The Tigers came into this series with the worst run differential in the AL and handily swept the Yankees. This about sums it up:
We sincerely hope you had better things to do on this rainy Memorial Day Weekend Sunday than watch this debacle of a game in which the Bombers lost 6-2. To the takeaways:
The Yankees Will Be Okay
Usually we start these with how the starting pitcher did, but today warrants something different because it’s too easy to slip into the malaise and start thinking the season is over. It is not. After tomorrow, the season will be exactly 1/3 done, and despite how awful they have looked at times, the Yankees are on a 90 win pace.
Getting swept by any team sucks, and getting swept by the worst team in the league is even worse. It happens. Just last week, the Yankees were on a 6 game winning streak and swept the first-place White Sox. One bad week does not doom a season. There’s a reason they play 162 of these. Around these parts we’re constantly preaching patience and staying calm because the Yankees are good. In fact, they are still the best team in the AL. They didn’t look it this weekend, but they are and they will.
Starting tomorrow, the Yankees have 4 games against the Rays and Red Sox who lead the division. It’s time to hit the reset button, forget about this weekend and start playing like the team we know they are.
Mike King struggles in 5th starter audition
With Corey Kluber out for the next two months, the Yankees need another starter. Deivi García struggled in his audition yesterday, and King could not capitalize today. His final line was 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 HBP, 2 K. It took him 61 pitches just to get through those 2.1 innings. His pitch plot on the day left much to be desired:
Everything is all over the place and there’s way too many sinkers left right over the middle. Put differently, here’s a heatmap for his signature sinker on the afternoon:
You don’t need to be Matt Blake to know that’s not where you want to throw your sinker. You want that pitch to be at or below the zone to generate ground balls. Poor sinker location led to the following two-out double in the first:
The pitch location was predictably awful:
In a two strike count with two outs and RISP you absolutely cannot throw a sinker there. Especially not to a team that ranks bottom five in AVG, OBP, OPS, Runs, and HR. Thanks to some awful defending by Clint on the play, Miguel Cabrera was able to score from first on the play.
The offense is a joke right now
Five runs total in a series against the Tigers is unacceptable. Tarik Skubal came into this game with a 5.23 ERA and a 5.94 FIP to match. And the peripherals back it up:
Despite all that blue, the Yankees couldn’t get anything going against Skubal in his 6 scoreless innings.
There’s a lot of hittable pitches in there and the Yankees only managed 3 hits. They also struck out 8 times and Skubal had a 33% whiff rate on the day.
There are two things plaguing the Yankees offense right now: ground balls and bad luck. They have a 46% GB rate as a team which is the 6th highest in baseball. That’s how despite hitting the ball hard, they have nothing to show for it. In the first, after DJ and Stanton got on, Judge rifled a 108 mph grounder…for a double play. All that exit velocity means nothing when it’s pounded into the ground right at people.
Luck is also playing a factor here.
Numbers that bad are a combination of bad luck and guys pressing to try and do too much. Regression will even that out.
The April defense rears its ugly head
Believe it or not, that message was sent before the 3rd error they committed in the 3rd inning. At one point, the team had more errors than hits which is a reflection of both the offense and the defense. Here’s one of the errors:
Better get it out of their system today and play much sharper against the Rays starting tomorrow.
- Nasty Nestor Cortes Jr. made his triumphant return to the big leagues for his first Yankee appearance since 2019. He sucked up 3.2 much needed innings and will likely be sent back to Scranton later today.
- Even when they scored, the Yankees made another out on the bases in the 8th inning. That’s 26 outs on the bases for the season.
- DJ LeMahieu and Gary Sánchez both had multi-hit games. Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come for both of them.
- They somehow got the tying run to the plate in the 9th inning, so let’s see if the O’Neill theory pans out for tomorrow.
Wash the bad taste out of your mouths from this series, and hopefully look forward to better things tomorrow. It’ll be Jameson Taillon against Rich Hill back in the Bronx.