With tonight’s 7-6 loss to the Mets, the Yankees are now out of a Wild Card spot. The team’s tumble continues — they’ve coughed up 10.5 games to the Blue Jays in 16 games — and are now one game behind the Red Sox for the second Wild Card spot (albeit even in the loss column). There are 19 games left to turn this thing around, though I’m not holding my breath.
Francisco Lindor stole the show tonight and hit three home runs to effectively carry the Mets on his back. He also jawed with the Yankees about yesterday’s game (Taijuan Walker pitch tipping), but ultimately, Lindor’s go-ahead solo homer against Chad Green in the 8th was the knockout punch. More on that in the takeaways after the jump:
As mentioned, Lindor got upper hand in the end. The Mets’ star shortstop took umbrage with the Yankees allegedly whistling to indicate that Taijuan Walker was tipping pitches yesterday. Whether or not his anger was justified depends on who you ask, but pitch tipping has been a part of the sport forever. Granted, there are lines that can (and have been) crossed, and perhaps players are on higher alert ever since the 2017 Astros.
As Lindor rounded the bases, he made a whistling gesture to the dugout, and we assume it was precisely about what happened last night. Stanton said something to Lindor as he rounded the bases and that's when the benches cleared. https://t.co/TIjJcCIW7N— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) September 13, 2021
The Yankees didn’t have much of a choice but to take Lindor’s gestures on the chin as he rounded the bases for his second homer of the night. The best way to actually get revenge is on the field, which is exactly what happened when Giancarlo Stanton came up next:
That’s as good of an answer to Lindor as you can get, and of course, that’s when tensions boiled over. Benches cleared, though no actual brawl ensued. Felt pretty good to see the Yankees get back at the Mets right there. Alas, Lindor wasn’t quite done yet.
Chad Green can’t be trusted, but then again, who can in the bullpen? Lindor’s third homer of the game, a no doubt solo blast against Green, gave the Mets a 7-6 edge and the win.
Green has now given up a run in three straight outings and has allowed 13 homers in 74 innings this season. The long ball is a huge issue for Green, and as great as his fastball can be when it’s elevated, it’s a cookie when it’s thrown here:
Especially because he doesn’t have a reliable secondary offering. He’s tried things, whether the curve or splitter, but nothing has ever taken. And now, I can’t help but wonder if Green isn’t as much of a unicorn as he was three years ago. A million guys now throw high spin four-seamers up in the zone. A lot of them also have wipeout sliders (or some other secondary). Green is a one pitch reliever.
There’s also the fact that Green is now just 1.2 innings short of his single season career-high. He’s been worked hard this year, and it doesn’t help that there are a myriad of injuries (Zack Britton, Jonathan Loáisiga) or poor performers (Aroldis Chapman) around him.
Obviously, losing Aaron Judge for any time would be a major blow. Judge exited tonight’s game after just two at-bats due to dizziness. He struck out in both of those appearances, and in the middle of his first at-bat, needed assistance from the training staff. It appeared that something was stuck in his eye, hence the eye drops, but apparently it was something more.
Clint Frazier’s post-concussion issues came to the forefront of my mind with regard to Judge tonight, but I also don’t want to be an alarmist here. Frazier had an actual on-field collision with a wall we can point to from a few years back, whereas we haven’t seen that for Judge (unless I missed something?). Anyway, hopefully this proves not to be such a big deal.
Needless to say, the Yankees really can’t afford to go without Judge. Cross your fingers that this dizziness is just an anomaly.
Clarke Schmidt didn’t look sharp, though he deserved better. The pitching line is unimpressive (4.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR), but he gave the team a decent amount of length in spite of having some shoddy defense behind him. In particular, Gleyber Torres made a costly error that extended an inning and allowed Lindor to launch his first homer of the evening.
Still, Schmidt was all over the place tonight. He had a hard time hitting his spots ad didn’t have much of a breaking ball tonight, which is typically his best offering. Instead, Schmidt threw his changeup more than any other pitch tonight, which is far from the norm for him. You can see his lack of control on his pitch plot:
Although he didn’t have a particularly good game, I’m glad he was afforded the opportunity over Andrew Heaney. I know Heaney eventually came into this one (and I would kvetch more about that decision if it wasn’t 12:45 in the morning now), but he definitely didn’t deserve to start.
I’m not so sure we’ll see Schmidt get another start, as it partly depends on how Gerrit Cole’s hamstring holds up for his scheduled start Tuesday. If not, I wouldn’t mind trying Schmidt in the ‘pen the rest of the way. The Yankees need relief help, clearly.
- Gleyber Torres hit a two-run homer to cut the score to 5-4 in the top of the sixth, which helped make up for his error earlier. It was his first home run since July 21st.
- DJ LeMahieu had a nice game at the top of the lineup, going 3-for-4 with a walk.
- Anthony Rizzo took a weird tumble and looked to be in pain after catching a popup in the infield in the bottom of the eighth. He stayed in and took a four pitch walk in the ninth, so hopefully he’s OK.
Quick turnaround from here: the Yankees host the Twins tomorrow at 2:05pm as a makeup for an earlier rainout. Hopefully the Yankees can get right against their usual punching bag. See you then.