Game 143: Lindor, Mets get the last laugh

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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.

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.

Leftovers

  • 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.

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13 Comments

  1. Wire Fan

    Boone announced the Yankees are moving GleybE5 Torres to 2nd base. With Gio getting much of the time at SS (DJ to 3rd).

    Short term this makes sense, but I wonder what this means for next year..

  2. H. Avis

    Let’s face it, the Yankees need a complete overhaul. It’s a rotting organization.

  3. I think that Judge’s forward diving grab in right field to save the 8-7 win two nights ago gave him some kind of concussion. He hit the ground hard, and I worried at the time of the play that he would be hurt from it. I mean, what else could it have been?

  4. We’re only “out of a wild card spot” if the season ended today. Look, I’m as desperate and freaked out as every other fan, and I think we’re hugely reliant on Lo or German or even Sevy providing some help so Greeny can have his 1-inning, 1-homer outings in the middle innings. But we still have weapons. We can still do this — make the playoffs anyway.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets wacky at the end — play a 163rd game to try to qualify for the Wild Card Game. Also, something heartbreaking will happen — get to the WC and blow that at the end. Hensley Meulens ’22, anyone?

  5. Wire Fan

    At least green got beat on his fastball, his breaking pitch is an accident waiting to happen. If he uses it once or twice per AB, he can get away with it. Use it more than that and he is bound to hang it.

    Heaney, a flyball pitcher, coming in to face a righty who hits lefties well with the bases loaded… Is dumbass Yankees “analytics” at it’s best. This was rather obviously preprogrammed from the Yankees analytics robots – schmidt was going to hand the ball to Heaney NO MATTER WHAT. The Yankees should have had a righty warming up with Heaney so they had options.

    How many times this year has there been a summary which says ” thing unraveled quickly and Boone couldn’t react”. How about some proactivity and not just having a pre-programmed plan of who works in what order? I don’t completely blame Boone on this as clearly the Yankees “analytics” group works with Boone on the bullpen plan before each game and I assume Boome is mostly just a yes man.

    Also I am tired of hearing exit velo… The analytics group is obsessed with this. There is more to hitting than bat speed and exit velo. And same thing on the pitching side with spin rate

    While they need to revamp the roster going forward (availability is a skill the Yankees need to value), the Yankees need to overhaul the analytics group and start balancing it with FO people who don’t just rely on certain #’s in a vacuum. Is defense a priority? Is health a priority? Are hitting skills beyond exit velo a priority? Are command and “pitchability” a priority or is it just about spin rate and whiff rates?

    • Wire Fan, totally agree about exit velo. To hear people gush about Giancarlo’s exit velos you’d think he’s the greatest ballplayer alive. I like the guy but he’s not.
      Gleyber got us 2 runs tonight with the bat, gave up 3 with the glove. Wade should have been made starter at 3B and AV at SS a week ago. Need that airtight defense and speed. Just because Gleyber “should” be getting it done doesn’t mean he will in the scant hours left in this season. Love Gio but he’s not right.

  6. dasit

    can anyone think of a pitcher (for any team) who gave up more soul-crushing home runs in a single season than 2021 green?

    • Disco

      Nope. I sure hope the Yankees take advantage of expiring bullpen contracts next year+ & go with the TB bullpen model. Besides Loasignia, Abreu & King I’d flush the whole lot away. Tying up $40 million in this lot is a massive fail. I’d never defend Steinbrenner but Cashman has foolishly flushed tens of millions away on bad contract after bad contract & many complain that team isn’t spending enough. I partially agree but man do they waste alot in getting to that point.

      • To me it’s not that they don’t spend enough, but that when things go wrong they let money stand in the way of fixing them. Cashman did a terrible job allocating so much money to the bullpen knowing he was going to be dealing with a salary limit, so to me, Hal should eat the money and Cashman should be the one explaining his mistakes.

    • Greenie’s got to stop using his FB down in the zone.

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