Earlier today, Cameron Maybin sent out this tweet:
While Killa Cam had a pretty good game, there really is no reason to stay up late if the team puts in games like tonight. This was a pretty lackluster performance against a bad pitcher in Homer Bailey. The Yankees drop the first game of their three game series against the Oakland Athletics by the score of 6-2 (box score link here). The Yanks are 83-44 and have a 10 game lead in the AL East. Let’s get to the takeaways.
1. Bad Road Germán Strikes Again: Domingo Germán is enjoying a fantastic season. He is the de facto ace of the starting rotation. There still remain elements to his game that will need improvement as his career moves forward. One area to improve upon is his performance on the road. Domingo’s home/road splits are pretty stark. Here is a nugget from blog favorite Lindsey Adler:
Unfortunately, we can’t remove the two road clunkers from Domingo’s record. Germán didn’t waste any time in continuing his inconsistency in his starts away from Yankee Stadium.
Gary Sanchez gave the Yankees a 1-0 run lead heading in to the bottom of the first. Domingo didn’t seem all that interested in holding onto that lead. The underrated Matt Olson had the honors:
This was a 92 MPH fastball that didn’t get in enough on Olson and he crushed it. The next batter was Mark Canha and he wanted to join in on the fun:
This pitch was a change up that stayed up in the zone and Canha put a really good swing on it. Germán’s velocity appears to be dropping a bit (more on this in a second) as the season has worn on. This puts a greater emphasis on his secondary pitches and strike zone command. If he’s leaving the ball out over the plate he’s paying the price for it because he isn’t blowing anyone away.
German’s four seamer was ineffective today. Out of the 34 fastballs thrown, he was only able to get three swinging strikes. His average velocity was 92.4 MPH and the average exit velocity against that pitch was 96.5 MPH. The average velocity is a bit alarming because it is continuing a trend over the last month and a half. In June, German’s average velocity was 94 MPH. He had a 29.4 K% and a 25.7 Whiff%. In August, those numbers have dropped to 93 MPH, 12.8 and 13.1. It is important to note that he didn’t throw as many fastballs in June due to injury, but the numbers do suggest a bit of a downturn may be happening.
Domingo finished his night with a line of 5.1 IP, 8H, 5ER, 2BB, 7K. In watching the game, it felt like he pitched worse than his line suggests. The Oakland A’s have a strong lineup and Germán was unable to control it.
2. A Guy Named Homer Silences The Yankees: Guys and gals, Homer Bailey sucks. He came into today’s game with a 5.22 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Here are his statcast rankings:
This chart is as cold as ice. So, because this is baseball, Bailey goes out and puts the Yankees on lock. The game got off to a promising start when Gary Sanchez stepped into the box:
This is one of a few positive takeaways from tonight. Gary looks much better since coming back from the IL. His timing is back. His bath path is efficient and his balance looks improved. It looks like Gary is over that terrible slump he endured in July.
Outside of Gary’s blast, Homer Bailey was in control. The Yankees didn’t have good at bats and struck out 8 times against a pitcher with mediocre stuff at best.
While this lineup has been impressive all year, it would be great to start getting some reinforcements soon. There are some spots in the lineup that can be pitched to including Mike Tauchman’s. Here is a note from David Mendelsohn of Talkin’ Yanks:
It was a little curious to see Austin Romine behind the plate and Gary getting the DH day, but there aren’t many options for lineup flexibility at the moment. It will be great to get guys like Voit, EE, Stanton and Hicks back. A fully healthy lineup takes full advantage against a bad pitcher like Bailey. At the moment, the lineup has holes that can be pitched to and that showed up in tonight’s game.
It wasn’t all bad though for the offense though. This season long nightmare has come to an end:
This ball was hit 467 feet. And he PULLED it. It feels safe to say that any thoughts of Judge playing hurt or uncomfortable can be put to rest. Thankfully, we can finally move on from a storyline that was getting far too much attention than it deserved.
3. Johnny Lasagna Does Well: Pitching in his second game since his return from the IL, Jonathan Loaisiga put in a solid performance. Johnny Lasagna was able to save the bullpen by pitching 2 2/3 innings of shutout ball. He featured a nice mix of high velocity fastballs and curveballs that earned 19 swings and 5 whiffs. He struggled to throw strikes in the 7th inning, but he finished strong in that regard with a 68.75 strike% in the 8th.
There is a lot to like about the idea of Johnny Lasagna Bullpen Weapon as the regular season comes to a close. There is a versatility that he can present as long as he can find consistency with his command. He can come in and serve as an innings eater to save the pen like tonight or you can bring him in for an inning and have him air it out with 97MPH gas. There is enough time in the season to evaluate exactly what the team has in Loiasiga. The return of Dellin is exciting, but there is a chance here to develop a pretty significant weapon for the postseason with Jonathan. Tonight was a nice test against a potential playoff opponent and he passed. This may be the biggest positive of the night.
The Yankees and the A’s play game number two of their three game series later on tonight. It will be J.A. Happ against Mike Fiers. The game will start at 10:07pm. Have a great night everyone.