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Yanks Week 11 Recap: California Nightmare

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By: Boots

Monday – Wednesday @ Angels:

W 5-3, L 3-2 (F/11), L 7-5

Four pitches into the bottom of the 1st, Masahiro had given up a dinger dead center to Kole Calhoun, and here we fucking go again. Then something crazy happened, Tanaka started to pitch. He got stronger as the game went along, his sinker sank, his fastball ran, and all was right with the world again (6.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K).  The Yanks found themselves in a 3-3 tie in the 8th inning behind an RBI single from Chase Headley and two from Didi.  Aaron Judge came up and continued to become more and more like Paul Bunyan. Final: 5-3 Yanks.

Tuesday was just an all around terrible day. 36 year old CC Sabathia came out and continued his recent dominance through the first four innings allowing just one unearned run, but was forced to leave with a  hamstring injury and is now on the DL with a pulled hamstring.  This was just foreshadowing for the rest of the week with almost nothing but frustration. Clippard came in the 8th inning and gave up a game tying homer to Eric Young Jr. (only his 10th in 1,500 career ABs!!!!!!). The game remained tied at 2 until the bottom of the 11th when Young Jr. came up and walked off with an infield single… baseball man. Final:  8-7 Angels.

Let me preface Wednesday’s game by saying that Michael Pineda on the road is a completely different pitcher than he is at home.  The splits are pretty ridiculous.

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That’s something that should probably get figured out, just saying.  Anyway, the Yanks did their job and spotted Pineda four runs in the top of the 1st behind a three run jack from Sanchez.

Pineda came out in the bottom half and tried to give them all back on one swing, but Aaron Hicks was having none of it.

Pineda ended with an uninspiring line of 6 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.  The Yanks were ultimately done in by their bullpen in the 7th when Andrelton Simmons hit a two run bomb. Final:  7-5 Angels.

Thursday – Sunday @ A’s:

L 8-7 (F/10), L 7-6, L 5-2, L 4-3

The four-game series in Oakland over the weekend was the worst series of the year in all aspects, and it’s not even remotely close.

Thursday was unfortunately just a continuation of the last two games in Anaheim.  A game the Yanks battled, were tied or had a lead late, only to have the bullpen blow it.  Oh wait, and so was Friday.  These two games were particularly brutal because the offense did enough to pick up subpar performances from Jordan Montgomery (5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) and Luis Severino (6 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 K).  Thursday the pen gave up runs in the 7th, 8th, and eventually the walk off in the 11th on a Khris Davis bloop single.  Friday was a two run single to Matt Chapman in the 8th for his first career hit.  Can’t make it up. But, Aaron Judge did do this on Friday.

Thursday Final: 8-7 A’s. Friday Final: 7-6 A’s.

Saturday the Yanks fell victim to the 2017 Masahiro Tanaka.  There was no doubting which Tanaka showed up when Matt Joyce took his first pitch of the afternoon into the right center bleachers.  Tanaka’s final line showed that he had his good stuff, but when he missed, he missed badly (4 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 3 HR).  Nothing to report on the offensive side as the lineup flat out didn’t hit.  Final:  5-2 A’s.

If you told me I’d be nervous about who was going to fill CC Sabathia’s spot in the rotation before the season started, I probably would have laughed in your face.  But here we are.  Luis Cessa was not it on Sunday.  He squandered an earlier 2 run lead by giving up a four spot in the bottom half of the 3rd and that was pretty much it.  The Yanks never really threatened after that.  Final:  4-3 A’s.

*Two small silver linings from this game.  Aroldis Chapman came back and threw a scoreless inning in his return.  Despite Cessa being ineffective, Domingo German threw four scoreless innings on Saturday and is probably next in line to take Sabathia’s next turn in the rotation.*

Here is some Aaron Judge BP to lighten up a shitty week.  Notice the lack of highlights above, because there weren’t many in Oakland.  A day off should do some good and the first-place Yanks get back in action at home on Tuesday. Don’t press the panic button.

Team Takeaways:

The bullpen was absolutely atrocious this week.  They gave up a lead or tie in four consecutive games in the 6th inning or later.  The main culprit was Tyler Clippard.  This man has been the worst pitcher in baseball in high leverage situations all year.  If you want a good read that goes in depth into the numbers, check it out here.

  • Tanaka Time:  He has to be hurt.  There is simply no other explanation.  Tanaka now leads all of baseball in homers allowed, has an ERA over 6, and is allowing nearly half a baserunner more per inning than his career average.  Granted Tanaka had a solid start and picked up the Yanks’ only win of the week on Monday, he reverted to his 2017 trash form, giving up three homers in four innings on Saturday. No clue what’s going on.
  • This was the week of injuries.  CC and Warren were put on the DL, Sanchez missed a couple games, Hicks has missed the last three games, and even Gleyber Torres got injured down in Scranton.  This road trip was an absolute nightmare (see what I did there), but at least Chapman came back Sunday.  Small victories.

Record & Standings:

Week record:  1-6

Overall record:  38-29

A look ahead:  3 vs. LAA, 3 vs. TEX

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Around the League:

  • Cody Bellinger is putting up RIDICULOUS power numbers as a rookie out in LA on the Dodgers.  He has tied a rookie record with 19 homers in his first 50 games.  He is one home run off the NL lead, despite not being called up until April 30th.  We could go into the all-star break with rookies leading both leagues in home runs.  Pretty cool.

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  • Paul Goldschmidt is the best future hall of famer that no one talks about, on one of the best teams in baseball that no one talks about.  Let me put his 2016 & 2017 in perspective.

  • The AL Wild card is going to be a wild, wild ride until the very end of the year.  Take a look at the standings going into Sunday Night Baseball.  EVERY SINGLE TEAM IS WITHIN 4.5 GAMES OF 2ND SPOT.  Also, if the season were to end today, three teams from two divisions would in the playoffs (AL East & NL West). Yikes.

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