About Yesterday: Mariners 7, Yankees 3
The Yankees have lost the same amount of series post-ASB as pre-ASB. Let's talk about yesterday.
Quick Stats -
Winning Pitcher: Luis Castillo (5-4, 2.95 ERA)
Losing Pitcher: Gerrit Cole (9-4, 3.56 ERA)
Home Runs (New York): Kyle Higashioka (6)
Home Runs (Seattle): Eugenio Suarez (18), Carlos Santana (10), Jarred Kelenic (4), Jesse Winker (10)
Big Story - Coming off a baffling trade of Jordan Montgomery just minutes before the trade deadline ended, Jameson Taillon had a horrific start on Tuesday night. It did not help quell the questions from Yankees fans and pundits alike asking, "Why?". It also didn't help that General Managers Brian Cashman's main reasoning for the Montgomery trade was "St. Louis needed starting pitching". Evidently, Tuesday night showed us that the Yankees also needed starting pitching.
Then, we get a mid-afternoon game on a Wednesday with our 36-Million Dollar (per year) ace on the mound. It was clear he was going to be the one to quell the starting pitching anxiety that had grown dramatically from the night before.
It did not go that way.
Player(s) of the Game - I will be generous after yesterday and award two:
Isiah Kiner-Falefa: 2-3, 1 Run, 1 RBI
Kyle Higashioka: 2-3, Home Run, 1 Run, 2 RBI's, 1 K
Notable Performances - Three moderately good performances from yesterday:
Matt Carpenter: 1-3, Double, BB, K (the only other hit besides IKF and Higgy)
Andrew Benintendi: 0-3, Run, BB, Stolen Base
Ron Marinaccio: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Lou Trivino: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Better to Forget - Many more names than we'd like to see...
Josh Donaldson: 0-4, 2 K's
Gleyber Torres: 0-4, 2 K's
Anthony Rizzo: 0-4, 1 K
Aaron Hicks: 0-4, 1 K
Wandy Peralta: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 Home Run Allowed
GOAT (Not the good kind) - A new category for our recap, just to highlight this:
Gerrit Cole: 6 IP, 7 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 BB, 8 K's, 3 Home Runs Allowed
Note: All 3 home runs (plating 6 runs) came in the 1st inning
My Take - Well, there is no other way to begin this recap than to highlight how the top of the first inning went for the New York Yankees. This is what happened to Gerrit Cole:
Adam Frazier single
Jesse Winker walk
Eugenio Suarez Home Run (Score 3-0, Mariners)
Carlos Santana Home Run (Score 4-0, Mariners)
J.P. Crawford single
Kyle Lewis strikeout
Jarred Kelenic Home Run (Score 6-0, Mariners)
Luis Torrens ground-out
Sam Haggerty strikeout
Three home runs allowed in one inning. And, it's not even the first time THIS YEAR that Gerrit Cole has allowed 3 (or more) home runs in the first inning of a game: doing so on June 9th against the Minnesota Twins (when they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs between Arraez, Buxton, and Correa).
An interesting note on that game: Gerrit Cole allowed 5 (!) home runs that game (one more in each of the 2nd and 3rd innings), yet the Yankees came back and won the game 10-7. Would you believe Joey Gallo had 2 home runs that game? Wow, I can't believe I forgot about that! I actually wrote in-depth about that game (and it's parallels to another great Yankees-Twins game from 2019), which you can read, here!
Needless to say, there are some games where it is clear that the Yankees are not going to get much of anything from Gerrit Cole. Now, I'll give him some (undeserved) credit as if you take out the 1st inning from yesterday's game he has a much more reasonable pitching line of:
5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K's.
However, doing so completely ignores the immediate deficit that the Yankees found their way into and the way that a 6-run lead goes to effect a game for both teams. The Mariners likely started to relax a bit more and the Yankees felt a need to press and force on any opportunity they had.
That was evident when IKF got thrown out at home- to end the inning- after a Kyle Higashioka double in the 2nd inning. He was out by a couple of steps, taking a 2-on situation away from Anthony Rizzo (though he did strike out to start the 3rd inning). Ultimately I can't get mad at the Yankees third base coach for sending IKF. I was watching the play at work and I too would've sent IKF. I thought he had a much better jump on the ball and was quicker than that. I also think that it's telling that I cannot immediately have our third base coaches name (it's Luis Rojas) come to mind. Everyone makes a bad call every once in a while. It happens. Outside of that, he's been much much better than Phil Nevin was.
Ultimately, I think that send was the turning-point of the game. The Yankees got absolutely nothing going in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings and- as we have seen often- started to kick back into it too late into the game.
A few more notes I have from the game:
The Mariners recently acquired starting pitcher Luis Castillo absolutely dominated the Yankees again...just like he did when he was a member of the Cincinnati Reds and beat the Yankees on July 14th. His pitching line for those two games are:
July 14th: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 8 K's
August 3rd: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 8 K's
It would've been nice to have Castillo in the rotation- though, that likely would have meant that Nestor would've also been traded in a surprise move at 5:59 PM on Tuesday- but I do also think that the Yankees would not have been able to beat the Mariners offer unless they added a guy like Anthony Volpe to the mix. I would thought Volpe (+) for Castillo would've been an overpay. I'll have more on this deal- and the other major non-Yankees trade deadline moves- on Friday at 4:00 PM.
WHY, WHY WHY WHY? Is Aaron Judge sitting the day before an off-day? At the very least have the man DH. Sometimes Aaron Boone does these things and it completely messes with his hitters. Aaron Judge just had what was- by some metrics- the greatest 12/13 game stretch in baseball HISTORY. You don't take a player out of the line-up when they are that on top of it at the plate. Keep trotting him out there so he can chase history. He's on a Barry Bonds like pace and very well could surpass the coveted 61 (clean) home run mark this season.
Note: Remember when Aaron Boone took out Gleyber Torres in the 3rd inning of the 2nd-to-last and then benched him before the Yankees final game in Camden Yards against Baltimore Orioles in 2019 when he was chasing his own bit of history? How frustrating was that?
That's it. I have nothing else to say.
Gosh. Sometimes the Yankees just make me out to be a crank. But, if you watched yesterday, I think it's fair to be a little perturbed by the team right now.
Next Up - The Yankees are off today as they fly out to Missouri before a 3-game series in St. Louis against the Cardinals (and the beginning of a 9-game road trip). For the Yankees, Nestor Cortes (9-3, 2.53 ERA) is going to be tasked with proving the Yankees have some quality starting arms left on the team. The Cardinals have yet to announce their starter, though Dakota Hudson (6-6, 4.10 ERA) looks to be their guy.
Jordan Montgomery looks to have the Saturday spot for the Cardinals. That will be a very interesting game to watch.