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Pitching falters in Texas, Yankees fall to Rangers 9-4

The Yankees walked more hitters tonight than any other game this season.

MLB: New York Yankees at Texas Rangers Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports

It was another blowout in Arlington except the Yankees were on the wrong end of it tonight. The bats were mostly quiet. The pitching was all over the place, and in general, very little about this game stood out as positive. Still, I’m tasked with recapping this one, so let’s get it going.

It didn’t take the Yankees long to put their first and only run of the game on the board. After working a full count, Aaron Judge knocked a ball that looked destined to travel out of the ballpark. I’m not sure if it was the camera angle, or the wind in Texas knocked the ball down a bit. Maybe it was a bit of both. Regardless, the ball looked like it was way gone, but it wasn’t. Instead, it ricocheted off the left-center wall. Judge made it to third with a triple, and Brett Gardner plated him with a sacrifice fly into right field during the following at-bat.

For as brilliant as Luis Severino looked against the Blue Jays last week, he was pretty terrible in the first inning against the Rangers on Saturday night. He started things off with a five-pitch walk to Shin-Soo Choo, and allowed Choo to move up to second after he made an errant pick off throw to first. After recording two outs, he walked Danny Santana on six pitches, then gave up a two-run double to Rougned Odor on another six-pitch, full count at-bat.

Severino issued a third walk before the Yankees could make the third out, but it didn’t lead to any more runs. Overall, it was a brutal first inning from Severino.

Thankfully, Severino had himself a bounceback inning in the second. It took him just 15 pitches to record three outs, and Sevy struck out the side. All three strikeouts were of the swinging variety -- two from his slider and one from his changeup.

His third inning was somewhere in-between his first two -- definitely not lights out but not terrible either. He allowed a walk and a steal -- the Rangers’ fifth of the night -- and didn’t strike anyone out.

After 72 pitches and three innings, Severino’s night was over. The Yankees originally planned to get Sevy up to 90 pitches tonight, but things likely changed due to a 33-pitch first inning. This outing against the Rangers probably wasn’t how Severino wanted to leave things heading into the playoffs, but he has missed nearly the entire year. Coming off a long term injury isn’t always smooth sailing.

David Hale came on in relief in the fourth inning, and the Rangers extended their lead off the just-activated righty. Texas started the inning with a double, walk, then another double, which plated their third run of the night. After 23 pitches, Hale recorded his first and only out of the game, and Tyler Lyons came on to hold the Rangers in place at three runs.

The Yankees’ pitching never could really keep the Rangers off the bases. In 1.1 innings of work Luis Cessa walked four and hit one and even walked in the Rangers’ fourth run of the night in the sixth inning.

The sixth inning didn’t end with Cessa walking one in either. After loading the bases, the Yankees pulled Cessa for Nestor Cortes Jr. who promptly gave up a grand slam to Rougned Odor, giving the Rangers an 8-1 lead.

Following the grand slam, the game was essentially out of reach for the mostly quiet Yankee bats. For the first six innings, the Yankees only mustered four hits and just the one run. Didi Gregorius added a three-run double in the ninth, but it was too little too late. The game ended just one pitch later.

It was an all-around rough night for the team but especially for Luke Voit. His struggles continued into Saturday night. He now has just one hit in his last 33 at-bats and got plunked in his last plate appearance of the night. Given the struggles, might the Yankees decide to give first base duties to Mike Ford moving forward in the ALDS? There might be whispers indicating something to that effect.

Regardless of what the Yankees may do for the ALDS, they still have one more game to play, which will take place tomorrow afternoon in what will be the final game ever played at Globe Life Park in Arlington. First pitch is set for 3:05 PM EST.

Box score