The horrific road trip continues. Nothing is going right for the pinstripes at the moment. The same culprit keeps rearing its ugly head and some new ones are joining the party. The pinstripes lose this one by the score of 9-5. They have an eight game lead in the AL East over the Rays and Red Sox. This game sucked and there isn’t much to say about it so there aren’t many takeaways tonight.
1. The Team Has Starters Disease: It’s pretty safe to say whatever is ailing the starting rotation is spreading to the rest of the team. Of course, the starters set the tone, but the offense, defense and bullpen are now starting to falter. In the first three games of this series, the offense has been held in check by Rick Porcello, Andrew Cashner and Eduardo Rodriguez. Porcello is having an abysmal year. Cashner’s two previous starts against Toronto and Baltimore were duds and Eduardo Rodriguez was in a jam seemingly every inning today. It doesn’t help that the lineup is missing DJLM, Gary Sanchez and Brett Gardner, but there is more than enough to compete.
The defense hasn’t been at its best during this series as well. In his first series at Fenway, Mike Tauchman is getting a crash course on the quirks of the ball park. He did make a nice throw to get Michael Chavis trying to stretch a single into a double, but Tauchman is clearly struggling with the left and centerfield walls. Kyle Higashioka also leaves a lot to be desired when trying to throw runners out at second. It largely feels like the Red Sox are making every play while the Yankees are a step off or in the wrong spot.
A lot of attention is being paid to the starters, and rightfully so, but the bullpen hasn’t been very good on this road trip either. There haven’t been many instances where the bullpen has stopped the bleeding. In Minnesota, they either allowed tack on runs or blew leads. During this series, they’re getting roped as much as the starters are. Here is a scary stat from Katie Sharp:
This is a full pitching staff effort at the moment.
2.Another Inconsistent Start: The small victory for today is the starter didn’t give up 7 or 8 runs in the first inning. Today’s starter, CC Sabathia, had a strong three innings to begin the game. He had good command of his pitches and was able to keep the Red Sox hitters off balance. His early success was due to hitting various spots in the zone and effectively changing speeds.
That all came to a crashing halt in the 4th inning. With the Sox seeing CC for a second time, CC’s command began to elude him. Here is CC’s pitch location in the first inning:
Sabathia was living in the bottom third of the zone for the most part and had a nice (and rare) 1-2-3 inning. Here is his pitch location in the 4th inning:
You can immediately see the difference in the two graphs. CC got the ball up and the Sox didn’t miss. The older version of CC is fantastic at keeping exit velocity down. He’s one of the top pitchers in this category over the last couple of years. There is a stark difference in exit velocity between the first three innings and the fourth inning:
That isn’t good. And with this in-game trend, Boone’s decision to start the fifth inning with CC was curious. We’ll end with this frustrating nugget:
At least there is some improvement?
The Yankees desperately need Monday’s off day. They need to get away from the ballpark, clear their minds and get ready for Tuesday. All good teams go through a rough stretch. With that said, it would be pretty cool if they get out of it sooner than later. Despite the poor play, the Yankees are still in first place with a pretty significant lead this late in the season. Tomorrow’s game will feature a Domingo Germán and Chris Sale match up. Let’s hope the Yanks avoid a sweep tomorrow night at 7:05pm. Brush this one off and enjoy your summer Saturday night.