Speaking in strictly winning percentage terms, July was the worst month for the Yankees so far. August is currently worse, but there’s still a while to go. Let’s ignore all the good and bad that happened in July. Instead, it’s time to look at the weird stuff that happened.
July 1st-July 4th
It took Kyle Higashioka over 20 at-bats to record his first major league hit. He finally got it with a home run off David Price on July 1st. His second and third hits also came on home runs against the Braves. With that, he became just the second Yankee ever to get his first three career hits via the home run ball. The first? Alfonso Soriano. Higashioka has since collected hits of the non homer-variety, so he sadly won’t go down as a Matt Christopher character.
With the Yankees already up 2-0 in the first, Brandon Drury hit a two-run double against the Blue Jays. It came off Toronto starter J.A. Happ. A few weeks later, the two were traded for each other.
The Yankees held a lead for most of the game on July 14th, but coughed up a two-run advantage in the bottom of the sixth. With the score tied, Austin Romine led off the seventh, and this happened:
It’s sad that things have gone a bit downhill since, because a little league home run turning the AL East race around would have been truly wonderful.
In the bottom of the eighth, Romine grounded out with the bases loaded. The grounder was enough to get a run home, though. That gave the Yankees a 7-3 lead going into the top of the ninth. As it turns out, that was one of the most important ground outs of the season.
Aroldis Chapman allowed the first five Mets hitters to reach in the ninth. He gave the Mets runs via a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He then got a double play, but that scored another run and made the score 7-6. The tying run was at third, but Chapman got Wilmer Flores to ground out to end the game. As it turned out, the two most important plays of the game ended up being groundouts.
It hasn’t exactly been common in his career that Luis Cessa has carried the team to near victory only to be let down by everyone else. He gave the Yankees five scoreless innings, however, before allowing two in the sixth. Normally, that would be a more than acceptable outing from Cessa, but the Yankees got shut down by the Rays on one of their bullpen days.
Oh, and Sergio Romo played an out at third base, because sure.
The Yankees had a fairly comfortable five-run lead going into the ninth inning when the Royals led off their last shot with a single. Chasen Shreve got a couple outs, but then also allowed a couple singles. Alex Gordon attempted to score on the second of those, and whoops!
I know we said we weren’t focusing on the good or bad, and this game was unmistakably bad. It was also pretty weird, though. Luis Severino has been struggling of late, but that shouldn’t equate to allowing six runs in 4.1 innings to the Royals. He allowed two double to Rosell Herrera, who is currently sporting a .676 OPS.
Are there other funny or weird moments from July that are off the list? Feel free to add yours!