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Game 63: That Sucked

Well … yeah, that was bad.

I had a completely different Takeaways bit written until about 11:42PM Eastern time, when it became clear that Aroldis Chapman did not have his best stuff.  Despite leading from the jump, the Yankees dropped the series finale to the Minnesota Twins 7-5 as Chapman gave up two two-run home runs without getting a single out in the bottom of the ninth to blow a two run lead for the first time this season.

I was looking forward to getting the Joe Biden “Minnesota” GIF up on this blog for the third time this week, but I guess it’s less apt now.  To the takeaways:

Chapman’s velocity was not encouraging. I’m going to spend as little time on Chapman as possible here, because we all saw what we saw. I will say that he was sitting 95-97 today on his four-seamer instead of the 99-100 we’ve seen from him for much of the season, and it’s like those few miles per hour on his fastball make an entirely different pitcher. Hopefully it was just an off-night and not a sign of anything structural.

The offense did enough.  Gleyber Torres went 3-for-5 today and continued his hot streak.  Over the first 10 days of June, Torres is hitting .387 (12 for 31) with more RBI (4) than strikeouts (3).  The Yankees got multi-hit performances today from Torres, Gio Urshela, Miguel Andujar, and DJ LeMahieu.  The Yankees lineup was constructed to have multiple guys who could carry you on any given day, and that’s exactly what happened today.  Urshela, especially, pounded the ball all evening, hitting a home run and a triple and making hard contact on a few of his outs.  Giancarlo Stanton, although he only got one hit on the day, made the most of it by demolishing a 422 foot, 107 mile per hour bomb to put the Yankees up by three in the first inning.  To find a negative, the team was only 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, indicating that their situational hitting is still an issue, but you’d be hard pressed to really pin this loss on the offense.

Mike King could have been worse.  Mike King, who has slotted into the fifth spot in the rotation over the past few weeks, showed flashes of good stuff but was mostly mediocre.  He struggled to locate, walking three batters and throwing 69 pitches over 3.2 innings.  He wound up surrendering two runs on his final line.

Aside from Chapman, the bullpen gutted it out. The Yankees were in position to win going into the bottom of the ninth because of a gritty combined performance from the middle relievers. Lucas Luetge was called on to finish King’s fourth inning, and after hitting Jorge Polanco with a pitch he struck out Josh Donaldson on a nasty cutter.

There were several situations throughout the evening where it seemed like the game could have gotten away from the Yankees, but the bullpen did a good job of bailing the team out in key spots.  Jonathan Loaisiga relieved Luetge with one out in the fifth and two runners on, and got a pop-up and a groundout to prevent a Twins rally.  Similarly, Chad Green came in for a shaky Wandy Peralta in the 7th after Peralta allowed a run on a Nick Gordon single and a Nelson Cruz double, and struck out Miguel Sano, who has 12 home runs this year, on a 3-2 curveball to preserve the lead. Had Chapman been able to hold on, the bullpen would have been one of the great stories of this game.

Gary contributed on all sides. Gary Sanchez continued to make good contact, lacing a hard single in the 6th.  He is hitting .323 since May 29 with 3 doubles and 5 RBI.  His season average, which has been below .200 for much of this season, is up to .218.  His biggest contribution to this game, however, was on the basepaths two batters later.  After a single by Andujar, Chris Gittens hit into what easily could have been a rally-killing double play, but Sanchez distracted Donaldson at third base by doing what can best be described as a little “can you catch me” dance.  This appeared to take Donaldson out of double-play mode as he chased Sanchez out of the baseline to record just one out, and that play led directly to a run as DJ LeMahieu singled home Andujar with two outs in the inning.  Even with the unfortunate outcome of the game, it’s nice to see the Yankees making heads-up plays on the basepaths instead of just directly running into outs.


  • Loaisiga pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, which constituted his tenth appearance of the season where he pitched more than 1.1 innings and gave up no runs.
  • After tripling in the first inning, Gio Urshela got thrown out at home on a would-be wild pitch, proving that even in Minnesota the team can’t help but get thrown out on the basepaths.
  • Gittens came this close to having his first major league hit be a two-run home run.  In the top of the fourth inning, Gittens hit what was originally called a home run that would have made it a 6-1 ballgame, but after significant on-field confusion ensued (which was echoed by John Sterling in the radio booth) it was unfortunately, but correctly, ruled a foul ball.  Gittens is still seeking his first major league hit.
  • Green’s uneventful eighth inning was assisted by an excellent outfield play from Andujar, who played Gilberto Celestino’s would-be double off the wall and fired a great throw to second base for the final out. 

Game 62: Good Pitching, Good Hitting, and a Win over the Twins

Ah, now that’s more like it. The Yankees should get to play the Twins all of the time. It’s frankly kind of rude that they don’t! With the win tonight, the Yankees improve to a ridiculous 105-37 against the Twins since the start of the 2002 campaign. The Twins have won multiple divisions, gone through multiple iterations of the team with Hall of Fame players and All Stars, and it just doesn’t matter. The Yankees absolutely own them. OWN them. It’s great and I hope it never stops.

It was a great formula tonight too. Gerrit Cole’s spin rate was fine, his velocity was dominant, and he carved through a horrific Twins lineup. The Yankees hit some home runs and even got some production out of Brett Gardner. Offensive malaise? Couldn’t be our team.

Anyway, it was a great return to form for the Yankees. Let’s get right to the takeaways…but not until we appreciate the best tweet of all time:

Game 61: Thank you, Minnesota

The perfect gif for the occasion.

The Yankees’ four-game losing streak is over. New York beat the Twins 8-4 in the first of three at Minnesota. It’s really too bad that the Twins aren’t in the AL East. The Yankees would never lose the division. Anyway, let’s get to tonight’s takeaways.

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.


  • 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.

Game 58: The Yankees are a Slog

The Yankees once again embarrassed themselves offensively, striking out 15 times against the Red Sox in a 5-2 loss. Honestly, the game wasn’t even that close, and it felt over from the very first inning of the game. If you can’t tell already, be warned: the ensuing takeaways are going to be very grouchy and potentially whiny.

Let’s get right to ’em.

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