BRONX, N.Y. — It was yet another apathetic showing by the New York Yankees in their two-game series split with the Atlanta Braves. Even the victory was gifted to them. The Braves were hardly looking like world-beaters either but still displayed more fight than these pinstripes. At 6-11, the Yankees are off to their worst start to a season since 1991. Maybe they wanted to show solidarity with Atlanta by boycotting the baseball season?
Pitching and defense (Gleyber Torres even looked smooth out there at shortstop), along with some patience, helped the Yankees take the first game from the Braves, 3-1.
Jameson Taillon was working that high heat to his advantage, Tuesday evening at the Stadium. Taillon recorded five K’s across five frames. Four of those came up in the zone. He certainly had it cooking against a solid Braves lineup, even without Ronald Acuña Jr. The only real blemish was when Guillermo Heredia and Ehire Adrianza traded places for consecutive doubles and a 1-0 Atlanta lead in the third inning.
While one would’ve loved to have seen him push it a sixth inning, rolling with 80 pitches but it is what it is. At least this outing showcased what he is capable of providing once Taillon is finally built up again.
I believe Gio Urshela is the one player in the lineup who has yet to feel the wrath of Yankee fans in this young season. How could one ever stay mad at Gio? After all, he’s the happy fella!
During the fifth frame, he certainly made New York fans happy. Urshela smoked a first-pitch fastball off Charlie Morton to dead center for the equalizer.
BEST RALLY SINCE WADE BOGGS WALKED AGAINST STEVE AVERY
I mean, I’ll take it, I guess. In the eighth inning, pinch-hitting for Mike Tauchman, Aaron Hicks coaxed a walk. DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge followed with consecutive singles to load the bases. Pinch-hitting for Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, facing Nate Jones, watched as Jones uncorked a wild pitch and the Yankees took a 2-1 lead.
Frazier however would pop out to second base. After Jones intentionally walked Giancarlo Stanton, Torres flew out to left. The ensuing batter Mike Ford and his mustache were able to draw a free pass and make it 3-1.
Exactly how you’d draw it up.
ROLDY BRINGS THE HEAT
Despite not being used much this season, Aroldis Chapman has remained on point. The Yankee closer has struck out 13 of 19 batters and has recorded at least two K’s in his past 14 regular-season outings. Chapman fanned Johan Camargo and Dansby Swanson for two outs in the ninth inning. After issuing a walk to Austin Riley, Chapman got Heredia on a foul pop out and a nice grab by Ford to seal the deal.
Somehow the Yankees actually out-hit the Braves (5-4) but it was yet another abysmal showing in a 4-1 loss. Too many walks. Shoddy defense not being able to catch pop-ups or turn two. Not busting it out of the box. Fans chanting “fire Boone!” It’s pretty much unwatchable.
While Taillon’s five frames felt fierce, Corey Kluber’s featured a fade that 1991 could appreciate. More accurately it wasn’t a “five and fly” but rather a 4.2 and walk. Kluber appeared to have some decent movement in the early going but gosh did the wheels come off.
He walked four on the night and issued three of those in the fifth frame. Pablo Sandoval started the inning with a single to right. Swanson struck out. Kluber then issued consecutive free passes to Riley and Heredia. Adrianza plated the first run with a sac fly to center. A walk to Freddie Freeman was the final straw.
Although Kluber may have been contagious because Nick Nelson (really, he was your first choice with the bases loaded?) walked Marcell Ozuna on four straight pitches to plate Atlanta’s second run.
POOR LUIS CESSA
Recently engaged Luis Cessa looked sharp and was breaking bats in the seventh. Not engaged was Cessa’s defense behind him. Riley blooped a hit over the head of Ford into short right. Heredia reached on a fielder’s choice and error by LeMahieu, as the Yankees couldn’t get one out, let alone a double play. Following an Adrianza sac bunt and an intentional walk to Freeman, the Yankees could only record one out as Ozuna beat out a potential double-play ball and another run scored.
In the ninth inning, Rougned Odor couldn’t turn a double-play on Ozuna either. It’s really baffling.
GLEYBER NOT A GOOD LOOK
Earlier in the game, Urshela limped down to first but later left the game with a tight back. During the seventh inning, Torres was not exactly booking it on a check swing ground out. Yes, Derek Jeter was Derek Jeter for a reason but even with a busted ankle on a mediocre team at age 40 in 2014, he would always bust it down the line.
Aaron Boone said he will talk to Gleyber Torres about his lack of hustle on this check swing. "That's got to be better," the manager said. https://t.co/43IjHfEvho
Ian Anderson pitched well for the Braves but his former high school teammate Kevin Huerter, in town with the Atlanta Hawks and playing against the New York Knicks at MSG, probably could’ve no-hit this lackluster lineup too. New York left nine on base. Gross.
At 6-11, the Yankees travel to Cleveland to take on the Cleveland whatever they’re calling them these days, for a four-game series starting Thursday evening.
Pitching probables, Domingo German vs. Aaron Civale, Jordan Montgomery vs. Logan Allen, Gerrit Cole vs. Shane Bieber, TBD vs. Triston McKenzie