pitches, and as a result, only made it through 4⅓ innings. In that time, he allowed three earned runs on six hits.

“As far as the fourth inning goes, maybe there was some bad luck there,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “What I’m most disappointed in was the fifth inning, that first pitch to Machado. I can’t do that. I have no excuse for that.”

The Yankees have now lost five out of their nine contests with the Orioles so far in 2018.


What’s Next:

Not exactly the most inspiring pitching matchup of all-time. Sonny Gray (5-7, 5.85 ERA), who has a 9.00 ERA in his last five starts, gets another opportunity against Dylan Bundy (6-8, 4.08 ERA).

This will be Gray’s final start of the first half, and if it goes badly, should be his last start in pinstripes. A team with World Series aspirations cannot be held down by a starting pitcher who has given up at least four runs in eight of his starts this season. As good as the Yankees offense is, they can’t be expected to bail Gray out every time he starts.

Yankees 10, Orioles 2: That’s More Like It

Of course, Cessa throws six scoreless when the Yankees score 10 behind him.

After an incredibly frustrating opener to the doubleheader Monday in Baltimore, the Yankees made sure to not make the same mistake twice. They clobbered Orioles’ pitching in game two to take a decisive 10-to-2 victory in the nightcap.

Seventeen hits provided 10 runs of offense to back a surprisingly effective Luis Cessa, who pitched six scoreless innings while scattering three hits. The Yankees got homers and RBI doubles from Brett Gardner and Austin Romine, as part of a four-hit night for Gardy and a two-hit evening for Romine. Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton and Neil Walker all picked up two hits. Every other Yankees starter recorded at least one hit (Tyler Wade pinch-ran for Gregorius in the eighth inning and flew out in his only plate appearance).

The second game Monday night was a beautiful example of every player doing their job. The hitters produced plenty of offense, Cessa gave the team a quality start in a pinch and 26th man Giovanny Gallegos made sure the Yankee bullpen didn’t get overtaxed. Gallegos’ performance is of paramount importance given the next two starters’ possibility of struggling. Masahiro Tanaka is returning from injury, while Sonny Gray has proven time and again that he simply can’t give the team length.

Postgame, both Cessa and Gallegos were optioned and “returned,” respectively, back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Coincidentally, they were sent down right in time for the International League All-Star break.

What’s Next

Masahiro Tanaka comes off of the disabled list and returns to the rotation to face Andrew Cashner of the Orioles.

Yankees 4, Orioles 5: Or Not…

CC Sabathia ended up staying for a few batters too many, as Danny Valencia‘s three-run home run proved fatal in the opening game of Monday’s doubleheader in Baltimore.

In the bottom of the sixth, the veteran lefty walked Mark Trumbo, allowed a “double” to Jonathan Schoop (hard ground ball right at Neil Walker that should have been at least a 3-6 force) and then Valencia took CC 415 feet to dead central.

The Yanks scored first as Giancarlo Stanton ripped his 22nd homer of the year in the second inning. In the third, Kyle Higashioka doubled, Tyler Wade singled and then two consecutive singles from Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees two more runs.

In the bottom of the fourth, Trumbo (who came into the game .282/.300/.462 lifetime against Sabathia) smoked a two-run shot to make it 3-2. A Stanton single, Clint Frazier groundout and single from Walker gave the Yankees their fourth run.

It’s pretty clear that Aaron Boone could not use his usual pitching strategy because today is a doubleheader. He left Sabathia in after the leadoff walk to Trumbo, which should have spelt the end for him. He definitely should have been lifted after the Schoop double. It felt like Jonathan Holder was too little too late. Also, I find it quite odd that he went to the long-man, A.J. Cole, in the first game of the doubleheader, when Luis Cessa is scheduled to start the second game. I guess that’s why they recalled Giovanny Gallegos, though.

Wow. That was one of the most frustrating experiences for the 2018 Yankees. I hope the bats can break out to back Cessa because their inability to beat the Orioles is downright ridiculous.

What’s Next

More baseball. Luis Cessa has been recalled to face former farmhand Yefry Ramírez in the nightcap. Ramírez was traded to the Orioles for international bonus pool space (and a 40-man roster spot) minutes before the Sonny Gray acquistion at last year’s trade deadline.

Brandon Drury was optioned to Triple-A to create an active roster spot for Cessa.