Normally, I would go through the past games chronologically, but after today’s game, I will start with a very rough loss; seems like a lot of them for such a young season.
After getting a 5-0 lead with some help from Baltimore in the 1st, the bats only scored 2 more runs in the next 11 innings.
I think Boone really stuck with Montgomery too long and it was a bad mistake. Montgomery didn’t have good stuff or command and had allowed 9 hits and 2 walks in 4 1/3 innings and had thrown about 85 pitches! When Valencia stepped to the plate with one out and German was warm and ready to come in, Boone had to make the move. Valencia in his career is a platoon guy who hits lefties well and doesn’t hit righties well. His career OPS against lefties is .863 and righties it is .683. But instead of taking out his struggling pitcher against a bad matchup he left him in and Valencia hit a 2 run HR to make the game 5-4. After the HR, Boone makes the move (TOO LATE)
I think Boone really stuck with German too long and it was a bad mistake. (This IS déjà vu). German allowed run in the 6th and was having control issues in the 7th, but got 2 outs, even if one was a line drive to 3rd. He walked Valencia and Santander came to the plate. He is a switch hitter and only 23 so there are not a lot of stats to tell me his better side, but Shreve was ready in the bullpen and I said to my daughter they need to take German out as he had thrown 49 pitches in relief and was struggling. He threw 3 straight balls before grooving a 3-0 pitch that Santander green lighted over the fence for a 2 run HR and a 1 run lead. TOO LATE Boone!
The Yankees showed their own resiliency as Romine got his second two out hit that knocked in a run to tie the game.
Fast forward to the bottom of the 12th and after Baltimore scratched a run across, The Yanks started the inning as Romine walked (excellent offensive game by Romine). Then Didi walked and in 10 pitches only 1 was a strike (Didi swung at a bad pitch). Gardner is up in a possible bunting situation. I say possible because while two guys on is a great bunting situation, you do have Judge and Stanton behind him so this is where strikeouts can hurt you (even though I am not as bent out of shape at strikeouts as most people). I also say this because this is what was going through my mind. After 2 balls, I trusted Gardner to swing away as Baltimore was very shallow at the corners. Gardner took a fastball right down the middle (lower part of strike zone). Now at 2-1, either swinging away or bunting was OK in my book, but Gardner attempted to bunt a ball far outside and now it was 2-2. Now, I would definitely take the bunt off as it doesn’t make sense to risk the foul ball/strikeout. They kept the bunt on and he hit it semi-hard back to the pitcher, who in his haste to get the force at 3rd just booted the ball and we were in business with bases loaded and nobody out…down by one. I didn’t like the bunt there, but I loved the outcome (sometimes you can do the wrong thing and it works out and vice versa). The happiness quickly subsided as Judge took a 93 MPH down the middle of the plate for a strike, but then swung at a low splitter and gently hit it back to the pitcher who threw home for the force and then surprisingly threw to 3rd to force Didi who didn’t get a good jump or run full speed the entire time to 3rd! Now Stanton was up trying to redeem himself from an 0-6 game with 4 K’s and an error, but k’d for his 5th time (2nd 5k game this year).
Bad one, but the skipper could have helped his team a lot with better management of pulling his pitcher! What makes this loss even worse is that Boston came back from being down 7-2 in the 8th inning to win.
Now to some of the quick notes from past games:
- The injuries are getting a little out of hand…need to get through it though
- In the win, I would not have let Severino come out for the 8th inning after throwing 85 pitches and having a 7-1 lead; this is a marathon, not a sprint.
- There was a play at the plate that Sanchez made a fundamental mistake by reaching for the body of the runner (away from the plate) rather than putting the glove in a spot that the runner has to get to in order to touch the plate. The ball beat the runner by plenty. As he reached for the body, the runner was able to reach and touch home plate about the exact same time as Sanchez touched the runner’s body. The ump called him safe and I watched it many times in slow motion. I am not sure what the call should have been, but whatever was made on the field absolutely should have been upheld. If I had to weigh in I would say 55% safe and 45% out, but somehow they overturned the call to an out, in our favor…we got a break IMO and it covered up Sanchez’ bonehead play.
- In another play at the plate that would have won the game, Didi slid head first and was blocked at getting to the plate as the pitcher received the wild pitch back from the catcher. Didi was clearly out as he didn’t get to the plate, but the pitcher slid his body in his path BEFORE he caught the ball and I think that is blocking the plate without the ball. It was close as he did catch the ball while sliding but impact with Didi happened before he caught the ball. The rule is funky as it doesn’t say pitchers (or other players) have different rights than catchers and therefore I think if that was a catcher Didi would have been ruled safe. To be fair, the rule is not clear to me and I could be wrong here. One could also say that the pitcher was just trying to catch the ball, but I think that is wrong as he was intentionally trying to stop Didi as he caught the ball. If Didi goes in strong sliding he probably scores IMO.
- Just an overall conversation about how poorly the Yankees have hit IMO. It is early and cold at the stadium and it does matter, but they have consistently been taking strikes and swinging at balls. They also have been missing very hittable pitches. Many times good pitching can be the issue, but I say that the Yankees have not taken advantage of the bad pitches and that is bad hitting.
We are 5-5 and have as many bullpen blown games as I would have expected by the end of May.
Remember, this is a marathon and not a sprint!