Tonight sucked. The Yankees lost 6-2 with their ace on the hill, making the best possible outcome of this weekend a four-game split. Gary Sánchez left the game with a back spasm. Rafael Devers hit two home runs to bring in five runs. And the game took almost four hours. It feels like I’ve written the same recap over and over again this year — the starter was fine but not great. The offense couldn’t come up with a big hit, or even a medium hit. The viewing experience left me tired and irritable. Rinse, repeat. Let’s just get into the recap.
Continuing with our theme of deja vu, the Yankees had all the makings of a good inning early in the game, and it still ended with a sour taste in your mouth. Gary Sánchez led off the second inning with a walk after going down 1-2, and Gleyber Torres followed him with a hard single. Brett Gardner actually came through, doubling into left center and putting the Yankees up 1-0.
And then Eduardo Rodriguez left the game with migraine symptoms, and in came Phillips Valdez, fresh off the taxi squad. Valdez actually loaded the bases with just one out, but managed to strike out the side despite hitting Ryan LaMarre, and the Yankees managed just one run.
Gerrit Cole wasn’t quite as good as we’ve seen the last two starts, and the Red Sox were far more pesky than last weekend. Cole’s first three innings saw him throw 22, 18 and 31 pitches, and while none of them were hit hard, 13 were fouled off, 7 of those coming with two strikes. He did hold off the Sox for a while, including in that third inning getting one of the filthiest strikeouts you’ll ever see:
Painting 101 ️ pic.twitter.com/C9OHmSB1Ea— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 24, 2021
That peskiness eventually came back to bite Cole in the end though, as he coughed up the lead in the fifth inning. A single off the wall and ground-rule double to the triangle in center put the Red Sox in business, and Xander Bogaerts tied the game with a sac fly. Rafael Devers then promptly un-tied it, launching a two run home run into the Fenway Seats.
Cole did finish the inning, giving him a final line of 5 IP, 6 H, 8:2 K:BB ratio. He wasn’t awful, and like I posted above, was disgusting from time to time. He was also eminently more touchable than in the past couple of starts...but pitchers are going to give up runs, especially against high powered offenses. Five innings with three runs allowed probably isn’t what you want in a perfect world, but it’s a team sport, and once again, the offensive side of the team couldn’t pick up the slack.
Devers ended up hitting another home run, this of the three run variety, but it didn’t matter. Eduardo Rodriguez recorded three outs, and left with nobody out and two men on in the second inning. After he was taken out, the Yankees managed to get a man past second base just once, as Giancarlo Stanton scored on a Rougned Odor “double” that Alex Verdugo misplayed terribly.
The trade deadline is a week from today. The Yankees sit nine games back of the Red Sox for the AL East title. They are four and a half games back of the Athletics for the second Wild Card slot.
Game three in this series is an afternoon affair, with Jameson Taillon starting and first pitch coming at 4:05pm Eastern.