One day the Yankees will win again. One day the Yankees will get a big hit with runners in scoring position again. These are things that are undeniably true. Today was not that day, though. The Yankees were sloppy and out-matched by Cleveland to bring their losing streak to three games. They have dropped four of their last five.
Sonny Gray lasted six innings in his Yankee debut, giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks to go with six strikeouts. The Yankee defense really let him down in the first inning when Chase Headley, Tyler Wade, and Clint Frazier all committed costly errors. Gray was getting ground balls that should have been easy outs when the defense crumbled.
After getting squeezed on a walk with two outs in the sixth, Gray allowed a bloop single and a hanging pitch resulted in a two-run double off the wall for Yan Gomes. It was the newest Yankee’s only real mistake of the night. His performance was better than his line will indicate, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.
Chasen Shreve came on in relief of Gray and served up a solo home run to Francisco Lindor, but pitched a scoreless eighth in his second inning of work. Ultimately, it didn’t matter. The Yankees couldn’t get much of anything going against a great pitcher, and it made the errors in the first inning all the more unacceptable.
As is to be expected when facing a pitcher of Corey Kluber’s caliber, the Yankee offense did not break out of their slump. Cleveland’s ace racked up 11 strikeouts of the Yankees’ B lineup. Gary Sanchez broke up Kluber’s shutout bid with a solo home run to briefly make it 4-1 Cleveland. It was the Yankee catcher’s 17th dinger of the season.
Kluber ended up pitching the complete game to further assert his dominance over New York’s lineup. The best news of tonight is that he cannot pitch tomorrow. There are much lesser pitchers to contend with for the rest of the series, but that hasn’t exactly helped the Yankees as of late. They may well live to regret not performing against lackluster starters if they don’t take care of business in the rest of the series. With the way they have been hitting it certainly isn’t a guarantee.