It's official. This team has completely come off the rails. I made a point to stay awake long enough to watch the entire game last night, which was a stupid move on my part. Everything I saw was indicative of a baseball team that's not just slumping, but isn't actually a good baseball team. Bad takes, bad swings, missed pitch locations, dropped throws, failure to tag up on the basepaths, getting doubled off for ranging too far of a base. Tons of little mistakes that bad teams make. There clearly isn't a shakeup to be made with this bunch, not unless somebody or somebodies get hurt and hit the DL. But damn, they sure could use it because they are plain awful.
Luis Severino was back on the hill after his 3-inning disaster start in Texas, and while this one wasn't quite that bad it wasn't good by any means. Severino battled his fastball command all night, missing by over a foot at times, and his worst misses got crushed. He left a 2-strike fastball up to Mark Trumbo in the bottom of the 2nd and watched it get crushed to left field for a game-tying home run. He did the same thing with a changeup in the 5th and Trumbo hit that one over the left field wall too for a 2-run home run. Inability to hit spots with his fastball and absolutely zero respect for his offspeed pitches from opposing hitters. That's a tough combo to work through as a young big league pitcher.
When he wasn't serving up gopher balls, Severino was putting on a clinic in how to not field your position. With 2 on and 2 out in the 3rd, he wasn't quick enough getting to first base to cover on a ground ball hit to Mark Teixeira and he dropped the toss as he tried to find the base with his foot. Severino did manage to get Manny Machado to pop out and end the threat, but he wasn't so lucky in the 4th when he did it again on a Ryan Flaherty grounder and Jonathan Schoop came around to score on the error.
Those 4 runs, earned or not, were all on Severino and they provided plenty of cushion for Baltimore starter Chris Tillman. The Yankees got to him for a token run in the top of the 2nd on a Brian McCann walk and 2 singles by Carlos Beltran and Didi Gregorius and then basically withered up and died. They put a runner on base in every inning except the 7th, including leadoff walks in the 4th and 6th, but never got any big hits to capitalize on the opportunities. The biggest blow was in the 6th, when Mark Teixeira drew the leadoff walk and Brian McCann singled to left to put 2 on with nobody out. Betran lined out for the first out and McCann got nabbed off first when Starlin Castro hit a soft liner to second base. Not sure where McCann was going on that one, but it was a pretty brutal baserunning misread considering the situation.
Tillman racked up 9 strikeouts in 7 strong innings and the Baltimore bullpen made sure there would be no comeback. The losing streak has reached 6. The Yankees have scored 13 total runs in those 6 games. 7 of them came on Sunday night.
- Give Severino a little credit for completing 6 innings. He didn't completely go in the tank after the errors and homers and that's commendable. He also looked like he was locating his slider down in the zone better, which is a positive sign. But he's really got to shore up that fastball command. If he can't put it on the corners he's going to continue to get beat up.
- McCann was the lone offensive bright spot, singling and drawing 2 walks in 4 plate appearances. Beltran had 2 hits and Didi drove in the lone Yankee run.
- Alex Rodriguez left the game early again due to injury. He tweaked his right hamstring running out a ground ball in the 5th inning and was replaced by Dustin Ackley. He's scheduled for an MRI today. Stay tuned.
- Chase Headley went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts, one swinging and one looking. He looked awful on both. Joe needs to sit him down.