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Game 59: Bullpen gives it up late

Those two tweets say it all. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead on a Gleyber Torres homerun, the Red Sox battled back against the Yankees bullpen to clinch the series win with tonight’s 7-3 victory. It was tied 3-3 going into the 8th inning, but a Chad Green implosion combined with the Yankees’ inability to score runs led to tonight’s defeat. That’s 9 losses in their last 12 games to put them 5.5 behind the Rays in the division. Here are the takeaways:

Jameson Taillon’s luck runs out in the 6th. Taillon was “cruising” through 5 scoreless innings getting through on only 60 pitches. Cruising is in quotes because the Red Sox hitters were hitting the snot out of the ball. They had 8 hard hit balls on the evening for a 44% hard-hit percentage. Here’s the exit velo graphic:

That’s a lot of red, especially in the 6th inning which we’ll get to in a minute. So, the Red Sox were hitting the ball hard, they were just getting under it or hitting it right at people. Unfortunately for Taillon, his luck stopped in the 6th.

After retiring Danny Santana for the 1st out, Alex Verdugo and Xander Bogaerts hit back-to-back singles setting up a showdown with Rafael Devers. There’s a good argument that Taillon should have been taken out then and there considering Devers already had 2 hard hit outs on the night and batters have a .350/.450/.800 line against Taillon their 3rd time up. Devers roped a 2-run single, and here’s how it happened:

Let’s break it down.

Pitches 1-3: 3 straight balls up and away. High fastballs were the gameplan, just didn’t execute the location.

Pitches 4-5: That’s more like it. In the zone and both were fouled off. If Taillon could go back up there or a bit higher there’s a good chance Devers would have swung through it.

Pitch 6: Look at the location, it’s not up and it’s right in the middle of the plate. Not where he wanted it and Devers made him pay with a single through the right side.

After that at-bat, Taillon’s night was done. His final line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. A perfectly cromulent outing, but after those first 5 shutout innings you hoped Taillon could get you through one more.

The offensive struggles continue. With two outs in the 3rd inning, Clint Frazier and DJ LeMahieu hit back-to-back ground ball singles bringing up Giancarlo Stanton who did this:

That’s a strikeout on 3 fastballs. Look at the location on the 1st pitch. That’s a 94 mph fastball right down the middle that Stanton swung through. As Bobby wrote earlier this week, that’s been the story of the Yankees offense this year. Check out this chart from tonight’s game:

Look at all those pitches right down the middle that they’re doing nothing with. That is way, way, way too many hittable pitches that are just taken for strikes or fouled off. The Yankees as a team are lost at the plate right now and it’s painful to watch.

The lone exception tonight was Gleyber Torres who had all 3 RBI on the night including this 2-run blast:

That blast was 105 mph off the bat and went 418 feet. Nice to see Gleyber hit one out, and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. He also had a sac fly in the 6th.

Leftovers

  • Welcome to the big leagues Chris Gittens! Hard-hittin Gittens went 0-3 in his debut with a strikeout and a walk. Get ’em tomorrow.
  • The Gio Urshela defensive superlatives continue. Look at this ridiculous play:
  • Real rough night for Chad Green who gave up 4 runs on 4 hits on 0.2 innings. Raised his season ERA to 3.14. Though the bullpen is the last thing to be worried about with this team.
  • DJ LeMahieu had a decent night at the plate with a single and two deep fly balls. Yes, I’m grasping at straws here, but we’ll take any signs of life from Le Machine right now.
  • Good night for former Yankee relievers Garret Whitlock and Adam Ottavino. They combined for 2.2 scoreless innings and shockingly no walks for Otto.
  • At least the Yankees got a couple runners on in the 9th and forced Alex Cora to bring in his closer Matt Barnes which should rule Barnes out for tomorrow’s game.

The Yanks will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow night. It’ll be Garret Richards (4-4, 3.75 ERA) against Domingo Germán (4-3, 3.27 ERA) in the ESPN Sunday Night game at 7:08pm EDT.

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4 Comments

  1. Dani

    At least they finally put more than 2 runs on the board. Almost felt like Christmas.

  2. Wire Fan

    Again, Taillon needs an opener. How can the supposedly advanced analytically inclined Yankees front office not see this?

    When he faces a lineup a 2nd or 3rd time, it will be the middle to bottom of the lineup he faces first as opposed to the top of the lineup.

    Then again this is the same analytics group that hits Brett Gardner or Odor regularly in the most important spot in the lineup. And thought guys like Bruce, Dietrich and Odor were bounce-back candidates

  3. Alex

    Taillon’s honestly been such a bust for this team. Certainly far from the biggest problem but when you give up more prospects to get him than the Padres did to get Musgrove or Darvish, you’re certainly expecting at least some type of positive result.

    When you can’t go more than 5 innings, you need to do a hell of a lot more than have a 5+ ERA. Taillon just isn’t it. And Matt Blake’s been the one coach to actually do his job this year so I can’t blame him.

  4. Jason

    Taillon doesn’t have a 3rd pitch to help himself 3rd time through the order. The numbers show it, and maybe something clicks down the line to help? Idk why they didn’t walk Devers. Gary should’ve spoken to him about that with how amazing(ugh) Devers has been this year.

    This was probably his best start of the year, and he’s been better lately.

    Nothing else to say. Hope you guys have a good weekend. Go Bucks.

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