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Game 31: A Game Of Thrones-like Bad Finale

Let’s keep it short as it was a 1 pm start on a work day. The great Yankees bullpen couldn’t do the job today to get the sweep against the Astros. It happens and they will blow some games here and there. They are still awesome and will be awesome more times than bad. So it ends the winning streak, but let’s get another one going.

  1. Gerrit Cole is good as usual

I dont know what else there is to say about this guy. He is a monster, he domitates every 5 days and he is the best pitcher in the AL. He did the same thing he has been doing against his old team but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.

The ace once again went 7 innings pitched, striking out 4 and walking none while allowing two runs on solo homers to Yordan Álvarez. The first one wasn’t even a bad pitch, that was an excellent hitter in Álvarez pulling a good pitch to the RF bleachers, you probably want that slider going more to the back foot but hey, it happens. The turn pitch chart:

In general terms, Cole didnt have his best command today, but the stuff is just so good that he can challenge a good Astros lineup without his A+ game. There were many pitches middle-middle (especially fastballs) but the Astros just couldn’t make solid contact with them.

2. The best way to score against good pitchers? Hit bombs.

Just like the 2 runs for the Astros against Cole, all the Yankees runs scired against Lance McCullers Jr. were homers. The Houston righty has nasty stuff and everything moves like crazy, he’s even complementing his already great curveball with a new slider that moves like this (4th pitch of the video):

McCullers was battling with control all day, noted even more in his 4 walks, but managed to strike enough guys out to get out of sticky situation like the first inning bases loaded two out AB against Ford. All the damage done to him was through the way of the homer, and as the Mandalorian would say: “This is the way against good pitchers”. I may, or may have not added those two last words, but the point stands. It is tough to string hits against nasty pitchers, the easy way to score is to take one deep.

Today’s Bombers of the day: Giancarlo Stanton (obviously) with a 117 mph exit velo solo shot to right center in the 3rd to break open the score, and Clint Frazier with a two run shot in the 4th to the opposite field with Hicks on base (after legging out a groundball single). More on Clint to come later in this post.

3. Hicks is definitely turning it around

After being highlighted by yours truly in last nights game takeaways, Hicks keeps the turnaround going with a 3-for-3 day and a walk. He got another 100 exit velo hit in his second inning single, legged out a lazy groundball single, and hit an infield single to the middle that allowed Gleyber to score all the way from first because of the shift and some heads up baserunning. No one was covering third, so Gleyber rounded second and went straight for it, then Maldonado went to cover 3rd and realized that no one was covering home plate (brain fart from the pitcher). It was an amazing play that got a good laugh from me. The video:

Our starting CF is now 9 for his last 20 with 4 walks, that’s good for a .450 average with a .541 OBP and a +.600 slugging. That will do the trick, lets keep it up Hicksie. That’s more walks than K’s in that time span and that’s typical Hicks for you guys, he can be a reaaaaally tough out and it is so good to see him do his thing.

By the way, Hicks cramped up at the end of the game but stayed in and should be fine.

4. Chad blows it

Chad Green came in to the 8th to keep a 3-2 lead but just didn’t have it tonight. After walking Kyle Tucker and his .255 wOBA to lead off the inning, a single from Aledmys Díaz made it men in first and thrid with no outs. He did manage to K Martín Maldonado to get the first out, but then allowed a homer to the worst person he could in Altuve (UGHHHH).

Green’s Pitch Chart taken from Baseball Savant

From the pitch chart we can see that Green could not control his Curveball, either dropping them way down or outside, or hanging them. The fastball control was not as bad, but Altuve managed to chase one up and in for the 3 run blow. It happens, shake it off and go to the next one Chad.

Leftovers

  • Frazier may not have gotten multiple hits like Hicks did, but he was a little bit unlucky with his 100.9 mph exit velo force out in the second, and his homer was hit over 100 mph as well. After highlighting last night how weak his quality of contact has been for the season, this are the things you want to see for him to turn it around. Hopefully that comes soon enough.
  • Gio being pulled from the game is really concerning, Boone took him out mid-inning on what surely is an injury. He’s getting an MRI. Let’s hope is not too bad.
  • Higgy is now 1 for his last 16 and it seems like the Cinderella story is closing, so really need Gary to get it going soon.
  • Yordan Álvarez is a beast, his .337/.376/.609 is a really good indication of this. He has light-tower like power and draws a ton of walks, that will be a problem for a looong time.
  • Justin Wilson did not look good in the ninth. He gave up a two-run homer which basically put this one out of reach, 7-4.

