BRONX, N.Y. — I’ll leave it to others on declarations pertaining to the New York Yankees being back or not. That said, it’s another series victory. There were plenty of twists and turns but for all the flaws and frustrations they certainly fought. It was also nice to cap it all off with a laugher for a change. Yes, the Kansas City Royals are a bad baseball team but when you’re middling like the Yankees have been this season, you take that series win and roll ahead.
Oh, what a stupid loss. The Yankees actually jumped out to an early lead for once but then got way too cute and it blew up in their faces. They wasted another quality outing by their ace and it was a total botch 6-5 defeat.
OH LUKE, A LEAD!
Luke Voit returned to the lineup at first base and for a change, the Yankees grabbed an early advantage. Voit homered to left off a first-pitch slider from Brady Singer in the first frame.
Gerrit Cole passed his TSA umpire pat-down and absolutely shoved for the pinstripes. He was essentially back in ace form and toiled for seven frames. In total, Cole yielded two runs on three hits and three walks, fanning six. A Whit Merrifield ground out in the third inning and a solo homer to right by Ryan O’Hearn off a 1-0 changeup in the fourth frame was the extent of the damage allowed by Cole.
Unfortunately, beyond the early solo salvos, the Yankee offense was not loose or pumped up for their ace.
NOT YOU GUYS AGAIN!
During the seventh, Voit helped the Yankee charge again. Facing Jake Brentz, Voit lined a one-out triple off the top of the wall in left. Then the craziness started. Manager Aaron Boone pinch-ran Tyler Wade for Voit at third base for some odd reason. Wade would scamper home on a Brentz wild pitch as New York regained the lead. Unfortunately, that was all the offense could muster because after a Giancarlo Stanton walk and Gio Urshela was hit by a pitch, Gleyber Torres struck out and Clint Frazier grounded out.
The lead was short-lived because in the eighth inning Jonathan Loaisiga imploded for the first time all season. A Merrifield single and ensuing Carlos Santana double gave the Royals runners in scoring position. After a Salvador Perez strikeout, O’Hearn tied the contest on an infield hit to second. Then the insertion of Wade proved costly, as he couldn’t throw out Santana at the dish on a ground ball from Jarrod Dyson. Following a Kelvin Gutierrez strikeout, KC tacked on two more runs courtesy of RBI singles from Hunter Dozier and Michael A. Taylor.
The Yankees would scratch back with pair in the home half, via at DJ LeMahieu tw0-run tater to right off a 2-2 Kyle Zimmer fastball.
Yet, the Voit pinch-running move continued to be the “gift that keeps on giving,” after a one-out double by Aaron Judge off Scott Barlow, Rougned Odor pinch-hit for Wade and popped out to first base. Stanton fared no better and grounded out to third to end the threat.
The ninth was no great shakes either, aside from one-legged Urshela recording a single off Greg Holland. Torres and Frazier struck out swinging and Brett Gardner popped out to third to end the game because that’s what he does now.
This game reminded me of the Saturday win against the Oakland A’s. It was a rollercoaster ride filled with frustration but ultimately exaltation at the end with a 6-5 walk-off victory.
ROYALS CROWN KING
The first frame again was a bugaboo for Michael King. He didn’t pitch too terribly otherwise and probably could’ve used an opener but in that first inning, yielded a two-run tater to right to O’Hearn on an 0-1 cutter.
DOUBLE OR NOTHIN’
Lately, I feel like Frazier either doubles strikes out. In the fourth inning, the Yankee right-fielder smashed a two-run double to right off Carlos Hernandez for the equalizer.
The Royals however would re-take the lead as Santana smoked a 1-0 sinker to center off Zack Britton in the eighth inning.
OH SURE, ODOR
He doesn’t get many hits but the ones he does all seem to be meaningful. In the home half, after Miguel Andujar banged into a double play and Frazier walked, Odor socked a game-tying two-run round-tripper off Brentz to center off a 1-1 fastball.
Ever since the Minnesota series, Aroldis Chapman has looked pedestrian. The southpaw closer struck out Dozier, issued a single to Taylor, fanned Hanser Alberto, and then allowed a single to Merrifield. For some odd reason, Boone had Chapman intentionally walk Santana to load the bases. Honestly, you have to have a feel for your guy in that spot. Chapman proceeded to issue a free pass to Sebastian Rivero on four consecutive pitches and he was big mad on the mound. A soft single to third by O’Hearn would give the Royals a 5-4 edge.
RUN IT BACK
The Yankees may not be back but Gary Sanchez sure looks like it. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Sanchez slammed a 1-2 fastball to left off Holland to tie the game.
Does anyone remember laughter? Well, that was a laugher and it was fun! It has been a New York minute since the Bronx Bombers teed of on an opponent from start to finish but that’s what we were witness to in an 8-1 matinee victory.
HANGIN’ ON THE PORCH
The pinstripes pulverized the porch this Thursday afternoon. Facing Brad Keller in the first frame, Judge flipped a 2-2 slider to the cheap seats for a 1-0 edge.
Jameson Taillon finally looked comfortable on the bump and provided the pinstripes 6.1 frames and six Ks. He scattered five hits, walked two, and allowed one run. The lone blemish was a Rivero RBI-double to left in the fifth frame. Otherwise, one hopes this is a confidence boost for the young righty and a move in a positive direction.
It’s not August and it’s not 2016 but Sanchez sure is hitting like it. During the sixth inning, El Gary clubbed a 1-2 fastball from ex-Yankee Anthony Swarzak into the leftfield stands for a three-run bomb.