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Yankees Highlights: J.A. Happ comes up big but offense flounders

The Yankees got a big start from their veteran left-hander, but he was hung out to dry by a flailing offense.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, Brian Cashman gave his team a vote of confidence. The general manager knows the Yankees are too good to keep performing the way they have, and he’s right. It would just be nice if the team actually proved as much one of these days.

The Yankees didn’t implode as they did yesterday, and there were no grand slams or ten-run innings. Instead, they found a way to lose a more straightforward affair, one in which they fell by the score of 2-1 to the Blue Jays. They’ve lost 15 of 20, and are now 21-21 for 2020.

Winner of the Game

Don’t look now, but J.A. Happ might be the Yankees’ most consistent starter at the moment. The left-hander turned in an impressive start, gutting through 6.1 innings and giving the team some needed length a night after the bullpen got waxed. Happ’s only mistake was an awful middle-middle fastball that Jonathan Davis lined out for a two-run homer in the second. He was excellent otherwise, allowing just four hits and doubling his season high with ten strikeouts.

On the hitting side of things, well, kudos to Miguel Andújar on another multi-hit day.

Loser of the Game

Overall this season, the Yankees have done very well with runners in scoring position. Entering tonight, the team owned an .833 OPS with RISP, far better than the league average, and better than their own average OPS in all situations. Same goes for their performance with runners on base. Yet for what feels like the umpteenth time in the past week or two, the Yankees’ bats utterly disappeared in key situations tonight.

They did a good job working walks against Toronto starter Taijuan Walker, patiently waiting as the right-hander struggled to find the strike zone, but they never punished Walker for his largesse. The Yankees stranded multiple runners on base in four of the first five innings, repeatedly failing to come up with any sort of big hit. It’s a frustrating way to lose baseball games.

Also, Gary Sánchez’s season unfortunately found a new low to sink to, as the catcher botched a foul popup in the sixth. The miscue serves as a fine microcosm of the Yankees’ past month:

Chart

FanGraphs