|Credit: Ben Margot-Associated Press|
A’s 7, Yankees 6…
I am not gonna lie. This has been a tough week with games that don’t start until after 10 pm EDT and a series of losses that could have been wins if not for bullpen breakdowns. Aroldis Chapman is within our sights yet he seems so far away as the bullpen provides loss after loss. Sunday cannot get here quick enough.
This was another game that saw the Yankees fight back after falling behind early. The A’s jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning but the Yankees answered with a three-run homer by Aaron Judge in the top of the 3rd, his 23rd HR of the year.
|Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports|
They picked up single runs in the 5th through 7th innings, including a solo shot by Chris Carter in the 6th, to take a 6-4 lead.
In the bottom of the 7th, with Chasen Shreve on the mound, the A’s picked up a run on a sac fly by Chad Pinder. Jonathan Holder replaced Shreve for the 8th, but a walk, double and intentional walk, which loaded the bases, set the stage for A’s rookie third baseman Matt Chapman to deliver the game-winning hit with a two-run single.
A’s closer Santiago Casilla struck out three of the four batters he faced to seal the 7-6 victory for Oakland.
Aside from the disastrous second inning, Luis Severino pitched well. He went six innings, allowing four hits, runs, and walks. He struck out six. He banged his knee against a locker prior to the game but didn’t attribute it as a cause for his early struggles. Jonathan Holder (1-1) took the loss with a pitch that was supposed to be in the dirt but was left where Chapman could emerge as the victor with the winning hit.
With a starting lineup that included Rob Refsnyder, Mason Williams, Austin Romine, and Ronald Torreyes, I was concerned about this game from the start. Nothing against those guys, but the players who sat (Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez, and Didi Gregorius) are heavy artillery. Hopefully everyone is feeling a little healthier and/or rested today.
The 8th inning has been a major problem area with Dellin Betances as the designated ninth inning guy. It will be nice to have Betances back to provide the late setup coverage when Chapman returns. For all the bullpen failures, Betances has stood alone as the bright spot. Note to Yankees Prez Randy Levine, Betances is worth more than $3 million. Pay him, you blithering idiot.
While the Yankees (38-27) were losing to the American League’s worst team, the Boston Red Sox were beating its best (2-1 victory over the Houston Astros). So, the Red Sox have pulled to within one game of the Yankees in the AL East standings. All the other AL East teams lost. The Yankees have now lost four in a row, a new season high, after snapping their six-game winning streak in Anaheim.
Odds & Ends…
Prior to Friday’s game, the Yankees made a few roster moves. The injuries to Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks forced their hand. With both players day to day, a trip to the DL doesn’t make sense for either guy. So, roster help had to come from other areas. Adam Warren, dealing with a sore trapezius muscle, was moved to the DL and Giovanny Gallegos was returned to AAA-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Kyle Higashioka was recalled to back up Austin Romine while Sanchez is dealing with his tight groin muscle, and Mason Williams was elevated to provide the Yankees an additional outfielder to help offset the temporary loss of Hicks. Necessary moves, but ones that weakened an already strained bullpen.
Speaking of Aroldis Chapman, the results of his final rehab tune-out at AA-Trenton were less than ideal. Chapman started the Thunder’s game on Friday against the Erie SeaWolves. He threw 20 pitches (his pitch limit). While he struck out two in pitching 2/3rd’s of an inning, he walked two and threw two wild pitches which allowed the SeaWolves to score a run. The Thunder eventually won the game, 4-2. After the game, Chapman, through an interpreter, said, “I felt good out there. I know my command wasn’t 100%, but I felt really good. The good thing is I know I am going to come back strong.” I hope so as the Yankees need a strong and healthy Chapman now more than ever.
|Credit: Greg Slaboda-The Trentonian|
It does not sound good for first baseman Greg Bird. He met with the Yankees team physician and had a CT scan and MRI for his knee and ankle on Friday. He’ll meet with Dr Bob Anderson in North Carolina for a second opinion. It’s starting to look as though this will be another lost year for Bird.
Yesterday saw a nice Triple A debut for starting pitcher Domingo Acevedo. He pitched 7 innings of three-hit ball in the RailRiders’ 8-1 win over the Buffalo Bisons. He gave up only one run, and struck out four. Walks were high (five) but it was a great start for Acevedo. Gleyber Torres was 3-for-4 in the game with a run scored.
Have a great Saturday! Please let today be the start of a new winning streak. Go Yankees!