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The Yankees just cannot beat this damn A’s team, can they? It was another stinker for our Bombers tonight, who laid an egg and lost 8-2. Here is the box score, if you want it. The Yanks, as you know, maintain their huge lead in the AL East, but Tampa beat Cleveland. The magic number will remain unchanged tonight.

This game was a bummer and it’s a Friday night, so let’s not waste any more time. Let’s get right to the takeaways.

1. A Short Night for CC Sabathia: Jeez, I really hope that tonight wasn’t CC Sabathia’s last MLB appearance. Sabathia left tonight’s game after 3 innings pitched. Although no reason has been announced yet, YES’ Jack Curry reported that CC was having knee problems:

I don’t want to make any assumptions here, but there are only a few weeks left in the season. It would be really upsetting if CC’s last month is plagued by injury, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s focus on tonight instead.

Sabathia threw 48 pitches in those 3 innings, allowing just 1 hit. He did walk 2 batters and retired 2 more by the strikeout. And it was new age CC, with the average exit velocity of the 6 batted balls against him coming in at 82 miles per hour. He mixed up his pitches, too. Check it out:

  • Sinker: 8
  • Slider: 14
  • Changeup: 14
  • Cutter: 12

He topped out at 90 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the hit he did surrender was a big one, and it came at the hands of Jurickson Prufar:

Very unfortunate! That one gave the A’s a 1-0 lead. Here is his strike zone plot from the night:

Let’s hope this injury isn’t that bad and that CC is back on the mound soon. I’m not ready for anything else, honestly.

2. Tommy Kahnle Didn’t Have It: Of course, a few days after I wrote about Tommy Kahnle’s unhittable changeup, Tommy Kahlne’s changeup got smacked around. Great stuff by me, as always. Kahnle entered with the game with a 2-1 Yankee lead and left the game with the Yankees down 4-2. Here was his final line: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 K. It was not a great night.

That’s a lot of balls right over the plate right there, and many others not even close. He did not have it. Here was the first blow against him, a double off the bat of Seth Brown:

The big blow, though, came again at the hands of Jurickson Profar, but this time it was a double:

That came after Kahnle retired Josh Phegley on a nasty change. It was a big blow against Kahnle, but hey: you’re not going to have it every night. Sometimes in this sport you even get hit around by a guy hitting .218/.295/.417 (87 wRC+). Go get ’em next time, Tommy.

3. Cody Gearrin Also Didn’t Have It: Another rough night for a Yankee reliever, as Gearrin was tagged for 2 runs on 3 hits in his 1 inning of work tonight. That extended the Oakland lead to 6-2 in the inning after Kahnle’s struggles. Frustrating, especially after last week’s sweep in Oakland. Oh well.

Here was Gearrin’s strike zone plot:

Like Kahnle, many pitches way out of the zone and many others right over the heart of the plate. Oh well. There’s a new game tomorrow, right?

4. Wasted Offensive Opportunity After Wasted Offensive Opportunity: You can’t say that the Yankees didn’t have opportunities tonight. As always, the Yankees had traffic on the basepaths and had chances to score runs. They just didn’t get that timely hit. Again, this was just one of those games.

Let’s start in the 3rd inning. After DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge both recorded singles, Gleyber Torres walked, which set up a bases-loaded, one-out situation for Didi Gregorius. He grounded into a force out to first baseman Matt Chapman but beat out the double play. The run scored, but Sánchez promptly grounded out. Bases-loaded, one-out, only one run. Blah.

A similar situation occurred in the 4th inning. Luke Voit and Brett Gardner reached on a single and then Austin Romine reached on a fielder’s choice that was challenged by the Yankees and overturned. Here’s the video:

That set up a bases-loaded, no-out situation. Tauchman then grounded into a double play, which scored Voit but took the sails out of the inning. Here is the video:

Even after LeMahieu walked, the double play is a killer. Anderson would get Judge to retire the inning and end the rally.

Very annoying. The Yankees left 14 runners on base, but the big hit just didn’t come tonight. Oh well.

Leftovers

  • Luis Cessa With A Nice Performance: Luis Cessa is much-maligned, but honestly, he doesn’t deserve it this year. He’s been pretty good. He has a 3.99 ERA (4.68 FIP) in 70 IP this year, with a strikeout per 9 rate just below 9. That’s pretty solid for the last man outta the pen, no? Tonight he pitched 2 innings, with just 2 hits surrendered. No runs, no walks, and one strikeout. He was efficient and kept Oakland at bay. That’s what you want.
  • DJ LeMahieu Is A Human, After All: With one out in the top of the 7th inning, DJ LeMahieu had a rare defensive mishap. Matt Chapman hit a grounder–it was hit hard, to be fair–that just went under his glove. Didi was behind him to back up the play, but he was a little flatfooted and Chapman reached base. It was a part of the big inning. Now, it’s easy for me to say that he should have made the play from my couch, but I was surprised to see him miss it with his defensive prowess. You just never know what’s going to happen. He did add a hit and a run scored, though, because he always does something good. It’s just what he does.
  • Aaron Judge With A Rocket: Aside from the highlighted at-bat above, Aaron Judge continued to show how red hot he is right now. He went 2-4 tonight, and his first hit was an absolute rocket. It registered at 115.1 mph, which ranks as the 8th hardest-hit ball of the season. That’s kinda meaningless, but it’s fun. Aaron Judge crushes the ball and I like to see it. He’s up to .280/.387/.514 (135 wRC+) on the season. What slump?
  • Welcome Back, Luke Voit: Sure is nice to see Luke Voit back in action, no? He went 2-4 tonight with a run scored, raising his season line t0 .281/.394/.494 (135 wRC+). Truck Month has been a lot of fun, and Ford is cool to root for, but the Yankees are so much better with Voit in the lineup. I’m glad to see him back.
  • Appreciating Brett Gardner: To honor Randy’s appreciation post, Gardner notched another hit tonight. He went 1-4 on the night and is now hitting .252/.330/.479 (110 wRC+). Incredible. It really is.
  • Not So Nasty Nestor Returns Again: Not the best night for Nestor Cortes Jr. tonight. He got knocked around in the 9th inning, giving up a massive blow to Marcus Semien and another run later in the inning. He struggled just like every other non-Cessa reliever. Here’s the video of the double, which followed the HR:

Up Next

The Yankees will try to finally win a game against the Athletics tomorrow at 1:05 pm in the Bronx. Homer Bailey (12-8, 5.04 ERA) will take on Domingo Germán (17-3, 4.03 ERA), and the game can be found on MLB Network nationally, YES locally, and WFAN by radio. Enjoy the rest of your Friday, everyone.