PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — It was an all-around bizarre series. The New York Yankees probably could’ve played at home on Tuesday but instead played the home half of two seven-inning doubleheaders on the road Wednesday. Their pitching was brutal, as their starters not named Gerrit Cole, have posted a 7.22 ERA this season and New York dropped two of three to the Philadelphia Phillies as a result.
Had they played the full nine, perhaps the Yankees would’ve overcome an atrocious Phillies bullpen but a feckless J.A. Happ and lollygagging on the basepaths and on the field yielded an 11-7 defeat.
No lead is truly safe in Philly’s ballpark but the Yankees were staked to a 3-0 advantage. DJ LeMahieu, who had a 3-for-3 contest, scored on a double-play ball in the first inning. Brett Gardner homered to right off Zack Wheeler in the second stanza with a two-run tater.
HAPP AND THE SUNK COST FALLACY
Unfortunately, Happ was non-competitive. Happ issued six walks and four runs in three innings. It’s time for the Yankees to stop playing the sunk cost fallacy with Happ and start someone, anyone else. They have options.
THROW THE DAMN TOWEL!
I had to get a Rocky movie reference in there. After a solid frame from Jonathan Holder, Nick Nelson was brutal.
Nelson yielded six runs on seven hits in 1.2 frames. After the game, he remained in Pennsylvania. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
I had to get a Bull Durham movie reference in there. LeMahieu threw to an unoccupied base. Kyle Higashioka was doubled up on a humpback liner to short by Gardner, along with dropping a throw to the plate. Plus, the infield probably could’ve turned a couple of twin killings in the sixth inning but didn’t. Sloppy.
ACTUALLY, CAN WE PLAY NINE PLEASE?
Unfortunately, the Yankees ran out of time. In the seventh inning, Thairo Estrada, who is a better player than Tyler Wade, singled home a run. Then with two on, Aaron Judge pelted a three-run homer to left.
Yet, Mike Ford was called out on a nonsense inside third strike call by Angel Hernandez, which got Phil Nevin run. Miguel Andujar, who’s also a better player than Wade, flew out to end the game.
The nightcap was a lot crisper. In a 3-1 victory, the bullpen mix of Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Avilan, Chad Green, Adam Ottavino, and Zack Britton combined to allow one run on three hits, one walk, fanning seven. That the backend of the bullpen has been a lifesaver is a huge understatement.
Aaron Nola racked up 12 K’s but he couldn’t sit down Luke Voit during the second stanza. Voit cranked a solo shot to left to stake the Bombers to a 1-0 edge.
TAUCH AND BACK IT UP
Facing Tommy Hunter in the seventh inning, Mike Tauchman came through with RISP once again. Following consecutive singles by Giancarlo Stanton and Voit, Tauchman lined an RBI-double to right. After Gary Sanchez was hit by a pitch, Gio Urshela added insurance with an RBI-single to right.
It didn’t feel as close as the 5-4 score would indicate. A reliable Jordan Montgomery was pummeled early. Apparently two hours was good enough rest time for Judge and LeMahieu before both eventually pinch-hit late.
MONTGOMERY FLEA MARKET
Montgomery allowed five runs on six hits in four frames. The big blows were a three-run homer yielded to J.T. Realmuto in the first frame and a two-run double to Phil Gosselin in the third inning. He’s allowed to throw a stinker but it’s that much more magnified given how good he’s looked compared to the rest of the staff.
TAUCH IT UP
New York did manage to get a pair of runs back in the second stanza. Tauchman lined a two-run single to center off Zach Eflin. I know it’s an incredibly small sample size but how do we get this guy some more regular ab’s?
WELCOME TO 2020 EL GARY
Watching Realmuto tear it up on the other side, El Kraken decided to respond in the seventh inning. Sanchez belted his first home run of the campaign, a two-run tater to right, off Nick Pivetta, pulling the Bombers within one run.
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
Facing Hector Neris in the ninth inning, the Yankees cobbled together a pair of two-out singles by LeMahieu and Tauchman to keep the game alive. Voit would send a drive to the track in center but not quite enough for the final out of the contest.
At 9-3, the Yankees travel to St. Petersburg, Fla. and play the Tampa Bay Rays for a four-game series starting Friday night.