The Yankees, the same team that left New York with their bats sizzling, had no answers for a Sox bloop single and a sac fly as Bombers fail.
Listening to the Yankees game on Sirius last night (blacked out again), I was stunned to hear a rare moment of eloquence from the inimitable John Sterling.
“You know, Susan,” Sterling said just after Christian Vasquez blooped a single to right field, giving the Red Sox a lead they would not relinquish, “There’s always a story behind a Yankees loss; like this one.”
True to form, Sterling never completed the thought, even though Ma (Suzyn Waldman) tried to egg Pa on, adding, “You know, John, that’s right.”
Yankees: An Anatomy Of How To Lose A Game
But Sterling was onto something because Luis Cessa had the misfortune of being summoned into the game when Zack Britton, who was supposed to finish the eighth inning, limped off the field with a leg injury after retiring one batter.
Cessa, who typically doesn’t walk batters (97 in 284 career innings), delivered eight pitches to Hunter Renfroe, before walking him on a 3-2 pitch that brought Yankees manager Aaron Boone to the top of the dugout steps, on a pitch that, according to the Play-By-Play account in the Box Score, did touch the lower and inside part of the plate.
Cessa then got Enrique Hernandez to two strikes, but a weak ground ball to third did not allow Gio Urshela to get the force at second, setting the stage for the bloop single that added a cushion run, and yadda, yadda, yadda…Sterling’s theory is now almost complete.
The Yankees had their chances to score, but once again, the Yankees, who lead the major leagues with an average of .97 double plays (one a game), hit into two last night, with the last one coming off the bat of DJ Lemahieu to end the game.
The Yankees managed only a 2-9 effort with Runners In Scoring Position (RISP (LeMahieu 1-2, Urshela 0-1, Frazier 0-1, Judge 0-1, Andújar 1-2, Torres 0-2), and they left seven men on base.
All of which makes the end of Sterling’s story quite predictable.
The Yankees lost to the Red Sox, the Red Sox did not beat the Yankees – they beat themselves.
With a two-game swing in the AL East standings for each head-to-head game played, the Yankees fall to 4.5 games behind the Red Sox instead of 2.5 games with a win.
For the Yankees, things only get tougher tonight when they face Nathan Eovaldi, a former Yankee starter who went 23-11 for the Bombers in 2015-2016.
Eovaldi (7-4 3.90) is one of the pitching surprises for Boston, holding hitters to a .261 BA.
Jordan Montgomery (3-1 4.03) gets the start for the Yankees. Montgomery has pitched into the sixth inning in all of his previous four starts, and the Yankees are 11-3 in games he’s pitched over fourteen starts.
Yankees: “Ya Gotta Score Runs, Suzyn”
But it’s the Yankees bats that will carry the game against a Boston team that ranks fifth in the major leagues in runs scored per game (4.97), while the Yankees trail twenty other teams, a full run behind the Red Sox (4.04).
It’s not that the Yankees didn’t hit last night (9 hits to Boston’s 7). It’s that while separate parts of the lineup delivered (Miguel Andujar had three hits, and both Gio Urshela and Luke Voit had two), the in-between batters had nothing, reducing the chances of putting up a crooked number slim to none.
Before last night’s game, Yankees fans and the players themselves hoped the bats had finally come alive, and the trend would continue at Fenway.
With a win tonight, chances are still good the Yankees can take the series, as Gerrit Cole is set for tomorrow.
But chances are also good that even five runs will not be enough to hold off the Red Sox…
If we can call them highlights, here’s a recap of last night’s game:
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Jim Kulhawy It’s the same thing almost every night: Scoring a majority of runs on HRs, but the HRs mostly being solo shots; Inability to score with RISP; leaving double-digit men on base; striking out anywhere from 10 to 15 times (but almost always double digits; starters not going deep enough; too many DPs, too many baserunning mistakes; poor defense; and the coaching staff making at least one blunder (whether it be sending runners home who have no chance to score, or ill-advised pitching changes) per game. Add it all up and what do you have? A poorly constructed, mediocre, .500 team…which is exactly what they have been for the last two seasons.
Stu Cohen Against Kansas City. Yankee bats couldn’t sizzle in Boston if they were bbq’d
Glenn Robert Straffi Need to take the next two games very important for the team
Eric Breeze Bombers need new talent
Josias Gonzalez Because Boone does not believe in base stealing or moving runners bunting while Boston steals and hit base hits not go for the high fly ball swing…translation Red Sox Cora again out managed Boone
Robert Kirschner You’re only as good as you’re next game
Henry Bee Yankees never get that key hit. Perez was very hittable, Yankees never could put him away.
Bruce Chester Get used to it this is a .500 team as best. I am lost how the Red Sox dump major players and sign unknowns and boom look how good. Not NY same boring retreads year in and out just not exciting at all
Robert Piro Funny how everyone gets excited when they beat lesser teams, however, they still haven’t proven they can hang with the big boys.
Sal Dantone Even the coaching staff in that game less than 2outs you don’t send the runner and you know by scouting reports that Boston has 3 outfielders with rifles for arms bad move I think it cost them the game
Kevin Durocher They’re awful, can’t play KC every day. Strikeouts, Men Lob. Two hits three hits. The next time I hear one of these analysts say what a Jauggernut team this is I will strangle them. Can’t even hit journeymen pitchers, pitchers no one wants.
Author’s Final Thoughts
Fickle we are as fans, readers have deep reservations about the Yankees again. Still, that’s why the games are played, and hope remains taking the series is still within the grasp of the Yankees – if and only if the bats take care of business.
With game time approaching, I’m closing published comments on this article. As always, thanks for participating.