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Yankees 2, Athletics 3: Get a hit, doofuses

Offensive ineptitude rears its head as the Yankees get just one hit in Saturday’s loss.

MLB: New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Add this to the pile of “potential dumbest games of the year”.

The Yankees did absolutely nothing offensively, off maybe the single worst starting pitcher in baseball. They scored two runs in 11 innings, and those two runs came on a wild pitch in extra innings. One fly ball leaving the park, or maybe a couple baserunners not being picked off like doofuses, and this recap would look very different. Alas, we do not live in that universe, and the Yankees lost 3-2.

Domingo Germán was outstanding today, and it’s easy to say “oh it’s just the A’s”, but pitching a shutout into the eighth inning counts. It’s maybe time to start interrogating who we think Germán is and what he’s going to do as a Yankee starter — I’m still not super in love with his style or arsenal, but there are a lot of 4/5s around baseball that are a whole lot worse than what Domingo’s done over the last month or so.

One of the big changes he’s made has been to work the curveball in the zone a lot more, rather than restrict it to the shadow or as a waste pitch. He threw eight in what we would classify the “heart” of the zone today, getting three whiffs and two balls in play, one an easy groundout off the bat of Chad Pinder.

Coming into play today, Adam Oller had the third-worst ERA and xERA, worst FIP and worst K-BB% of any pitcher with at least 60 innings pitched. He had allowed 13 home runs. And he threw eight innings of one-hit shutout ball against the New York Yankees tonight. I have no idea how he did it, because his command of a very mediocre fastball was shockingly awful:

There’s about 12 pitches here that should have ended up 400 feet from home plate, but they didn’t. He walked Aaron Judge in the second plate appearance of the game, but picked Judge off between first and second. Oswaldo Cabrera led off the sixth with a booming double, and then HE was picked off between second and third.

Overall, the team pushed across just a single hit in the entire damn game, leaving Germán and Jonathan Loáisiga with little to show for their excellent work on the mound. The A’s were equally as offensively inept as the Yankees, so off to extras we went, tied 0-0.

The extra frame was perhaps more of a parody of baseball than the preceding nine innings. One of the interesting things about the Manfred Man rule has been that visiting teams don’t really bunt that much, because they’ve recognized that you have to play for multiple runs. Well, Andrew Benintendi disagreed, and tried to bunt runner Kyle Higashioka over, who was thrown out at second.

Aaron Judge struck out, and the Athletics opted to intentionally walk Josh Donaldson to get AJ Puk the lefty-lefty matchup with Anthony Rizzo. Well, Puk hit Rizzo to load the bases, and then after two near-wild pitches that Sean Murphy had to be a hero to come up with, the third time was a charm twice over:

In the bottom half, Ron Marinaccio, who struggled with location all day, gave up a two-run home run to pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt, and the game was retied. Once again, the Yankees did absolutely nothing in their turn to hit, giving the A’s a chance with two men on in the bottom half:

Sweeping a four-game series on the road is always a tough ask, and the Yankees can take three of four with a win tomorrow and I won’t worry too much about tonight. Clarke Schmidt gets the ball as he returns to the rotation, and first pitch comes at 4:07pm Eastern.

Box Score