Gah. The Yanks dropped the first game of this series tonight, falling 5-2 to Cleveland. It started out well, and Didi Gregorius returned, but it did not end well. Fairly lifeless offense after the early going and Cleveland got to Domingo Germán in the 5th and 6th. Oh well. Onto the takeaways.
1. Domingo Germán is Giving Up A Lot of Home Runs: Sure does feel like some of the shine is coming off Domingo Germán, doesn’t it? Opposing batters were hitting .295/.330/.523 against him coming into tonight’s game in his last 4 starts to the tune of a .853 OPS. For some context, that means that every batter Germán has faced in those starts has been Gleyber Torres or DJ LeMahieu. That’s not good.
A large part of that is because he is surrendering a lot of home runs in that time: 6 in 20.2 innings, in fact. I was watching this game with that in mind, and, well, fair to say that trend continued tonight. Germán surrendered 2 more homers tonight, and they were not cheap. Here’s Tyler Naquin in the 5th:
And here’s Carlos Santana’s absolute blast in the 6th:
Those were serious home runs. Naquin’s traveled 434 feet and Santana’s traveled 422 feet. So, in other words, that’s now 8 home runs off Germán in his last 26.2 innings pitched. Woof. He’s going to have to get that together if he wants to regain his early-season success, and the Yanks had better hope he can. He’s very important, more so now that the Yanks have passed on Keuchel.
2. That Was Some Bad, Bad Baserunning in the 2nd: Geez did the Yankees waste an opportunity in the 2nd. After Gary drilled a single, Didi Gregorius (more on him in a moment) laced a single of his own on the first pitch he saw–except he was caught trying to extend it into a double. Bad. Later in the inning, with 1 out and runners on the corners, Gio Urshela hit a swinging bunt back to the Zack Plesac and Kendrys was…. running on contact? For some reason? He was caught in limbo and promptly tagged out.
So those were the Yankees first two outs in that inning. Completely self-inflicted and really shut the door on their own rally. I mean, the Yanks had 2 singles, a double, and a walk in the inning and only scored one run. Unfortunate. Gotta be better than that.
Very good, Aaron. After tonight’s 1-4 performance, his line improves to .239/.325/.433 (101 wRC+) on the year with 3 home runs in the last 4 nights. He’s slowly but surely getting back to the Aaron Hicks we all missed, and it’s great.
4. The Return of Sir Didi Gregorius: It is so good to see Didi Gregorius back on the field. He’s just so likable and fun. Seeing him out there tonight really made the Yankees feel like the Yankees, at least to me. He’s a big part of the team in a lot of different ways.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he has 67 home runs over the last 3 years as a shortstop with great defense, either. The dude rules. He went 2-4 in his return to the bigs tonight, and it sure would be great if he hit the ground running. He’ll probably need a little while to find his legs, tonight notwithstanding, and that’s okay. The Yanks are better now that he’s back.
The Yanks will try to even up this series and take the second of this three-game set tomorrow at 4:10 in Cleveland. CC Sabathia (3-2, 3.61 ERA), in his final appearance in Cleveland, will take on Adam Plutko (1-1, 6.35 ERA). Hopefully that’s a better one. Happy weekend, folks.