That game sucked. The Yankees lost their third straight, marking the second losing streak of at least three games in the last eight days. Although Jameson Taillon had a bad first inning, he rebounded well for the rest of the afternoon, but the offense was just putrid. Your final: 8-0, Blue Jays.
It looked like this one might be over early, as Marcus Semien and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning off Taillon. He hung two bad pitches to two great hitters, and you would be forgiven for rolling your eyes and figuring the game was already decided.
Instead, Taillon didn’t give up another hit until the seventh, before a walk, stolen base and single put the Jays up 3-0. Overall, I thought Taillon had a perfectly fine start — a welcome sign after an awful August. His fastball and slider were particularly strong today, the latter notching a 35-percent CSW (called strike + whiff rate) and keeping hitters off balance. He did leave a couple over the plate, one of which Semien put in the seats, but his overall location worked for me:
That cluster of five sliders on the glove-side bottom corner is especially key — if Jamo can consistently put that pitch there going forward, it opens up so much more of the strike zone inside since hitters have to watch that far corner.
Taillon was stung by three errors, two by Gio Urshela, one by Gleyber Torres, but managed to hold the team in the game; they simply refused to hit for him. It wasn’t all bad defense, though, with Brett Gardner providing one of the lone highlights of the afternoon:
With the bullpen gassed from the past few days, Brooks Kriske pitched the ninth, and he responded by putting up a truly impressive level of complete incompetence. Centuries ago, bards and heralds would have proclaimed how terrible he was across the land. This is — and I am not joking — the actual pitching line of a guy asked to throw the ninth inning in a three-run baseball game: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 HR, 5 ER.
That Kriske managed to do all that while facing 9 hitters on just 27 pitches actually adds to how incredible an outing he had. It was just remarkably atrocious.
I suppose we do have to talk about the offense, eh?
It starts with the heart of the lineup, to be sure:
After carrying the team in August with a combined 1.075 OPS, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have cooled off in a hurry, while Joey Gallo merely ... exists, occupying a spot in the lineup without presenting much of a challenge. Baseball is a game of streaks, Judge and Stanton were always going to cool off, but it’s stunning just how often the entire team can go cold.
The Yankees didn’t get a hit off Hyun Jin Ryu until the third, a Gardner single that was immediately followed by two groundouts to short. Now Gardy did advance to second on one of those groundouts, but that was the only time a Yankee touched second base in the whole ballgame. They never had more than one man on base at a time, even when Toronto turned to its suspect bullpen. Gallo struck out four times, the team hit into two more double plays (now up to 126 on the season), and nobody walked. Just a terrible, boring, offensive showing.
The best thing to be said about this game is it only took two 2 hours and 45 minutes to get through. It ended well before 4pm ET, giving us all time to enjoy the rest of the holiday afternoon and find some way to wash the taste of the game out of our mouths.
For the second outing in a row, ace Gerrit Cole will be tasked with stopping a losing streak in its tracks. He’ll look to right the ship tomorrow night against Steven Matz, with first pitch coming at 7:05pm Eastern.