Mother Nature took pity on the Yankees on Friday night. They lost a game of six and a half innings in the rain which featured nine innings of a stench. The White Sox have won the opening game 9 to 6. I know there are 149 games left this season, but between injuries and several healthy guys who look awful, we have the impression that the 2019 Yankees are waiting earlier than expected.
Two in the first, two in the second
It's easy to forget that the Yankees had a very good offensive series in Houston. Three points in six innings against Justin Verlander and three points in seven innings against Gerrit Cole? I'll take it. Then, the Yankees scored six points in the final of the series. Given all the injuries, the offense is well held recently. The pitching is more to blame for these losses in Houston.
The exhausted training continued to make noise on Friday night and they got help. The Yankees loaded the bases of the first run on one mistake and two walks. It was a difficult pitching error for Tim Anderson – the ball was probably wet and Jose Abreu had a chance to scoop early – but the rides were good. Luke Voit went from 0-2 to a walk and Gleyber Torres went from 1-2 to a walk. Lucas Giolito can be (very) wild and the Yankees let him work himself.
Greg Bird swung a 95-mph fastball on the plate to score the second goal. I know that hitting a fastball of 95 mph is not easy, but hey, it would be nice to see Bird catch up with his speed at some point. decade – but DJ LeMahieu has taken it back with a tie to two, two shots, two innings to right. This included the weird baserunning daily. The video:
LeMahieu's singles turned a 1-0 early deficit into a 2-1 quick lead, and the Yankees added two more points in the second run to get a 4-1 lead. The round started with a march by Clint Frazier. It was Giolito's third walk to the first seven batters. Gio Urshela followed with a double in the center-right field gap and, right away, I thought it was a small single flare. Even the championships seem surprised that it has been so important.
The Urshela have doubled the riders in second and third place, without outs. Austin Romine cashed a run with a single in the center – Romine had a series of defeats while Gary Sanchez is put out, that's the swell – and Aaron Judge scored another run with a sacrificial volley on the left. It was more like a sacrifice line reader. The judge hit right on the screws (111.9 mph) to Eloy Jimenez in the left field. Two points in the first, two points in the second and a lead of 4-1.
J.A. Means just horrible
Three starts in the new season, J.A. Happ allowed 12 races and put 24 runners in 12.1 innings. He made only 25 shots after the fourth inning and has two 1-2-3 runs this year, both on his first start two weeks ago. His opponents at his three starts? The Orioles (twice) and White Sox. I'm not looking forward to Happ against a good attack. (Watch him now run seven scoreless innings against the Red Sox on Wednesday).
The Yankees were down before even having the chance to play Friday night. Leury Garcia scored the first goal of the match against Brett Gardner for a brace. Yonder Alonso then brought him home with a single to two. In the fourth, Happ beat James McCann, No. 7, in career (76 wRC +) and No. 9, Adam Engel (in career, 55 wRC +), then conceded a doubled to two in the corner to Garcia ( career, 69 wRC +). Cool.
The lead officially disappeared in the fifth inning. Abreu dipped a single in the center and Alonso scored a two-point goal over the wall in the center-left. Happ currently holds a 4-3 lead over Judge in the home race. My quick calculation says that opponents are hitting .345 / .400 / .654 against Happ so far this season. I was not too optimistic about the arrival of Happ in the season, but I did not expect it. this wrong. This? This is untenable.
The final line: 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR on 88 locations. Happ has an ERA of 8.76 (6.42 FIP) and has not yet registered 14 outs in his debut this season. The Yankees are beaten, but Happ has no problem of injury. He is in good health to our knowledge. He's just bad. The fastball does not have much life and we do not need Statcast to tell us. Read the swings. It's too bad that I'm already thinking about a bad contract for bad contract scenarios involving Happ and Zack Britton?
In theory, the Yankees should beat the White Sox (!) In a battle of the bulls. They could not Friday. He was 5-5 in the fifth inning when Happ came out with a man first and no outs. Four lengths later, the White Sox led 7-5. First home run for Jimenez. Jonathan Holder gave up. In seventh place, Chad Green gave way to the second Jimenez circuit and a circuit of James McCann. Green has removed one of his last 21 hitters. Wrong.
The Yankees had the best chance of coming back in the match in the sixth inning. LeMahieu walked, Frazier chose right and Urshela chose to center to bring the race home and reduce the deficit to 7-6. The Yankees were all prepared with training on the verge of turning around. Then Romine had a putrid fight – he tried to get around the first pitch and withdrew three shots – and Gardner hit a ground forward on second base. A race that had started so well could suddenly be wasted.
The White Sox turned to Nate Jones, a very difficult right-hander, against Judge and Voit and, given his delay, he was not comfortable on the mound. I came down from a group, asked for new baseballs, work. It was almost as if the referees were giving the Yankees a chance to take the lead before claiming the cover. Jones eventually hit Judge with a ball that broke and drove Voit to hit a line at Jimenez in the left field for the final. The Yankees had good players at the plate, but did not cash. The heavy rain then arrived. So it's okay, okay.
Gardner scored a solo goal for a 5-3 lead in the fourth inning. He went 1-for-4 in the game and hits. 200 / .298 / .420 (94 wRC +) on the season. I must say that Gardner becoming homer or that nothing was planned this year. It should not be early, but it does not matter. What I say does not matter. However, it was Gardner's No. 99 career, and it's pretty cool. He never expected him to approach the 100 landmarks during his prospect days
The 6-7-8-9: 6-in-10 hitters with a double and four points produced. The 1-2-3-4-5-batters: 1-on-14 (.071) with that of Gardner Homer. Voit and Gleyber still drew stairs. Bird was 0-on-3 with two strikeouts and fell to .194 / .324 / .290 (77 wRC +) for the season. Two of his last nine balloons hit an exit speed of 87 mph and none had a speed of 94 mph. How many opportunities can a guy spoil? Good sorrow
And finally, according to a friend of RAB James Smyth, the Yankees have already lost seven games in which they had a lead this season. That was match No. 13. Last year, they suffered their seventh defeat on June 13, in match No. 64. Woof.
Box score, WPA chart and ranking
Visit MLB.com for box and video results and ESPN for updated rankings. Here is our Bullpen Workload page and here is the probability of loss:
The Yankees and White Sox will be back on Saturday afternoon in the central part of this three-game series. CC Sabathia will be activated outside the casualty list to take this start. Stephen Tarpley was sent to Triple-A Scranton after this match to free up a place, so I guess Joe Harvey stays around. Former Yankee Ivan Nova will be on the sidelines for the ChiSox. Saturday, the match starts at 13:05.