Folks, there are only 18 games left in the season. The Yankees are 21-21 and barely holding on to the 8th seed in the American League. The entire 2020 season has been a disaster for the Yankees and tonight was no better. They lost 2-1 (box) to the Blue Jays, who are now 3 games ahead of them in 2nd place. It’s now a real possibility that the Yankees don’t make the playoffs.
This one was ugly and it was more of the same. Let’s get right to the takeaways.
1. Happ-y Days in Buffalo: Let’s start with the good news, since there’s so little of that these days. J.A. Happ was absolutely brilliant tonight, lasting 6.1 innings and allowing just 4 hits and 2 runs with 10 strikeouts. On a day when Brian Cashman delivered a pump-up-the-team speech, Happ absolutely answered the call and did his part. Here is his pitch plot, which about says it all:
He attacked the zone, mixed up his pitches well, and got good outcomes as a result. Funny how that works. Happ really only made one mistake on the night, and it came after a Joe Panik single. Jonathan Davis, who made his MLB debut the other day, did this:
That was the only blemish against Happ. It was 2 of his 4 hits allowed and it was enough to cost the Yankees the game. I was also impressed to see that Happ bore down in the 7th inning, when Aaron Boone sent him out there with over 100 pitches to his name. It was the right decision even if the results didn’t bear it out, but they did: Happ struck out Joe Panik in a lengthyat-bat.
It was as good of a performance as you could possibly expect. There is just absolutely no wiggle room for the pitchers these days. On this night, at least, J.A. Happ was not to blame for the Yankees loss.
2. Wasted Opportunities, Again and Again and Again: It is exhausting to even type all of this again. As you can imagine, the Yankees wasted an incredible amount of opportunities this evening. I mean, this is the pitch plot of Tijuan Walker, who started this one for the Blue Jays:
Let’s go through this in-depth, shall we? Walker walked 3 consecutive Yankees with two outs to load the bases in the first inning. He walked the bases loaded with two outs! You just have to make him pay for that. I mean, come on. He then hung a sinker here to Mike Tauchman:
Which, of course, resulted in a weak fly to left field. That was the first wasted opportunity. The second wasted opportunity came in the 2nd inning. Miguel Andújar hit a double and Tyler Wade worked a walk, which set up runners on first and second with one out. DJ LeMahieu hit a 97 mph fly ball that found a glove and Luke Voit struck out looking. That’s 5 men left on base in the first two innings, four in scoring position, and zero runs. It was more of the same for a Yankees team that is utterly embarrassing right now.
But hey, I can’t be too hard on them. They did manage to score one (1) run later on in the game and all it took was the bases to be loaded with nobody out for the “heart” of the order. Here is all of the scintillating action:
- Gleyber Torres fly out (too shallow to score a run)
- Mike Tauchman sac fly (exciting!)
- Gary Sánchez strike out
The Yankees went 0-7 with runners in scoring position and frankly, they were lucky to even score this one run. Utterly embarrassing stuff. They couldn’t get anything going without a bunch of walks and couldn’t make a bunch of bad Blue Jays pitchers pay for walking them constantly. That was that. They also went down limping, with 15 of the last 16 batters going down to end the game. There wasn’t even a single good at-bat that I can think of aside from one LeMahieu single.
- Mike King Looked Good: Hey, at least Mike King looked good. That is cool. He pitched two thirds of a clean inning in relief of Happ and his stuff looked like this:
- Zack Britton, Also Good: Zack Britton also looked good. He struck out 2 in 1 clean inning of work. He looked downright dominant, which is something we haven’t seem much from the Yankee pen these days.
- DJLM Hits, At Least: One Yankee hit the ball hard a few times tonight, and that was DJ LeMahieu. Baseball sometimes doesn’t surprise you.
I have nothing else to add to this one. They’ll play again tomorrow, for some reason. Deivi Garcia (0-1, 3.38 ERA) will take on Tanner “he’ll look like Cy Young tomorrow” Roark (2-1, 5.74 ERA) at 6:37. Enjoy your night, everyone.