When a team has a four-run lead, you can usually expect them to win it. Not always obviously, but teams in that spot are bound to win more often than not.
When a team has a five-run lead after five innings, they usually should win from that scenario as well.
The Yankees had both in this game, and somehow didn’t hang on to either lead. Neither CC Sabathia, nor really anyone from the bullpen could consistently get outs without running into trouble, which led to the Yankees blowing two sizable leads. It turned what should have been a win, into a 12-10 loss, and the first lost series in a long time.
Things started well, as the Yankees got on the board pretty quickly in the top of the first. After Aaron Judge reached on an error, Didi Gregorius hit his first home run in quite a while. His shot gave the Yankees an early lead, and hopefully went towards helping him break his slump.
That wasn’t the end of the scoring in the first, either. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks both reached on singles, followed by Neil Walker flying out. Miguel Andujar kept the inning alive with another single, before Doug Fister issued a bases loaded walk to Austin Romine, bringing home a third run. Two innings later, they added a fourth run on a home run from Walker.
Sabathia’s first three innings went about as well as you could have hoped, as he didn’t allow a hit. That changed in a hurry in the fourth. First, he allowed a two-run home run to Nomar Mazara, which came after a Shin-Soo Choo single. Sabathia then issued a walk, but then got a second out and was on the verge of ending the inning there. However, then came another walk, and a Ronald Guzman home run. In the course of a couple batters, the Yankees went from having a four-run lead to being behind.
However because the Yankees’ offense is the Yankees’ offense, they did answer right back in the fifth. Hicks flew out to start the inning, but Walker then picked up another hit with a single. Andujar added a double down the line, moving Walker to third. Romine kept things moving with a single, but Gleyber Torres then put the icing on the inning, launching another home run. It was his fourth of the series, and the Yankees were now up three.
They even added more from there. Gardner reached on a double and was brought home when Judge absolutely launched a home run. It was measured at 471 feet, and, well, have a look for yourself.
A balmy night in Arlington = Perfect conditions for a Judg-ian blast!@TheJudge44 launches the longest @Yankees HR of 2018 -- and 6th-longest in @MLB this season -- with a 471-foot tater. pic.twitter.com/be8LAQNczi— #Statcast (@statcast) May 24, 2018
The Yankees had some breathing room again, but that also wouldn’t last.
Sabathia came back out, and got a fly out to start the bottom of the fifth. Choo then singled, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa tripled with some slight help on a Judge misplay. Mazara added a infield single, after Sabathia deflected a ball up the middle and gave the infield no play at first. Both of those hits scored a run and knocked Sabathia out of the game. He finished with a line of 4.1 innings allowing seven runs on six hits and three walks. Jonathan Holder allowed a hit when he first came in, but got out of the inning without any further damage.
There would be further damage in the sixth inning, however. Chasen Shreve started the inning, got one out bookended by singles, and was then removed. David Robertson came in and immediately walked Choo to load the bases. After Robertson walked another to plate a run, he struck out Mazara to get within an out of getting out of the inning. Instead of getting out of the inning, Robertson gave up a bases-clearing double to Jurickson Profar. Just like that, a pretty-sizable lead was gone again.
The Yankees did get a solid seventh inning out of Dellin Betances, and he would come back out for the eighth. He got a strike out to lead off the inning, but Romine couldn’t get in front of the third strike, and Delino DeShields reached. After a errant pickoff throw and a stolen base, the runner eventually scored on a single.
The insurance run the Rangers got wouldn’t matter anyway, as the Yankees were held scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings. This loss is probably the dumbest on the season so far.