They can save their money on those postcards, there wasn’t much to write home about on the West Coast. After a four-game sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics, the New York Yankees have essentially negated their six-game winning streak with a six-game losing streak, going 1-6 on their road trip. The Yankees and their sleep-deprived fans will be happy to see Yankee Stadium once again.
Tedious, trying, teasing, torture. How’s that for an alliteration summation of the Yanks 8-7 loss to the A’s? MLB should place this game in a time capsule if only to illustrate why West Coast games should start no later than 8:00 p.m. for fans on the East Coast. The Yankees battled but the end result was brutal.
SUNNY BUT GRAY
There were plenty of early opportunities for the Yanks to pounce on Sonny Gray, including the first inning with bases loaded and the fourth with runners in scoring position.
BACK AND FORTH FOREVER
From the sixth stanza on both clubs seemingly traded scoring and the Yankees were playing catch up.
Moving to the eighth, Carter homered against his former team with a solo shot to left center against former Yankee farmhand Jon Axford.
In the ninth, the Yankees countered with a Sanchez RBI-single to center off of Santiago Casilla.
The trend appeared to be turning in the tenth. Facing Liam Hendricks, Brett Gardner singled and advanced to third on an infield single by Rob Refsnyder. After Refsnyder advanced to second on defensive indifference and Aaron Judge was walked, Castro lifted a sac fly RBI to right, giving the Yankees their first lead of the evening.
Although it wasn’t to be in the home half. With Giovanny Gallegos on the Yankees were playing with fire. While Gallegos retired the first two batters, Rajai Davis singled to right, Pinder doubled to right, Jed Lowrie was intentionally walked and unlike earlier when Didi Gregorius had made a nice sliding over the shoulder grab in the outfield, Castro couldn’t quite get turned around on a fly ball by Khris Davis, which allowed the game-tying and winning runs to cross the plate.
Call it a time change or a time warp but remember when everyone was talking about how Masahiro Tanaka was an enigma but the rest of the starting rotation was surprisingly consistent? Yeah, that was only about a week ago!
Montgomery wasn’t awful but he wasn’t sharp against a suspect lineup in a big ballpark. Lowrie along with his little league helmet tagged Montgomery for a homer in the first. No. 9 hitter Adam Rosales touched him up for a two-run double in the second. Plus there was the aforementioned homer to Alonso in the sixth.
HURRY BACK OLD CHAP
With Adam Warren unavailable and Betances forced to enter in the eighth for Tyler Clippard, the Yankee bullpen was dicey. One could argue that if they were willing to go for the jugular in the eighth, they could’ve kept Betances going with the lead in the tenth. Betances hadn’t pitched a lot lately and at 39 pitches one figures he’d likely be unavailable the next day anyhow. As I mentioned above, when you’re throwing Gallegos out there with an ERA north of six with the game on the line, you’re asking for trouble.
The second contest was more of the same formula for the Yankees. Slow start, rally, the underbelly of the bullpen springs a leak and another one-run loss by a final count of 7-6.
LUIS SO SO
Luis Severino was decent other than yielding a four-spot in the second inning. Sevvy whiffed six across six and kept the Yankees in the game as they battled back.
AARON APPOINTMENT TELEVISION
After the second stanza one easily could’ve ducked out of a late night West Coast lopsided contest. Yet, Judge slugged an effortless three-run homer to right in the third inning, pulling the Bronx Bombers within a run. With home run No. 23, the Yankees rookie hit more than any New York player did last year, with Carlos Beltran belting 22.
After chipping away on a Mason Williams RBI-single to right, a Chris Carter homer to center and a Castro RBI-single to center in the fifth, sixth and seventh, the Yankees captured a 6-4 lead.
In the seventh and eighth, the A’s hacked back against Chasen Shreve and Jonathan Holder. The big blow was a two-run single by Matt Chapman in the eighth and Oakland sealed away their second victory against New York.
The third game wasn’t any better for nicked up New York, falling 5-2 to Oakland.
ZERO FROM MASAHIRO
Masahiro Tanaka typically dominates the A’s and even in this atrocious spell he more or less handled them in the Bronx. Tanaka would once again ring up a huge strikeout total with 10 but the three gopher balls, including two to Ryon Healy, were too much to overcome.
The series finale combined the worst parts of the other losses in a 4-3 defeat for the Yanks at the hands of the A’s.
PICKETT FENCE OFFENSE
The Bronx Bombers were staked to an early 1-0 advantage after Matt Holliday homer in the second against his former squad. Holliday lived up to his name, homering on Father’s Day after hitting out one on Mother’s Day. An RBI-single from Judge made it 2-0 in the third. Didi Gregorius socked a solo shot to left in the fourth.
A’S PACK POWER TOO
Yet, in the middle of the Yankees offense, the Athletics wrapped Luis Cessa. A two-run double to right by Chad Pinder in the third squared the contest at two. The next frame saw Khris Davis crack a two-run homer to center and that’s all the A’s would need on the afternoon.
At 38-29 on the campaign, the Yankees mercifully return home to Yankee Stadium to host the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game series starting Tuesday night.