The Yankees number two starter behind Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, left last night’s game with shoulder pain. Today’s MRI needs to go their way.
Corey Kluber and the Yankees had an awful night Tuesday.
Kluber left the game due to tightness in his right shoulder. He will undergo an MRI on Wednesday. For what it’s worth, Kluber told reporters after the game that the pain didn’t feel like his shoulder tear from last year, so hopefully, he’s right that it’s not serious. (Brian Hoch, Pinstripe Alley)
Describing the MRI as “precautionary,” the Yankees and their fans can only hold their breath while awaiting results that are expected before game time tonight.
Well on his way as a strong candidate for the Comeback Player of the Year award, and fresh off a no-hitter in his previous start, Corey Kluber had the misfortune of facing the hottest player in baseball now – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who crushed his 16th home run of the season in the third inning, and from there Toronto never looked back with a decisive 6-2 win over the Yankees.
Courtesy of the Braves who knocked off the Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals, who calmed the Tampa Bay Rays down, the Yankees did not lose anything in the American League East Standings, except, of course, the chance to pick up ground on their rivals.
But the main story of the night has to be Corey Kluber and the edginess that must have been felt throughout the Yankees clubhouse following the game.
Meeting with reporters, Yankees manager Aaron Boone went out of his way to downplay his concern at this point, indicating that trainers and medical staff gave Corey Kluber an extensive physical exam, and nothing of import surfaced from that. (video below)
Yankees: The Beat Goes On
Meanwhile, there’s another game to play tonight at Yankee Stadium, and if there is one instruction that Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake gives to tonight’s starter, Domingo German, it has to be “Don’t let that Guerrero guy beat you.”
Funny things can happen when the competitive nature in pitchers rises, and German is one of those fiery guys on the mound, always in the hunt for outs – no matter who the batter is.
However, the trouble for the Yankees is that the Blue Jay’s lineup accounted for thirteen hits last night, with twelve of them coming from the one through seven positions in their lineup.
Still, the focus has to be on Guerrero, whose stats are beginning to look like a serious challenge to win a Triple Crown, the first if achieved since 2012 when Miguel Cabrera accomplished the rare feat.
Beginning play tonight, Guerrero is batting .337 (5th), with 16 HT (1st) and 41 RBI (1st).
The Yankees made Steven Matz (6.2, 6 hits, 1 ER, and 10K’s) look like Sandy Koufax last night, managing only six hits off the transplanted former Mets. Kyle Higashioka and Clint Frazier had two hits apiece.
Yankees Look To Extend Series Win Streak
With last night’s loss, the Yankees must take the next two from Toronto to extend their series win streak that now stands at 8-0-2.
Easier said than done, as the Blue Jays have the fifth-best team batting average in the majors (.257) while the Yankees hold down the 21st spot with a pale-looking .231 BA.
Of more concern is the Yankees’ inability to score runs, where they are also 21st in the league, with 191 runs in 48 games, or roughly four runs a game.
To beat Toronto, the Yankees need to do better than that and still get the pitching they received while winning 2-0, 2-0, and 3-2 squeakers over the Rangers and White Sox when the hitting failed.
Finally, For All You Naysayers…
Finally, for all the naysayers who poo-pooed the Yankees signing of Brett Gardner, don’t look now, but he’s catching up to you.
Thrust into centerfield again because Aaron Hicks is out for the season, Gardner, now 37, has played in all of a stretch of thirteen games for Aaron Boone.
Telling Dan Martin of the New York Post, Boone doubles down on Gardner’s value to the Yankees:
“Day-in and day-out, he’s had a lot better contact and played excellent defense. We’ve needed him and are leaning on him heavily here. … There’s a reason we keep trying to bring him back every year. He’s an outstanding player with a precious ability to move around the outfield.’’ (edited)
Aware, however, that Gardner can’t keep going at this pace, don’t be surprised if you see Clint Frazier in centerfield for a game or two. With the encouragement of Boone, Frazier has been working out there, and given what Boone terms his “athleticism,” he’ll have no reservation putting Frazier out there.
Update: 5/26/21 8:55 pm ET
Corey Kluber is expected to miss a minimum of two months after an MRI revealed a strain of the subscapular muscle of his right shoulder, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said on Wednesday. Ouch.
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Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Elisa Granata- Poitras It sure does! Hope it is just soreness.