I am not sure this team is “hard to watch”... we’ve had a no-hitter, three triple plays, some of the best Statcast data you’ll ever see, and even tonight, Aaron Judge engineered a nice deke-and-catch for a double play. This team is, however, monotonous, where every game (and every recap) feels the same. The Yankees fell behind early, pulled even, showed some life, and then the offense completely disappeared once again as they dropped the series opener to the Angels, 5-3.
I was fine with Michael King. I do think the Yankees need to explore using an opener if they’re going to keep giving him starts, given his 10 earned runs in 6 first innings this season. He does seem to struggle against the top of the order, which isn’t surprising. He’s a perfectly serviceable pitcher, but good hitters, the type that hit 1-2-3 in major league orders, are going to hit “serviceable pitchers” well, and that continued tonight.
Shohei Ohtani took King long and gone to right field in the first inning, and Jared Walsh doubled in Anthony Rendon after a walk to put the Angels up 2-0 before the Yankees even took a swing. Now, fallacy of the predetermined outcome yadda yadda, but you have to wonder if Chad Green or a similar pitcher started that first inning, a guy that’s just a little better than King, is the first inning different, and what cascading effect does it have on the rest of the game?
Again, assumptions, you and me, but Chad Green did end up facing Ohtani in the sixth inning, with David Fletcher on second and two out. Ohtani was looking to put the game on ice, and Green went right after him, freezing him with a well-located fastball:
Dylan Bundy didn’t get out of the second inning, and most of the time that would be a good thing. Unfortunately he seemed to have a bad reaction to the heat, throwing up multiple times behind the mound and being removed. I’m not going to link video because gross, but suffice to say that heat exhaustion/heat stroke are nothing to joke about, and I hope Bundy’s feeling better.
He did pitch terribly.
The first two Yankee batters reached on a walk and loud double, before Gary Sanchez brought in DJ LeMahieu with an RBI groundout. Gio Urshela than took him deep in the second to tie the game at two:
Tie game!@Yankees | #MLBNShowcase | @Urshela10 pic.twitter.com/Ap9F7V520n— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) June 28, 2021
23-year old José Suárez took over for Bundy after the sickness, and for the most part, completely dominated the lineup. Giancarlo Stanton added a solo shot of his own:
Giancarlo Stanton - New York Yankees (14) pic.twitter.com/eXYnZ6OFCS— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) June 29, 2021
But that was really it. The Yankees managed just three baserunners against Suárez, who, yeah, had decent stuff, but it’s become quite tiring watching this team continually fail to produce against pitchers who “yeah, had decent stuff.” The Angels are a great-hitting team who cannot pitch. They could pitch tonight against the Yankees.
The last six outs of the game went in order, with the final four all going down swinging. This was a winnable game with one big inning, and the Yankees couldn’t manage it. Once again, the Yankees will try and bounce back tomorrow, this time with Jameson Taillon on the hill with a 7:05pm Eastern start.