Sunday, June 18, 2017

Not Girardi's Fault, But a Loss Nonetheless

All major league teams are wearing special uniforms
with light blue caps and script (but not helmets)
in honor of Father's Day, to benefit cancer charities.

First, the good news: Yesterday, against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum, Joe Girardi did not cost the Yankees the game with stupid pitching moves. Masahiro Tanaka was not terrible. Domingo German pitched very well in relief. And Gary Sanchez was able to play, if only as a pinch-hitter.

Now, the bad news: Tanaka wasn't good, either, and the Yankee offense didn't give Girardi the chance to blow the game with stupid pitching moves.

Tanaka, yet again, gave up a 1st-inning home run, this time to Matt Joyce. The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 2nd on an Austin Romine single and a Brett Gardner sacrifice fly, but Tanaka gave up a home run to Ryon Healy to tie it back up. Healy hit another home run in the 4th, to set up a 3-run inning for the A's.

Girardi had seen enough. After 4 innings, 5 runs on 8 hits, but only 1 walk and 10 strikeouts -- control was not the issue for Tanaka, nor, apparently, was pain -- he took him out, and brought German in. German went 4 innings, allowing 4 hits and 3 walks, but struck out 6, and allowed no runs.

In other words, Yankee pitchers struck out 16 batters in 8 innings, but the Yankees still lost. These were all the Yankee baserunners: Walks by Chase Headley and Aaron Judge in the 1st (stranded); singles by Ronald Torreyes, Mason Williams and Romine in the 2nd (Romine stranded); Torreyes reaching on an error in the 4th (stranded); Gardner drawing a leadoff walk in the 5th (stranded -- those walks don't always "kill you"); a single by Starlin Castro in the 8th (stranded); and a single by Torreyes in the 9th (stranded).

A's 5, Yankees 2. WP: Jesse Hahn (3-4). SV: Sean Doolittle (2). LP: Tanaka (5-7).

That's 5 straight losses -- although this one can't be blamed on Girardi. Tanaka didn't have it, and we didn't back him up with enough runs.

And, you know what, let's give the A's some credit: They came into this series with the worst record in the American League, and have now beaten us 3 straight. Whatever we may have done to give them the games, they did what was necessary to take them.

The Boston Red Sox also lost last night, so the Yankees remain in 1st place in the AL East by a full game, 2 in the loss column. Whatever happens today, the Yankees will end their roadtrip in 1st.


Injury updates. As I said, Sanchez returned, so he's probably okay. Matt Holliday was suffering from allergies, so, pardon the pun, he was scratched. Girardi says he will be able to put Aaron Hicks back in the lineup today. Jacoby Ellsbury is recovering from a concussion, and, while not ready to rejoin the team, is taking batting practice again.

Aroldis Chapman has rejoined the team, and is expected to be activated from the Disabled List for today's game. That, plus Dellin Betances having had 2 days off, should mean that he will be available for the 8th inning and Chapman for the 9th, meaning that Luis Cessa, who will be making his 1st start of the season, will only have to go 7 innings to avoid a stupid bullpen decision by Girardi. Either that, or he'll go 6, and we'll have to endure Giradi's choice for the 7th. Please, not Tyler Clippard again...

On the other hand, CC Sabathia has, indeed, gone on the DL. So has Adam Warren, but he shouldn't be pitching for the Yankees anyway, because he stinks.

And Gleyber Torres, the greatest prospect in the history of baseball (to hear Brian Cashman's idiot apologists tell it), injured his arm playing for Triple-A Scranton last night.

We don't yet know how long he'll be out. (If he's smart, he'll keep saying he's not ready until Girardi is fired, then tell everyone he's fine. In soccer, that's known as "The Fabregas Maneuver."

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