BOSTON, Mass. — I wanted to have fun with this “new look” New York Yankees bunch. I thought, hey, four straight victories, go catch the Boston Red Sox by surprise, catch them sleeping and sweep them four straight too. Nope. Can’t have that. It’s the season from hell. The series was book-ended by two epic collapses that would’ve made the 2004 team blush. The Yankees could’ve taken three of four or even if you wanted to say they should’ve lost on Saturday, a split at the very least.
Once again it’s frustrating as all hell because there’s no accountability from this organization and nothing changes.
After reeling us back in, surely the cute and cuddly scrappy Yankees’ wouldn’t deal us another crushing loss? Oh but somehow they found a new way to have a devastating loss, 5-4 in 10 innings.
The Yankees finally scored a run for Jordan Montgomery, who toiled for 5.2 scoreless frames. However, not great to muster two hits off Tanner Houck and four total on the evening. Fast forward to the seventh with Lucas Luetge on in place of Sal Romano, an error by Tyler Wade at third prevented at least the second out being recorded, if not a double play.
Ensuing batter Enrique Hernandez lifted a fly to center and it looked like there was a mixup between Estevan Florial and Greg Allen, and the flat-footed Florial couldn’t quite throw out Alex Verdugo from center.
However, the Yankees would bounce back in the eighth inning, as Giancarlo Stanton dunked an RBI single to left off Adam Ottavino. Gleyber Torres would add some insurance with a sac fly to right for a 3-1 lead.
Now, here’s where it gets tricky. Most analytical people will tell you to use your best reliever against the heart of the order. In the bottom of the eighth, Luis Cessa retired Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Hunter Renfroe on five pitches. Given that performance, I called it out on Twitter before anything went down, why not stay with Cessa and his low pitch count against the bottom of the order in the ninth inning?
Well, with Jonathan Loaisiga still on COVID-19 protocol, and Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman either being unavailable or Aaron Boone having little confidence in either, he turned to Chad Green. On paper, not the wrong move. From a feel standpoint, I would’ve put Cessa back out there.
Nonetheless, Green failed to execute. A two-run double by Hernandez tied the game at three.
The Yankees would re-gain the lead on a Brett Gardner sac-fly off Matt Barnes in the tenth inning.
Yet, for some reason, Boone, who wouldn’t allow Cessa to close it out against the bottom of the order and a two-run lead, brought in Brooks Kriske against the heart of the order with a one-run advantage and an automatic runner on in the tenth. Kriske threw four wild pitches as the Red Sox tied the game. A Renfroe sac-fly would win it as Boston walked it off without the benefit of a hit. Kriske, entrusted with the lead, was jettisoned 45 minutes later to Triple-A. None of this made a lick of sense!
The Yankees had their opportunities but couldn’t win with their ace on the bump. Batting 1-for-9 with RISP will do that to you. It all amounted to a 6-2 loss.
While the Yankees grabbed a 1-0 lead against Eduardo Rodriguez, via a Gardner RBI double in the second stanza, it was more about what they didn’t do. Rodriguez left the game with a migraine but the Yankees against Phillips Valdez, couldn’t break it open with second and third with zero out and bases loaded with one out.
Gerrit Cole wasn’t terrible but also not great, lasting five frames. A Bogaerts sac-fly tied it in the fifth inning and a two-run tater by Rafael Devers gave the Red Sox the lead for good.
It was nice to see another team have a late-inning meltdown for once. Jameson Taillon kept his composure after some early runs and kept the Yankees in it was a seven-inning gem. Thankfully, the double agent Ottavino imploded and the Yankees held on for a 4-3 victory.
Trailing 3-0, the Yankees finally got to another ex-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi in the eighth inning. Florial set the table with a double to center. With two down, a Gardner single to right would plate Florial and chase Eovaldi. With Ottavino on, Stanton dunked a ground-rule double to right. The ensuing batter Rougned Odor rocked a two-run double to left for the equalizer. Torres followed by dropping an RBI single to right for the go-ahead run.
Late life and a lead 💪 pic.twitter.com/52i3iXYE4H
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 24, 2021
This time around, the Yankees had the services of Loaisiga, who pitched in and out of trouble in the eighth, and the same for Chapman, who clamped down the ninth.
You can’t make this stuff up. Then again, maybe you can, considering this team has posted more meltdowns in a month this season than you’ll see if you watch this game for 50 years. It was the opposite of the Saturday game and mirrored the Thursday loss, a manager with no feel for his pitchers and a 5-4 collapse defeat.
There are many. While a 4-0 lead should be enough, especially when your starting pitcher is hurling a no-hitter into the eighth, the lineup botched so many opportunities to blow this game open. They went 3-for-12 with RISP. Perhaps most egregious was bases loaded and one out in the seventh and no runs. While they scored the fourth run in the eighth inning on a Torres RBI single, with two on and no out, Torres got picked off second couldn’t plate Gardner, who moved up, with one out.
Domingo German was rolling into the eighth with his sharpest outing in eons, a no-hitter, and 10 Ks. After German yielded a double to Verdugo, he was yanked with 93 pitches. With a day off Monday, rather than go to his $18 million dollar closer Chapman for six outs or his $13 million dollar setup man to escaped the inning, Boone opted for Loaisiga. As was the case with Green on Thursday, Boone clearly had no feel for the fact that Loaisiga clearly didn’t have it.
Loaisiga allowed a RBI double to Renfroe, an RBI double to Christian Vazquez and a single to Franchy Cordero. Right after that third consecutive hit, it should’ve been apparent he was off. A Hernandez double to left pulled the Red Sox within one and that was all for Loaisiga. With Britton finally on, a ground ball pitcher no less, with runners on second and third and Kevin Plawecki, Boone had his middle infielders playing halfway and a ground ball to Torres allowed Cordero to score. Boston took the lead on a sac-fly to right by Bogaerts, a ball that Aaron Judge probably throws out Hernandez but whoops, Judge is irresponsible so Allen was the one who had to be out there.
What a disaster!
At 51-47, the Yankees head to St. Petersburg, Fla. for a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays beginning Tuesday evening.
Pitching probables, Jordan Montgomery vs. Shane McClanahan, Nestor Cortes Jr. vs. Michael Wacha, Gerrit Cole vs. Luis Patino.