After emphatically taking back control in the AL East with series wins over the Blue Jays and the Twins, the Yankees went through a bit of a letdown against the Indians. The offense, after looking like it was back on the upswing, was mostly quiet this weekend. Now they are no longer in sole possession of first place, and they no longer have the positive momentum they gained during the week.
The Yankees had nothing going for them in the first game. Josh Tomlin allowed just 1 run, an Alex Rodriguez homer, in 7 innings, as they dropped the opener 3-2. A-Rod’s 4th inning homer was the only run for the pinstripes until the 9th, when Carlos Beltran singled to score Rodriguez. Cody Allen calmed down and got Didi Gregorius to fly out with the tying run on 3rd to end the game. Rodriguez had 2 hits, and Beltran, Chase Headley, and Stephen Drew had 1 each.
Cleveland scored one each in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to take a 3-0 lead that they would not relinquish. Ivan Nova went 5 and allowed those 3 runs, but only dished out 6 hits. Jason Kipnis had 3 hits out of the leadoff spot, and Michael Brantley had 2 including an RBI single in the 3rd. Lonnie Chisenhall also contributed with an RBI double, and Jose Ramirez added an RBI single.
The Indians were backed by another strong outing from their starting pitcher, this time it was Carlos Carrasco. He struck out 11 in 6.2 innings and gave up just 1 run. The Yankees got to within 4-3 in the 8th thanks to key RBI by Alex Rodriguez and Gregory Bird, but they could not capitalize any further, losing 7-3. Only Brett Gardner had a multi-hit game for the Yankees, but Rodriguez and Bird had two RBI. The third run came via a fielding error by Cleveland’s Ramirez.
Masahiro Tanaka did not have his best stuff, but grinded through 6 innings of 4-run ball to keep the Yankees within striking distance. The Indians put the game out of reach in the 9th, thanks to a 3-run inning off of Justin Wilson. In that inning, Brantley singled, Carlos Santana grounded out, and Jerry Sands doubled to provide all of the damage done. Every Cleveland starter had a hit except for Giovanny Urshela, and Ramirez had the big day with 3 hits and a walk.
The Yankees won the third game, and their starter earned a big milestone. Luis Severino pitched 6 innings and allowed just 1 run to gain his first MLB win on the day that the team retired Jorge Posada‘s number 20. The only damage to Severino’s outing was a first inning homer by Francisco Lindor. The bullpen allowed a run in the 8th, but closed the door to get Severino the win. Lindor had 3 hits and Chisenhall had 2 hits and an RBI, but that was basically it for the Indians.
The bats finally came alive for the pinstripes. They used a 3-run first and a 2-run second to propel them to victory, including blasts from Gardner and Brian McCann. Danny Salazar did not last through the 5th for Cleveland, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits. Four Yankees players had 2-hit games, and every starter had a hit.
In the finale, the Yankees’ offense was kept quiet yet again. Trevor Bauer allowed 2 runs in 6.1 innings, but walked 6, meaning that the pinstripes could not capitalize. The only serious damage done by was a Carlos Beltran ground-rule double that tied the game at 3 in the 7th. Ultimately, that is all that they would get, losing 4-3. The Yankees managed only 5 hits, 2 of them by Jacoby Ellsbury, and Beltran drove in the only two earned runs.
CC Sabathia left after 2.2 innings due to an injury (more on that here) but was tagged for 2 of Cleveland’s 4 runs. Nick Rumbelow gave up the third run, and after the offense tied the game, Dellin Betances gave up the go-ahead homer by Lindor in the 8th. Lindor led the way with 3 hits, and Santana had 2 RBI to pace the attack.
A disappointing series leaves the Yankees in a difficult situation, especially with a tough series against the Astros on deck. Here’s who performed and underperformed in this 4-game set.
Offensive MVP: Jacoby Ellsbury- An anemic series overall, he “stood out” with a 4-15 clip.
Cold Streak: Brian McCann- All of his hits came in one game; 2-16.
Pitcher of the Series: Luis Severino- Earned his first big-league win in the only victory of the series with 6 innings of solid baseball.
Mound Misery: CC Sabathia- Lasted only 2.2 innings due to an apparent injury. I can’t help but feel bad for him, but it sure didn’t help the team.