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15 Comments

  1. I love your enthusiasm. Hicks and Frasier seem to be coming around, Stanton is, lets talk about Judge (All Rise). I for 13, 1 hit, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, 9 left on base.

    Lets, for the sake of argument, divide the American League into 3 tiers. This year, Judge seems to be great against Cleveland, Baltimore and Detroit, tier 3 teams. Not sure there is a tier 1 team in the AL East, but Toronto and Tampa Bay seem to understand pitching him away is almost always a good way to strike him out. We hear about launch angle, how hard he hits the ball, great fielder, plus plus arm. Were is the continuing production that puts him in the Trout, Betts, Yelich, MLB elite. Is this guy all hype?

  2. Alex

    Even with him being 1 for his last 16, Higashioka is still an asset to this team…he should still keep playing everyday. His advanced metrics remain far better than Gary’s, he works really well with the pitching staff, and unlike Gary, he can be counted on defensively.

    Sanchez has given not given the Yankees any reason to play him. His defense and game-calling are atrocious. There are only so many times you can keep citing his numbers from 2016 and 2017, which become more irrelevant by the day.

  3. BillyMartinVanBuren Boys

    Omg guys if Gio goes on the IL we’re gonna get Andujar back on the team to play third aren’t we? Is an infield of Andujar, Torres, DJLM and Voit better or worsethan DJLM, Torres, Wade, and Voit?

    • dasit

      let’s just lean into our crappy roster construction and play ford at shortstop

  4. DZB

    And sure enough, after another poor outing Ford is below .100 (down to 0.0.91). Time to cut the rehab short and get Voit onto the roster.

    • DZB

      No Voit on the SWB roster today, so does that mean he is on his way to the majors, or hash be joined a different affiliate?

      • Yanks317

        Just a day off. Been a while but I believe the normal buildup they use is DH, play the field, off, play 3 straight, off, recalled. Would be Tuesday by that schedule.

  5. Marc

    This is exactly the kind of humiliating, back-breaking loss that can send a team in a season-defining spiral. Now Gio is hurt, the bullpen is imploding, and three bad pitching matchups against the Nationals are followed by a series at the Trop. Do you really trust Boone to keep that from sliding out of control?

    And the biggest problem with the team is still the offense. There are still so many innings where they look completely dead and have terrible at-bats. Meanwhile, Boston is scoring 10-15 runs every game and no deficit is insurmountable.

    • Creeps

      Holy crap. One loss and this is your reaction? Get a hobby.

    • Mungo

      This is exactly the kind of humiliating, back-breaking loss that can send Marc into a season-defining spiral.

    • Steve

      Well, this is certainly a reaction.

  6. Zach

    Probably one of the worst managed games of the year, plain and simple. First off, why in the world is Mike Ford batting 6th? It’s bad enough that’s he’s even on the roster, but Boone batting him ahead of Hicks and Frazier probably cost the team 3 runs today. Then there was the 8th inning. The obvious thing to do was simply let Cole go back out and face the bottom of the order. Pure fastball pitcher Green is a terrible matchup against Houston, especially Altuve. But even though it was obvious he had nothing, Boone just left Green in to lose the game. In the most important at-bat, why not use Chapman? I guess assigned innings matter more to Boone than wins.

  7. Gerreddardit Cole

    This was by far the worst loss of the century, Jamie. The sweep was in hand. All they had to do was get it to Chappy. Instead, Green lets Altuve get the last laugh and evil prevails over good. The hits by Hicks and Clint are encouraging but Ford is still a black hole and if Gio is hurt that means Wade starts. How many black holes can Stanton carry? Judge looked awful this series striking out 4 times a game. Voit has to return tomorrow.

    The base running by Gleyber was the greatest play I’ve seen since Johnny did that in ’09. And now nobody will remember it because they lost. Green has had a good year but he just ain’t a big game pitcher. Wilson looks like DFA material with two other lefties better than him. We need a healthy O’day and Britton back immediately.

    • Alex

      Is there honestly a more inconsistent player than Judge?

      He’s really been beating up on awful competition this season but when he goes up against better pitching, he just falls flat. Feel like this has become a pattern for him. He can always be depended on to mash against the likes of Tigers pitching but has become a strikeout machine against above replacement-level caliber pitching.

      Also, Clint looking a lot better today definitely means Gardner is back in the lineup for him tomorrow just because you know that’s what Boone will do.

  8. Is it my imagination or does Chad Green get 2 types of results? He either completely blows away the other team with no hits or no walks, or he gets crushed with more hits and walks than outs. Maybe once he gives up a hit and a walk, take him outta the game? Also, Justin Wilson is pitching his way out of the circle of trust.

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