Today’s doubleheader proved nothing short of a disaster. In the first game, the pitching looked good while the offense went dormant. The second installment, well, everything went bad until the ninth inning. The Indians overmatched the Yankees in every fashion, finishing the sweep by a score of 9 - 4.
It was a nightmare start for Jordan Montgomery, who allowed four runs in the first inning. What’s worse than that? It took him 43 pitches to escape the jam. He gave up five hits and issued two walks. The Indians actually batted around on him. Caleb Smith began to warm up as the frame spiraled out of control. It was that bad.
Montgomery struggled notably with command. He left far too many pitches over the middle of the plate — right in the danger zone.
All told, he surrendered four runs over four innings. He struck out five and walked three. The Yankees needed Montgomery to give them length and keep the game close. He did neither today.
Chasen Shreve took over for Montgomery, and he did his part to put this game out of reach. He quickly gave up a solo home run to Edwin Encarnacion leading off the fifth inning. With two gone and a runner on in the sixth, Shreve gave up a fly ball to Austin Jackson for what should have been the final out. Instead, Aaron Hicks got completely turned around on that play. Erik Gonzalez scored and Cleveland took a 6 - 1 lead.
That wasn’t all though. Yan Gomes took Smith deep for a two-run shot in the seventh inning. Francisco Lindor added a solo home run in the eight. That officially made this one a laugher. Any realistic hopes at a comeback were dashed when the score ran up to 9 - 1. This one was a blowout, a real shot to the run differential.
As for the Bombers, they had no answer for Ryan Merritt. They got on the board in the second inning, but one run was all they could muster against the Indians left-hander. Three singles off the bats of Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Greg Bird combined to score the run.
For a while it looked like the Yankees would be held to just one. Then they teased us in the bottom of the ninth. Todd Frazier worked a walk as the pinch hitter before Hicks picked up his fourth hit of the game. Bird then crushed one to right field, launching a three-run shot. That cut the lead to five, but would ultimately be all the offense the Yankees could muster. A pair of popups off the bats of Ronald Torreyes and Austin Romine ended the game.
If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty of the game, here’s the box score. This visualization captures it all though.
Tomorrow the Red Sox come to town for a four-game series. CC Sabathia will square off against Eduardo Rodriguez. Let’s hope the Yankees got all of the losing out of their system.