In the biggest borefest of the season, the Tigers won by a score of 3-2 after 10 innings. I really hope you decided to watch some basketball tonight (unless you are a Knicks fan) because this game was BAD. Anyways, to the takeaways.
- A duel (well, kind of) of first overall draft picks.
Fueled more by offense futility by both sides than merits of the pitchers, but still a duel of good-looking pitching lines. Gerrit Cole was definitely not good today. He left way too many breaking balls and changeups up and even some fastballs down in the zone. Almost the opposite of what you want, to bear:
The first run allowed by Gerrit was also evidence of this, with three straight singles on a curveball and 2 changeups that he simply didn’t locate low enough for swing and misses. It happens, Cole is amazing and will surely be much better next time. Against a much more competent offense, he’ll surely need that.
On the other side was Casey Mize, who if you look simply at his pitching line — 5 IP while allowing 5 hits, no walks a single run and striking out 7 — you would think was absolutely dominant. He definitely wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t as good as that line indicates. Six of his 7 Ks came to LeMahieu and Stanton (Love you guys but that’s definitely not setting up the table for my guy Judge), who needlessly to say really struggled against Mize who’s not usually a high strikeout guy. They even missed a few cookies along the way, take a look for yourself:
That four-seamer and curve right in the middle against Stanton were consecutive pitches, yikes. I would say Giancarlo struggled the most and it is totally understandable because of his recent time off the field. But DJ is in a bit of a slump as Max Goodman pointed out:
I’m definitely not worried about those two guys, they will go on crazy hot streaks before you know it. But that doesn’t mean the Yankees shouldn’t be looking for help. We will talk about that in a few.
2. Offensive offense
The only guys to get on base multiple times tonight against the positively bad Tigers pitching staff were LeMahieu (everything against the bullpen), Judge, and Odor (more about him later). Take Judge and Odor away and the Yankees combined for 5-31 with 10 K’s and just 2 walks. Heck even the short-lived go-ahead run in the 10th scored on some Tigers shenanigans with a wild pitch from Bryan García.
There’s not much to emphasize here other than the non-competitiveness this lineup is showing waaay too frequently. Now, about those reinforcements we were talking about before:
3. The offense needs some help.
Even after the awaited return of Giancarlo Stanton the offense can’t find its rhythm. We are reaching the point where the results are more of a trend than a slump, and there are just a few too many easily pitchable spots. Today’s lineup featured three sub .600 OPS hitters in Odor, Frazier, and Gardner. That’s too much of a liability and really takes away from the lineup feeling dangerous because of the free innings where those guys hit. To make matters worse, that’s not even counting other struggling hitters because I picked such a low bar. LeMahieu and Torres are also struggling but to a lesser level.
Trade season doesn’t really pick up steam until after the draft (and that’s 11th to the 13th of July this year), but it would really behoove the Yankees to start looking for answers in the market early. The pieces to look for? Definitely, a CF after Hicks surgery and another hitter that’s preferably a LF, a 1B could be another option given the recent injuries to Voit and Stanton but that would be harder to accommodate.
We are quickly ending the first third of the season and that was the time to assess where help is needed, and that is clearly in the offense (mainly the Outfield), it is time to prepare the actions to maximize the winning probability for a team that is good and can compete with the best of them (The CWS series is good evidence).
We’ll be exploring possible trade options really soon so be sure to check that out in the future!
4. Justin Wilson blows it.
The lefty got a final borderline strike call blown against him and proceeded to give the walk-off homer against Robbie Grossman on a middle-middle 93 mph nothingball. Sigh.
Justin Wilson has a 5.68 ERA in 12.2 innings with a xERA of 5.10. He has been BAD, as BAD as this game I might even say. It’s still early and relievers can turn the season around quickly, but the early signs of Wison are not good. He has the worst average exit velo, HardHit% and xwOBA allowed in his career for the season. Yikes.
- Quite a night for Odor! He went 4-for-5 with a homer for the first run and a couple of singles. He hit everything over 90 mph in real baseball (even his one out had a 107 velocity), the exit velo’s for his hits: 102 (HR), 110 (!!!), and 91. Keep it up Rougned!
- DJ may not be doing it with the stick but HOLY CRAP what a play he did in the 8th to take a double from Candelario at 1B.
That was a 108 mph (!!) off the bat of Jeimer and had an expected average of .880 (!!). Also, it would have scored the real baseball go-ahead run for the Tigers. Amazing & clutch DJ!
- Gio Urshela walked on ball three in the 6th because he is awesome would be my guess. You go take that walk, my dude. Check it out:
- But then the Umps took a clear single from him in the next turn even with the review because you know, ump things (Shrugs).