This game did not have much to recommend it if you are a Yankees fan. Baseball is a difficult game, but it’s also deceptively simple. If you can’t hit, you won’t score. If you can’t score, you won’t win. While Clarke Schmidt was not at his best today, this one, like the game before it, ultimately boiled down to the Yankees’ offensive incompetence… and yes, I am ascribing multiple meanings to “offensive.”
I am officially sick of Stephen Vogt. Seriously. Do not want to see him again this season. As if last night was not enough, he decided to be a pain in the rear again today. At least this time it wasn’t a two-run homer? Instead it was a booming double in the bottom of the first off Clarke Schmidt to open the scoring. Not the start the Yankees were looking for after last night’s debacle.
And of course, the Athletics weren’t done there. Former Yankee farmhand Dermis Garcia laced a 2-2 pitch into right field and Vogt, running hard with two outs, scored early. 2-0 bad guys.
The Yankees looked, for a fleeting moment in time, like they would retaliate in the top of the second, after Josh Donaldson and Oswaldo Cabrera walked with two outs. Alas, Aaron Hicks did exactly what one could expect of a Yankee hitter in light of the last two days-plus and stranded the runners.
The juggernaut Athletics continued their onslaught in the third. After a lead off double by Nick Allen, Tony Kemp hit a single that barely eluded Cabrera at shortstop. A 3-0 lead at this point, with the offense playing the way it has since first pitch Friday, felt nigh insurmountable. Just in case it wasn’t, Garcia continued to punish his old club.
With two out in the inning and two runners on, he rapped a ground ball up the middle to score Oakland’s fourth run of the inning. Schmidt managed to slither out of the frame without any further damage, but this was definitely not what either he or the club wanted in a really important start, especially given the utter dormancy of the Yankees offense these past few games.
The baseball gods finally took some mercy in the top of the fifth, and of all people, Hicks was their initial instrument. With two outs in the frame, Hicks laced a single, New York’s first hit of the game, and their first baserunner in what felt like 84 years. Kyle Higashioka, after Hicks advanced to second on a wild pitch, then came through in the clutch and knocked in the run. A run. An honest-to-God run. Andrew Benintendi then teased a two-run dinger, but alas hit it just far enough to be caught at the wall. 4-1 Athletics.
Higgy drives in Hicks to put the Yanks on the board! pic.twitter.com/Ot0FlKi0Pd— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) August 28, 2022
The action continued in the sixth after back-to-back singles from Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo put runners on first and third with one out. But an awfully timed 4-4-3 double play off the bat of DJ LeMahieu put paid to the threat.
Greg Weissert made his second-ever MLB appearance in the sixth inning, and boy howdy was this one better than Thursday night. He didn’t hit a single batter, and what’s more, he didn’t allow any runs. Nice to see a solid bounce-back outing after he really struggled in his debut. His line on the day: two clean innings with three strikeouts. He won’t need Judge to come sit beside him in the dugout after this one.
I’m not sure what to say about this one, especially on the heels of the previous two games. Thank God for Aaron Judge’s three-run dinger on Friday. Without that, we might be talking about the Yankees losing three of four to Oakland. All those good vibes the club had coming into Oakland are pretty firmly out the window.
Alright. Off to Anaheim tomorrow night for a set with the Angels. Here’s hoping for better things. Frankie Montas takes the ball for New York against José Suarez. First pitch at 9:38 pm EDT.