The Yankees lost to the Blue Jays 2-0 this afternoon in the first of two today at Yankee Stadium. Toronto is now 6-2 against the Yanks this season. There’s really not much more to say about this one other than the fact that the lineup is beyond atrocious at the moment. Yeah, they miss Giancarlo Stanton (who’s back tomorrow) and it stinks to lose Luke Voit again, but that doesn’t excuse a number of disappointing performances from this lineup. Hopefully, the nightcap is better than this. One good thing I can say about this one: it didn’t take very long. Here are the takeaways:
Whither the Bronx Bombers? I don’t want to throw any shade at Alek Manoah, who’s clearly a promising pitcher for Toronto, but the Yankees offense is absolutely pathetic right now. These are the pitches the offense swung at against Manoah:
And these were the results:
That’s a lot of blue or very faint red. And it’s not like the bats didn’t have pitches to hit, judging by those that they swung at. Somehow, the team’s only two hits (Miguel Andújar) were softly struck, whereas the two hardest hits were flyouts. In total, the Yankees posted an 80.1 MPH average exit velocity against Manoah, which is pretty terrible.
The Yankees didn’t have an easy time making contact against Manoah, either. The big righty punched out seven in his six shutout innings. He tallied 13 swings-and-misses for a 31 percent whiff rate.
Obviously, the lineup sorely misses Giancarlo Stanton, who fortunately will return tomorrow. They’ll miss Luke Voit’s presence for a while too. Even so, that doesn’t excuse these constant dreadful outputs. This was a batting order that was supposed to be lengthy enough to overcome an injury or two. Instead, a number of guys are mired in season-long slumps, underperforming expectations, or simply don’t belong. It’s not what you want.
There are two key underperformers: DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres. LeMahieu, who went 0-for-2 with a walk in this game, is now hitting .257 with a .689 OPS. It’s a far cry from his incredible first two seasons in New York. Torres, who has hit a little better of late, has seen his power vanish. Gleyber was hitless in three at-bats this afternoon.
Then there’s the likes of Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner (and Aaron Hicks before the injury). These outfielders simply haven’t gotten going and combined to go 0-for-5 today.
Finally, Mike Ford and Rougned Odor simply don’t belong. Ford hasn’t been good since September of 2019 and went 0-for-3 with two punchouts today. Odor has struck out in 13 of 23 plate appearances since returning from the injured list. There seemed to be some signs of life in Odor’s bat post-trade, but he’s been downright awful of late. It’s much more akin to the bad times he had in Texas leading to his DFA.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela can’t be expected to do it all. Urshela, by the way, didn’t play in this one to presumably give his knee a break. He’s been hobbling for some time now. Hopefully, Stanton’s return can inject some life into this offense. But even if he does, more players need to contribute at some point
At least Domingo Germán pitched well. This is the kind of start that’s emblematic of the righty’s career. He gave up a couple of homers, but because he did a good job limiting baserunners, they represented the only two runs of the game against him. As long as Germán can keep the ball in the yard with runners aboard, he’s a pretty effective pitcher. It’s not always easy to control that sort of sequencing, which is why his FIP (4.25) far exceeds his ERA (3.06), but so far he’s been able to limit the damage in spite of allowing 1.62 homers per nine innings.
Germán’s skillset can make him a bit of a boom-or-bust pitcher on any given day, which makes it difficult for him to be much more than a number three or four starter. The problem now, of course, is that Corey Kluber’s injury moves him up a peg. The good news is that he’s continued to avoid the blow ups. This is now his 7th straight start of five or more innings and three or fewer runs allowed. Today’s only the second time during that stretch he didn’t complete six innings, by the way.
Those two homers — back-to-back solo shots by Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette in the third — saddled Germán with the loss. He certainly deserved better even with those two blemishes. But as already discussed, this offense has been abominable this season.
- Lucas Luetge tossed 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of Germán to finish this one, so the team’s bullpen is nice and rested for the back half of the double header. Toronto’s will be too because Manoah went six and Jordan Romano picked up the save in the seventh.
- Nick Nelson is today’s 27th man for the Yankees.
- Prior to the game, the Yankees offically placed Voit and Kluber on the injured list. The team recalled Albert Abreu and Estevan Florial in their place. Florial is expected to start in center field in game two.
Game two starts in about a half hour as the Yankees try to avoid a series and double header sweep.