There are bad losses, and there are bad losses. This one was the latter. The Yankees fell to the Royals 6-5 in the series opener.
Gerrit Cole did his thing with lower spin rates again, but his offense was of little help. He handed a one-run lead to the Jonathan Loaisiga, who coughed it up with significant help from Tyler Wade. DJ LeMahieu’s two-run blast in the eighth cut Kansas City’s lead to one, and the Yankees threatened in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough. Not only was Cole’s start spoiled, but so was Luke Voit’s return to the lineup. To tonight’s takeaways:
The Yankees dropped this afternoon’s affair to the Blue Jays, 5-4. Bo Bichette, who homered twice in this one, delivered a walk off home run against Chad Green in the ninth. The Yankees are now 5-7 and have lost three of the four series they’ve played thus far.
Corey Kluber delivered another less-than-ideal outing and the offense sputtered again. The bullpen kept the Yankees in the game, but the relievers can only keep doing so much. I’ll expand on Kluber, the bats, and the ‘pen in the takeaways from this one after the jump.
Happy Friday, everyone. Today’s the day we learn if Aaron Judge is actually hurt or not. In a few hours, we’ll find out if he’s in the lineup for today’s 3pm game against the Rays. I’m sure the reactions will be measured either way.
But before that, it’s time for a mailbag. Four good questions today. As always, please send yours to email@example.com. We answer our favorites every Friday. Let’s get to it.
Newbie Darren O’Day sure knew how to endear himself to a fanbase, huh? There clearly was some intent in that comment early this month. As you may recall, Rays’ manager Kevin Cash touted his stable of guys who throw 98 last year in response to the beef the Yankees and Rays had. It sounded a bit threatening after Aroldis Chapman threw some chin music to Mike Brosseau. Granted, the Rays got the last laugh. It’s a new year though, and this bullpen is clearly pretty good, as O’Day said.
Although Aroldis Chapman‘s high octane fastball is no longer unique among his peers, he’s still one of the league’s best closers. He’ll continue to blow his upper-90s heat by hitters in 2021, but that might not be his only big threat anymore. Sure, his slider has been effective at times in the past, but this year, Chapman plans to incorporate the splitter he teased last season. It’s looked pretty nasty in camp.
The Yankees topped Philadelphia 6-1 in Clearwater earlier today. Aaron Hicks homered, Gerrit Cole was dealing, and everyone’s favorite non-roster invitee Lucas Luetge did his thing again. Here’s Hicks’s excuse-me-wind-aided dinger:
More on the game in a bit, but first, some important rehab news.
The Big Story: Luis Severino
As anticipated, Luis Severino threw off a mound this week. It’s the first time he’s been on the bump since he underwent Tommy John surgery last February. This session happened Tuesday, though it wasn’t public knowledge until today.
“It was a lot of fun for me to get over there on Tuesday morning to be there to see that first one and just to see how he’s moving around,” Boone said before Thursday’s exhibition against Philadelphia in Clearwater.
“There’s just a confidence in that he’s kind of exuding in his health, just watching him play catch, the way his body is, the kind of shape he’s in and the free and easy way in which he’s throwing,” Boone said. “He was really efficient the other day — it really kind of throwing it exactly where he wanted. He was coming out hot. We almost said, ‘Hey, back off a little bit. It’s coming out a little too well.’ And he wasn’t working for it necessarily. So really encouraged about where he’s at to this point.”
Obviously, it’s great to hear that Severino looked great and came away from this step healthy. If all goes well, Sevy will be a huge boost to the Yankees’ rotation in the second half of the season. And I know, I know: you’re not going to like hearing Brian Cashman say that he’s the best acquisition the team could make when the trade deadline comes around. But honestly, will he really be wrong about that?
There’s still a long way for Severino to go, of course. He needs to start mixing in breaking balls, face hitters, build up arm strength, etc. But every step he takes without an issue is a big plus.