This kind of game has been a recurring nightmare for the Yankees in 2021. Far too many times have the Yankees had agonizing losses this season, and tonight was no different. Fitting that this nightmarish finish came at the Field of Dreams game, I guess.
The Yankees lost to the White Sox 9-8 in dramatic fashion. They improbably rallied for four runs against Chicago’s closer Liam Hendriks with two outs in the top of the ninth, only to have Zack Britton blow it in the bottom half. So it goes this year.
For a fleeting moment, it felt like the Yankees were going to steal a game they had no business winning. Chances felt slim with Andrew Heaney delivering another poor performance and the White Sox vaunted bullpen dominating the sixth through eighth innings. And then, we were reminded of why the Yankees can be so dangerous: the trio of Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, and Giancarlo Stanton delivered huge at-bats late. If only Britton could have held on.
With that, let’s get to the takeaways from tonight’s game.
The Yankees badly need more games like this from their sluggers. As Bobby pointed out in his thoughts post this morning, the recent numbers for Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, and Giancarlo Stanton are not good since the All-Star break. But tonight? They reached base in 6 of 15 plate appearances and all three had pivotal at-bats in the team’s ninth inning rally.
And wow, was that ninth inning comeback fun, huh? I know things didn’t end well, but it was good to see the heart of the order deliver with their backs against the wall. It went from 7-4 to 8-7 in a blink of an eye, didn’t it? It all happened with two outs too.
The White Sox have a pretty incredible bullpen, and the likes of Michael Kopech, Aaron Bummer, and Craig Kimbrel had blanked the Yanks since the sixth inning. With closer Liam Hendriks coming in, this one felt over. Until this happened, with a Gallo walk in between:
Hopefully this is a sign of Judge, Gallo, and Stanton feeling better at the plate. If they all get going at the same time, look out.
The Andrew Heaney experience has run its course. Yeah, I think we’ve all seen enough. It’s been just three starts, but with the likes of Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, and Luis Severino returning soon, Heaney has to be the odd man out. When you do things like this…
Most HR Allowed in 1st 3 Games with Yankees:— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) August 13, 2021
Andrew Heaney 8* (2021)
Jeff Weaver 8 (2002)
Tim Leary 6 (1990)
Dave Eiland 6 (1988)
*thru 4th inning
…you can’t remain in the rotation.
Heaney did give the bullpen a little bit of a breather tonight, at least. He pitched five innings. That said, I think there’s an argument that Aaron Boone should have pulled him after the third. The White Sox turned their lineup over in that frame and quickly put up four runs to make it 5-3. Then, Heaney gave up two more in the fourth. Not great. And yes, the ‘pen has been worked hard in this 17 games in 17 day stretch, but they are off tomorrow.
We got to see Cole and Montgomery with the team prior to today’s game, so their returns seem fairly imminent. Severino needs one more successful rehab start before his return. There’s a chance Heaney gets one more start depending on everyone’s timing to get back, but that should be it at the most.
Now, as for what to do with Heaney? I don’t expect him to be DFA’d. We’ve seen enough injuries and COVID cases that the Yankees can’t simply part with a warm body. Just have him be the last guy in the bullpen who can throw mop up innings.
I didn’t care for the Field of Dreams Game. No, not because the Yankees lost. And not because I didn’t like the movie. Rather, there’s a lot more to this than the guise of an thirty year old film and a cornfield. Just read what JD Scholten has to say about it here. Difficult to disagree with anything he wrote about all that’s wrong with MLB and this game.
- Another nice game for Tyler Wade, who went 2-for-4 with a stolen base. He started that ninth inning rally, by they way. He led off with a single.
- Brett Gardner seems to have some life again too. He went 2-for-5 with a homer.
- Lefties Wandy Peralta and Joely Rodriguez combined to throw three shutout innings after Heaney’s departure. Nice work to keep the Yankees in this one.
There’s no game tomorrow, but these two sides resume their series in Chicago on Saturday. See you then.