The Yankees lost this game in the first inning. However, baseball being the way that it is, we as fans had to sit through another eight frames of what was by all accounts a dead game, as the Twins put up a nine-run spot in the first.
Ultimately, little to no action happened from the second inning on, with the final score of 11-2 in favor of the road team. This was just one of those nights. Whenever the opposing pitcher enters the game with a lead approaching double digits, well, you have a big problem.
The big storyline in the first inning of this game was the two extremes of the rookie experience in the majors.
Second baseman, Edouard Julien, was the leadoff hitter for Minnesota in tonight’s game, looking for his first hit in only his second appearance in the big leagues. Jhony Brito took the mound for his third start after a couple of wins to start his big league career.
Before the inning was over, Julien would be flying high, accomplishing a feat only done seven times over the last 49 years, as he managed to get each of his first two hits in the big leagues in the same inning, leading off the game with a single, and then coming back to bat and hitting an opposite-field home run.
As much as you can tell yourself not to put too much stock in small samples, Brito had to be feeling really good about himself, boasting a sub-1.00 WHIP over his first two games, earning the win in each of them, against capable offenses in the Giants and Orioles. But this game will humble you very quickly, and tonight, Brito quite simply never had anything going, allowing each of the first three hitters to reach base, and after getting a sac fly, surrendering back-to-back doubles to Donovan Solano and José Miranda,
A groundout and double later, the Twins repeated a feat they accomplished against Gerrit Cole last season in Minnesota, hitting three straight bombs off Yankee pitching, with Michael A. Taylor, Julien, and Carlos Correa, all going deep, the latter two off Colton Brewer, who certainly didn’t make things any better as those were his two first batters faced relieving Brito.
With relievers having to cover 25 of 27 outs tonight, Boone certainly needed some length from a couple of players, and although Brewer had an awful start to his night, giving up two bombs, he and Ian Hamilton managed to both provide length, covering 19 out of those 25 outs. Hamilton is a name to watch, as he’s now struck out 15 batters in fewer than 10 innings this season.
All the offense for the Yankees tonight came from the bat of Anthony Rizzo, with a couple of solo shots in the third and ninth inning, at which point the ball club already trailed by 11 runs. As far as impacting the game, those solo shots simply didn’t, but it’s nice to see Rizzo possibly getting hot.
Meanwhile, we’re set to see fewer position players pitching with the new restrictions, but down by 10 in the ninth, Boone was allowed to use someone in that role, and who other than Isiah Kiner-Falefa, to sit down the Twins in order. Add emergency pitcher, to the long list of positions the former Twin can cover.
Hopefully tomorrow is kinder to the Yankees. They’ll send Nestor Cortes to the mound to square off with Tyler Mahle.