Monday – Thursday @ White Sox:
W 6-5, L 4-3, W 12-3, L 4-3
Is it possible to hit rock bottom during a four-game split? Because that is what the first four days of the week in Chicago felt like. Let’s start with the injuries. Castro (hamstring), Holliday (virus? Food poisoning round two? Who knows), and finally Dustin Fowler (see Graham, Moonlight). Getting out with two wins never felt so empty…on to the games
Monday turned into what was almost the most heart breaking loss of the season. Jordan Montgomery was dominant overall dominant (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) and boy did the Yanks need a start like that. Oh and don’t look now but…
The Yankees scored their six runs in three run bunches in the 4th and 6th innings. And unfortunately for this blog, only one came on a highlight-able drive. This laser beam from Tyler Austin.
The rest came on manufactured runs: 2 sac flies, a timely single, and an error. Not the typical 2017 Yankees. Hand the ball over with a five run lead to get six outs and everything should be fine right? Not on Monday (and brutal foreshadowing to Tuesday). Shreve started the 9th, got a quick first out and then promptly gave up two singles and a three run homer, making Girardi go to Chapman (again which would play a pivotal role in Tuesday’s game). Chapman decided to make it interesting giving up another run before eventually closing the door. Collective exhale. Final: 6-5 Yanks.
Tuesday was rock bottom. Not for Severino, who turned in the best start of his career (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 12 K).
The Yanks trailed 1-0 all the way until the top of the 8th when Tyler Wade (in his first big league at bat) got the rally started with a walk. Ellsbury followed up with a single, Judge drove him in, then Gary did this.
Unfortunately it wouldn’t be enough. Chapman was unavailable, so Betances’ normal 8th inning duties got pushed back to the 9th. Enter German. Walk, walk. Exit German. Enter Clippard. He made things incredibly interesting, but finished the inning with the Yanks clinging to a one run lead. Betances came in to shut the door in the 9th and just flat out didn’t have it. Could it have been because it was his third day throwing in a row? Maybe. But two walks, a hit by pitch, and a walk off two run single capped the single worst loss of the year. Final: 4-3 White Sox.
Wednesday’s game was a must watch for two reasons: Tanaka looking to string together good starts and Miguel Andujar arrived. Neither disappointed. Andujar got the scoring started in the top of the 1st in ab #1.
Who would have thought a three spot in the 1st would be all Tanaka would need (6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) He now has a 3.94 ERA over his last five starts, good not great, but infinitely better than the first two months. Anyway back to the offense. Again, the Yanks scored their runs in bunches. Three in the first, 5 in the 6th, and 4 in the 9th. The big blows came on a Judge two run homer, Didi two run homer, and Andujar two run double. Here, here, and here. And some stats to put Andujar’s debut in perspective. Final: 12-3 Yanks.
hursday marked the arrival of another young stud out of the Yankees’ system, Dustin Fowler. Unless you haven’t been following the team at all you know that he ruptured his patella running down a foul ball in the bottom of the 1st. Ugh. The rest of the shitty, wet, rain delayed night was just that… shitty. On to Houston. Final: 4-3 White Sox.
Friday – Sunday @ Astros:
W 13-4, L 7-6, L 8-1
I’ll be the first to admit that I thought the Yankees were going to get smoked on Friday. McCullers at home, Pineda on the road, coming in after a late night in Chicago… but nope. The game remained close through five innings thanks to Big Mike (6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) until the Yanks could blow it open with a 5 spot in the 6th. The five runs came on a mixture of walks, singles, and sloppy play by the Astros. The Yankees weren’t done there thanks to one big swing of the bat by Gardner the very next inning. A stress free win where you aren’t on the edge of your seat watching the bullpen, what a concept. Final: 13-4 Yanks.
Rock bottom lasted approximately four days. And then rock got bottom-er. Saturday was the worst loss of the season. Period. The offense was highlighted by Clint Frazier’s historic first game and Didi’s grand slam.
But this is about the bullpen. Holy fucking moly was this bad. For the second outing in a row, Betances had absolutely nothing. Zero command. Betances doesn’t hold on runners, so the Astros decided to make him pay. After a leadoff strike out, Altuve walked. He proceeded to steal second and third before Romine even had a chance to throw the ball. A should have been harmless Correa ground out plated one run, making it 6-4. Gattis followed that up with a homer to the moon and you just started to feel the wheels falling off. Beltran walked on four pitches, Carter dropped a pick off throw allowing him to advance to second, Reddick (pinch running) takes third, and it’s déjà vu all over again. Another walk led to a hook for Betances. Chapman came in and gave up a two run double down the line and that’s all she wrote. Fuck this week has been frustrating. Final: 7-6 Astros.
Not much to report on this one. Saturday night’s hangover looked like it was in full effect. The offense didn’t produce and Severino got shelled for the second time this season against Houston. (5.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) Back to the Bronx we go. Final: 8-1 Astros.
Arrival of the Baby Bombers:
- Tyler Wade was the first of the major position player prospects to be called up this week. In his first plate appearance he drew a seven pitch, pinch hit walk that started the rally that should have won the game on Tuesday. He then followed it up with an RBI double in his first career start the next day, but was over shadowed by the two guy below.
- Miguel Andujar had arguably the best debut for any Yankee ever. You can see the highlights and the historical context above, but this bullet is what that debut could have meant. It’s no secret that the Yanks are in the market for cheap, controllable pitching, and White Sox ace Jose Quintana is just that. Could the timing of the youth movement be to audition some of their top talent for White Sox execs, particularly Andujar? We shall see.
- Dustin Fowler. Don’t really know what to say for this one. Just sucks. Have to hope the surgery went well and there will be a quick and clean recovery.
- Clint Frazier’s debut on Saturday was everything the Yankees and their fans could have asked for. Actually it was more than that, it was up there on the list of best first starts in the history of the pinstripes
Record & Standings:
Week record: 3-4
Overall record: 43-37
A look ahead: 3 vs. TOR, 3 vs. MIL
Around the League:
- Trea Turner broke his wrist earlier in the week. Although Washington’s offense still figures to be one of the best in the league, losing a dynamic top of the order guy and base stealing threat could cause problems if the injury lingers into September and October.
- Indians top prospect, CF Bradley Zimmer, has been solid offensively since being called up, but is making a serious name for himself defensively. This was on display when he made the play of the first half against the Tigers.
- All star rosters were announced Sunday night. Five Yankees made the AL team, with Didi on the final ballot. Check it out here. Who got snubbed? Let me know @theboots10.