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Series Recap: Yankees tripped up by Tribe

It was another frustrating series as the New York Yankees dropped two of three contests against the Cleveland Indians. New York jumped out to early leads in each game but the pitching couldn’t make it hold up until the Yankees were able to pull out the finale. The Yankees will be relieved to return home after a 2-4 road trip.

GAME 1

The Yankees started out with a bang but squandered too many opportunities. Domingo German also flourished early but faded. It all ended in a lackluster 5-2 loss.

DIDI DROPS IN

Didi Gregorius was back with a flash and never missed a beat. After Gary Sanchez reached on a single, the Yankees shortstop was perhaps too giddy. Gregorius ripped a single to the wall in right off Zach Plesac but was cut down attempting to advance to second.

Kendrys Morales slogged to first on a walk.

A determined Clint Frazier drilled an RBI-double to left, which could’ve been a three-run double if Gregorius didn’t get thrown out and a two-run double if Morales wasn’t slow as molasses. Not only a slow runner, but Morales also proved a bad base runner, getting thrown out on a ball hit back to the pitcher by Gio Urshela. Morales also grounded into the slowest double-play ever in the fourth.

Only one run but squandered opportunities.

HICKS TO THE STICKS

Aaron Hicks is heating up. In the third inning, Hicks drilled a 1-0 changeup to right-field, doubling the New York advantage to 2-0.

DRAGGING DOMINGO

German started strong but faded by the fourth. A single by Oscar Mercado, walk to Carlos Santana and RBI-single by Jason Kipnis, got the Indians on the board. A solo home run to Tyler Naquin and a two-run shot to Santana in the fifth and sixth respectively continued the unraveling.

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One can’t help but wonder if the Yankees need to start using an opener for German. As it turned out, German would be placed on the IL after the game.

POOR PLACEMENT

During the eighth inning, Hicks played a Francisco Lindor smash to center into a triple. With one out, David Hale couldn’t keep the ball down to Kipnis, who promptly lifted a sac fly-RBI to center to cap off the Cleveland scoring.

GAME 2

It was essentially a carbon copy of the first game but worse. New York jumped out to an early lead, pitching was strong early but it all unraveled in an 8-4 defeat.

DUNKIN’ DIDI

Catching up for lost time Gregorius didn’t was any time in the first. With LeMahieu having reached via a single, with two down, Gregorius clobbered a first-pitch curveball from Adam Plutko. The bomb gave the Bombers a 2-0 advantage.

A CC FOR EFFORT

From bathing in success to a blood bath, CC Sabathia had the best and worst of both worlds in his return to Cleveland. Sabathia powered through the Tribe in the first three innings, fanning six, including striking out the side in the third with high cheese.

Yet it came apart in the fourth. Santana singled. Jordan Luplow hit a ball that Brett Gardner played into a double in left. A Jose Ramirez sac fly cut the Yankees lead to 2-1. Roberto Perez‘s near home run double squared the game at two.

In the fifth, a Lindor double, followed by a Mercado homer to right-center, provided the Wahoo’s a 4-2 lead.

HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM

Jonathan Holder is really testing his roster spot at this point. In the sixth, after allowing a single to Luplow, Holder yielded a two-run home run to left to Perez and a solo shot to left by Mets castoff Kevin Plawecki, increasing the Indians lead to 7-2.

CHIP BACK

Speaking of Mets castoffs, the Yankees chipped back against Oliver Perez in the seventh. Gregorius reached on a single and advanced on an error. Gleyber Torres (welcome back to the lineup finally) doubled home Gregorius.

With one down, Frazier walked against Adam Cimber and Urshela plated Torres with a sac fly, pulling the Yankees within three.

STIFF UPPER LIP

Luis Cessa let up another run in the eighth. Gardner cut his lip after throwing his helmet and hitting himself in the dugout. There would be no miraculous rally.

GAME 3

In a seesaw affair, the Yankees were able to battle and salvage the series finale with a 7-6 victory.

FIVE SPOT

After going down on strikes in the first, the Yankees elicited some two-out magic in the second. Frazier kept New York alive with a single to left. Gardner awoke with a two-run tater to right-center. Urshela walked. Cameron Maybin singled. LeMahieu plated Urshela with a single to center. Following a wild pitch by Shane Bieber, Aaron Hicks walked and Voit cracked a two-run double to right, making it 5-0.

THAT’S GONNA LEAVE A MARK!

Chad Green and Nestor Cortes Jr. combined on five scoreless frames on a bullpen day. Perhaps Cortes Jr. could’ve been pushed a little further.

In the sixth, Tommy Kahnle was touched up for four runs, including home runs to Leonys Martin and Mike Freeman, cutting the Yankees lead to 5-4.

During the seventh, Adam Ottavino yielded a game-tying solo shot to center on a 3-0 pitch to Jake Bauers.

SEESAW ENDING

It was a rollercoaster ending for sure in the ninth and tenth innings.

Facing Cimber in the ninth, Voit set the table with a one-out single. A Gary Sanchez double to left made it second and third. I’m not sure Voit would’ve scored on the hit but considering how he was lifted for Gregorius the next inning in a defensive switch, one has to wonder why the move wasn’t made.

After Hicks was intentionally walked, Frazier scalded a ball to center for an RBI sac fly.

During the bottom half of the frame, the Yankees looked to have it sewn up with Aroldis Chapman on the bump but it didn’t play out that way. Jose Ramirez singled and advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw by Chapman. After Perez walked, Chapman recorded two outs. Yet, Gregorius booted a ball hit to shortstop by Lindor and the Indians tied it.

Facing Oliver Perez in the tenth the Yankees jumped right back up. A one-out double to center by Maybin got the Yankees going. After a LeMahieu groundout moved Maybin to third, Hicks crushed an RBI-double to left, giving the Yankees a 7-6 advantage.

Stephen Tarpley worked his breaking stuff in the home half, striking out the side and locking down the victory.

ON DECK

At 40-24, the Yankees return home to Yankee Stadium to host the New York Mets for a two-game set.

Pitching probables, Jason Vargas vs. Masahiro Tanaka, Zack Wheeler vs. James Paxton.

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