The theme of this one? All good things don’t last forever. The Yanks finally lost a game and their six-game winning streak is over. They fell to the Jays 6-2, and honestly, this game didn’t even feel that close at any point. This about tells the story:
The big news in this one, obviously, is Corey Kluber’s injury. Let’s hope he’s okay. (He says he is, but what else is he going to say?) Anyway, on to tonight’s takeaways.
1. Corey Kluber’s Injury Sucks: Well, all good things can’t last forever, right? After a week in which the high-reward part of the “high-risk, high-reward” strategy really paid off, we may now finally be seeing some of the high-risk part. Corey Kluber left the game tonight after just three innings of honestly pretty solid work, so we knew something was up.
Kluber was pretty good from the jump, retiring the first two batters by strikeout, and he got through 2 innings without surrendering a hit. He did allow a huge 2-run blast to Vlad Guerrero Jr. – who doesn’t? – to end the Yankees’ starter scoreless streak, but he didn’t look bad. For what it’s worth, here’s the Vlad HR, just because it’s so damn impressive. Vlad has such easy power:
He didn’t look great, either, as his location wasn’t as pinpoint as we’ve seen in his last five or so starts:
Normal stuff, though. Sometimes pitchers just aren’t that sharp. Especially after throwing a no-hitter! His velocity wasn’t down, either. Check it out:
Maybe I’m just an optimist, but I don’t see anything alarming there. My hope is that the Yankees are being very cautious with Kluber, which would make sense. Who knows. All told Kluber lasted 3 innings, walked 3, gave up 2 hits, struck out 5, and surrendered 2 R. Let’s hope it’s not too long before we see him again.
2. The Rusty Pen Can’t Get It Done: It had been a while since we’d seen any of Mike King, Lucas Luetge, Luis Cessa, or Justin Wilson, let alone any of them in the same game. We saw them all tonight, and it wasn’t exactly pretty – nor was it aided by good defense. Here are the respective lines:
- Mike King: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K
- Lucas Luetge: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 K
- Luis Cessa: 1.0 IP, 1 H, zeros
- Justin Wilson: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R
Not great. That’s 11 hits surrendered in 6 innings of work, with just five strikeouts. It’s not exactly the bullpen dominance that we’ve come to expect from the Yankees. To be fair, it was really King who was bad: the dude was getting tattooed all night. He was lucky to just surrender the one run on this blast to Gurriel Jr.:
By contrast, as has typically been the case when he’s struggled, Luetge got a bit unlucky tonight. He allowed a generously-scored single that bounced off the glove of Gleyber Torres, who then proceeded to make matters worse with some sloppy defense. It was a callback to earlier days. Look at this:
Meh. What can you do. The Yanks’ infield defense has been pretty great lately. That doesn’t last forever. That was the theme of the night. Anyway, tough luck for Luetge. Dude still looks good to me. Wilson, on the other hand, can’t help himself. I really want to see him be better. He’s a good pitcher, but he just hasn’t performed in 2021. On the bright side, the HR he surrendered was to Randal Grichuk. Nobody on the Yankees can get that dude out. Can’t hold that agaget shut down by Steven Matz, either.inst Wilson.
3. Dead Offense: The Yankees didn’t quite get shut down by Steven Matz, but they also didn’t not get shut down by Steven Matz. That’s the best thing you can say about the offensive performance tonight. They did hit the ball hard:
But they also whiffed. A lot. In fact, they whiffed on 33% of all of their swings, and particularly couldn’t hit Matz’s sinker/fastball. Look at this hideous map:
That is a recipe for strikeouts, which is exactly what Matz had going on today, striking 10 out over his 6.2 innings of work. Here they are, if you’re a masochist:
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the bottom of the order was pretty good. Clint Frazier and Kyle Higashioka were 4-8 with 2 doubles, which is nice. Frazier is turning it around lately and Higgy may have just burst out of a slump that was pretty brutal for him. That’s good news, at least. Here’s a positive highlight out of this one:
- Slick Defense: Gio Urshela turned a hell of a double play against Vlad in this one. No video, but it was really impressive. Gio being this good overall is pretty incredible to me. Just gotta love that.
- Aaron Judge Keeps It Up: Another night, another hit for Aaron Judge. That’s just what he does right now.
- Gleyber’s Rough Night: 0-4 night with a strikeout for Gleyber to complement some rough defense. Blah.
- Luke Voit Gets a Knock: Voit was 1-4, which is progress. Every other Yankee was hitless.
The Yanks and Jays will play another tomorrow night in the Bronx. Domingo Germán (4.2, 3.05 ERA) will be taking on Alex Manoah (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in that one. Enjoy your night, everyone.