A little over 50 games into the regular season, and the Yankees are still mostly sitting pretty in the AL East race. They may still be behind the Red Sox, but that’s down to both teams playing well more than the Yankees vastly under-performing or anything.
However, this post isn’t about the good or bad of what the Yankees have done recently. This is about the weird things that have happened in May,
In six of seven games in this stretch, one against Houston, two against Cleveland, three against Boston, the Yankees played some of the wildest late inning games that they will all season. There were two walks off, three other late inning comebacks, and another where they came back late, only to give the lead right back. Usually a team has several walk offs and other comeback wins over the course of the season. However, to bunch them all together like that is not exactly a regular occurrence.
Between the day before and the earlier innings of that day, the Yankees had used a lot of their bullpen as the game headed towards extra innings on May 12th. To start the 10th inning, the Yankees were basically left having to use AJ Cole.
Cole had earlier thrown two scoreless innings in garbage time of a blowout win over the Angels. Other than that, his season consisted of a 13.06 ERA in 10.1 innings with the Nationals before getting DFAed.
In his second appearance with the Yankees, he walked the first two Athletics hitters he faced, and it looked like the game wouldn’t last long after that. Somehow, he got out of the inning with the game still tied. He came back for the 11th and threw a 1-2-3 inning, which allowed the Yankees to win in the bottom of the inning. He struck out four, and out of nowhere was one of the Yankees’ heroes of the day.
Rain outs aren’t especially weird. Basically having an entire series rained out is. The Yankees swung through Washington DC for a two-game series against the Nationals. They played five innings. There was even a built in off-day between this series and their next in Kansas City. They still couldn’t even complete a full game. Tyler Austin’s home run and 3 RBI in that game are basically in suspended animation right now, as the interrupted game is due to be resumed in June.
Blowing a four-run lead is not anything particularly crazy. Teams who go up four some point in a game will inevitably have a good record, but it’s not an unassailable lead. The Yankees had a four-run lead lost it, went on to take a five-run lead, and still somehow lost on May 23rd. Scoring 10 runs in a game and still losing is bad enough, blowing two pretty big leads is extremely unexpected, even if you are low on the Yankees’ pitching.
Mike Trout is obviously extremely good. Even then, the way baseball works is that even he gets out more than half the time. That is not what happened on May 26th. Trout got five at bats that day and recorded five hits. One was a single, three of them were doubles, and he even hit a home run to cap things off. There was nothing Sonny Gray, Tommy Kahnle, or Chasen Shreve could do about it.
Going 5-5 isn’t any record or anything. Plenty of people in the past have done it. It’s still not something that happens every day, and boy did Trout do it to them that day.
That moment somehow manages to overshadow that the Yankees made five errors in a game and still won.