Truth be told, there should have been a lot more games like Wednesday night’s blowout loss to the Mariners this year for the Yankees.
The Yankees have played above their heads for a while, and all that is a testament to the willingness of the Accidental Yankees to play a team-oriented game and make adjustments along the way that produced a 13-4 run heading into Wednesday night’s encounter against left-hander Yusei Kikuchi and ended with the Yankees losing, 10-1, to the Mariners at Yankee Stadium.
This was a textbook example how to beat the Yankees, with a left-hander throwing a lot of off-speed stuff early and then turning up the heat with a fastball in the mid-90s. Kikuchi was not hesitant to display the a gob of pine tar under the bill of his cap to really get the Yankees fans aggravated, some at the game screaming to home plate umpire Angel Hernandez to go out and check Kikuchi’s cap.
He didn’t. The Yankees never made a big deal out of it.
Of course there are those out there who think a pitcher just can’t beat the Yankees, he must be cheating.
Still, it’s amazing the Yankees have not run into more games like this with most of the star-studded roster out of action.
Perhaps this was the first sign that there is not an unlimited amount of sand in this hour glass of success. At some point, all the winning of the Bomber Backups will come to an end and the Yankees will need their first string back. But that will have to wait. Not a lot of calvary coming over the hill.
The Yankees did not pick up their first hit until No. 9 batter Mike Tauchman blooped a broken-bat double over third baseman Ryon Healey’s head with one out in the sixth. They pushed across a run that inning, extending their streak of not being shut out since last June 30, a span of 118 games. That game they lost to the Red Sox, 11-0, when Chris Sale pitched seven shutout innings.
Manager Aaron Boone was quick to praise Kikuchi, saying, “He was able to change speeds on his fastball, cut the ball, pull the string, he pitched really well and really shut us down.’’
When will the winning warranty expire this overachieving group of players, who have made key adjustments along the way to bring out the best in their baseball souls?
The Yankees suffered another injury Wednesday night when third baseman Gio Urshela had to leave the game soon after fouling a ball off his left knee in the seventh.
Some games in a 162-game season, you just don’t have it, and one night after their emotional comeback victory, sparked by Urshela’s two-run tying home run in the ninth, the Yankees had little left in the tank. Kikuchi attacked them with 76 of his 104 pitches being strikes as he lasted 7 ²/₃ innings, allowing just three hits.
This was a night to remind you these Yankees shouldn’t be 21-15. They are playing way over their heads, and that is a credit to their approach and the adjustments they have made.
Say this for this Yankees team: While other teams struggle with some of the same old problems — i.e. the Mets — these Yankees have made some solid adjustments during this survival run, including reliever Tommy Kahnle searching the video files to get back to 2017 form by firing his hips toward the plate in a more direct fashion to regain velocity and command.
“I’d like to think we’ve done a good job since I’ve been here,’’ Boone said of making important adjustments. “Not as a result of me but our coaches and who we have as players. They do a good job of preparing. That happens in a lot of different ways. It happens in groups, in conversations, in meetings, watching video, applying different things in their work. In this group, so far, I’ve been really pleased with how they’ve shown up ready to go and trying to get better.’’
These Yankees can’t be much better than they’ve been. You have to wonder how much longer it can continue.
Source: Read Full Article