After taking the first game of the doubleheader handily this afternoon, the Yankees tried to pull off a sweep of the crosstown
rivals team tonight. It didn’t work out so well. The Yanks fell to the Mets 10-4. James Paxton was the loser for the Bombers while Jason Vargas earned the win for the Metropolitans.
The Yankees fell to 41-25 (.621) on the season and remain tied with Tampa Bay for first place in the American League East. Tonight was annoying, but I want to hammer this point home: that is incredible. Incredible. Make no mistake about it. Aaron Boone indicated that both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge could return as early as next Monday (against Tampa Bay, no less), and I just cannot believe that the Yanks are tied for first four games before their (hopeful) return. There are best case scenarios and then there are best case scenarios. Hopefully the Yanks trounce Chicago this week, everyone stays healthy and/or has a successful rehab, and the team gets their big guys back with some momentum on their side.
Anyway, on to the takeaways from tonight’s stinker.
James Paxton Finally Struggles at Home: Well, that was not James Paxton’s finest start, was it? Big Maple came into tonight’s game having dominated at home early in his Yankee career, pitching to a 0.34 ERA in 26.2 IP. He’d surrendered only 11 hits, precisely zero of which were home runs. That changed quickly on Tuesday night. Jeff McNeil led off the game with a double, and J.D. Davis followed it up with a single. Then Mets rookie sensation Pete Alonso (dude is hitting .255/.338/.598, which is a145 wRC+) did this:
That ball left the bat at almost 110 mph and traveled 424 feet. A Yankee Stadium cheapie, that was not. Before you could bat an eye, the Yanks were down 3-0. As an old friend used to say: it’s not what you want.
Unfortunately, Paxton’s struggles didn’t end there. Even though quite a few of the hits in the 2nd and 3rd were not exactly crushed (3 of those hits were tagged at an exit velocity of 83 mph or less, including one at 56 mph), he was still tagged for 6 total runs in 2.2 innings pitched. Not great!
It’s hard not to think about Paxton’s knee injury here. He hasn’t quite looked the same since he came off the IL. Here are his lines, including tonight, since returning:
- 6/11 vs. NYM: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
- 6/5 vs. TOR: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR
- 5/29 vs. SD: 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K
This hasn’t been Paxton’s greatest stretch, but it’s not all awful, either: he’s still recorded 12 Ks in 11.1 innings. I’m not ready to say that he’s still hurt or whatever, although I’ve seen that a bit. Hopefully just a rough stretch. Paxton is important to the Yanks, obviously.
2. The Top of the Order Comes Through, the Bottom (Minus Gardner) Does Not: Feels weird to say this about a game in which the Yanks were blown out, but boy did the top of the order do its job tonight. DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit, Gary Sánchez (more on him in a moment), and Gleyber Torres collectively accounted for 7 of the Yanks’ 9 hits, going 7-17 (.411 average). For once, not much power from this bunch, but you can’t say they didn’t set the table and put the Yanks in a good position.
Too bad the rest of the lineup went 2-19 (.105) and was completely unable to get anything going all night. Those 2 hits? Those belonged to Brett Gardner, who had himself a nice night. Garbage time and all, but it was nice to see Gardner plant one deep down the RF line for a homer in the 9th. The only question was if it was fair or not. It was. Here is the video:
Brett should keep this going, in my opinion.
3. Gary Sánchez Freakin’ Rules: Okay, I know this is a part of my internet #brand, but I am going to say it again. Gary Sánchez is absolutely awesome, and I am so, so happy to see him make last year a distant memory. You don’t hear much complaining about Gary these days, do you? Almost like he was playing hurt or something last year and isn’t a true talent .180 hitter. Huh, imagine that.
Anyway, snark aside, Gary is having just an incredible season. Another 2-4 game for the Kraken tonight, who is now up to .269/.338/.632 (151 wRC+) on the season. That’s a top-10 wRC+ across all batters with 200 ABs or more in 2019, and his 20 home runs ranks 6th in baseball. It’s 2nd in the AL, only one behind Seattle’s Edwin Encarnación. Here are his expected stats, relative to the league of course:
I’d like to know: is that good?
4. A Double-Header with No High-Leverage Relievers: Just like we all predicted, right? The Yanks came into today with two games on the slate against the Mets and used one (1) high-leverage reliever for one (1) out across two games. That was Tommy Kahnle and it was in the first game.
The Yanks got blown out tonight–something which has rarely happened at all in 2019–and turned to Chance Adams, Luis Cessa and Stephen Tarpley to finish out the game. They went a combined 6.1 innings, surrendering 3 runs (all Adams, on 2 home runs) on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts and 3 walks. That… could be worse? But it could also be better, particularly from Adams.
The Yanks threatened a few times, getting within a hit of making it a ballgame, to borrow an old cliché, but the Mets kept tacking on. It was one of those nights, is all. But hey, if we’re looking for silver linings, the Yanks big relievers will be well-rested after tomorrow’s off-day. Yay?
The Yankees are off tomorrow (a weird Wednesday off-day) and will be heading to Chicago to take on the White Sox. J.A. Happ (6-3, 4.48 ERA) will take the hill for the Yanks. Chicago hasn’t announced its starter yet. That game will begin at 8:10pm and you can watch the local broadcast on YES. Have a good night, everyone.