Just like Tuesday’s lost, Wednesday’s 7-4 defeat against the Blue Jays features plenty of good and bad. Unfortunately for the Yankees, the bad includes another one in the loss column. On the bright side, the good centered around what’s important in the long term–the kids shined.
CC Sabathia’s six inning outing was about as strange as it was backbreaking for the Yankees. The line looked like one out of a typical Michael Pineda implosion: six frames, nine hits, one walk, 12 strikeouts…and seven runs allowed. Although he was victimized by some poor fielding in the fifth inning and looked very strong in four of his six frames, the overall line is unsightly. Sabathia, like other Yankees pitchers, was ultimately done in by the longball, and the rough game raised his ERA all the way up to 4.49.
On Wednesday, the Yankees’ 2-3-4-5 in the order were Chase Headley, Starlin Castro, Gary Sanchez, and Aaron Judge. All pitched in two hits and an RBI, while Sanchez, Headley, and Castro all hit solo home runs. Castro’s was his 15th of the season, a new career high, while Sanchez’s was his fifth in just thirteen games, as well as his third in two days.
The rest of the Yankees’ lineup combined for just one hit and five men left on base (all five by Didi Gregorius), but the offense and bullpen (Anthony Swarzak, Tommy Layne, and Kirby Yates somehow combined for three scoreless) gave the Yankees a chance to win. Unfortunately, Sabathia took them out of this game. For the next year or so, Yankees fans should probably get used to this type of outcome: a solid offense and bullpen, but poor starting pitching.
The Play: Melvin Upton puts the game out of reach (+.175 WPA)
From the Yankees being down 3-2 to 7-2, this play essentially ended the game for the Yankees. Although they would get two more runs by way of a Chase Headley home run and an Aaron Judge single, it wouldn’t be nearly enough because of Upton’s three-run home run.
Yankees: Gary Sanchez (2-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, K)
Blue Jays: Melvin Upton (2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K)
-Starlin Castro has had a rough year on offense as a whole, but the power hasn’t wavered as he struck his career high 15th home run on Wednesday. Although a trade of contact for power hasn’t benefited him as a whole, it’s nice to see Castro hitting well of late.
-Gary Sanchez’s home run traveled 437 feet, meaning that all five of his home runs have traveled over 400 feet. You already knew this, but Sanchez’s power is very real.
-Chase Headley has had struggles on defense over the past couple of days, a couple mistakes leading to runs. He’s been much improved at the hot corner this season after a rough 2015, but things have been ugly lately.
-Josh Donaldson isn’t a Yankee, but his 3rd inning fight with manager John Gibbons (that required teammates to restrain him) was certainly noteworthy. The argument came after frustration following a strikeout. Donaldson would later leave the game with a jammed thumb.
McCann on Gary Sanchez: "He's a future All-Star, year in and year out. There not many guys walking around with his talent."
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) August 17, 2016
The Highlight: Gary is (still) scary
The past two days haven’t been great for the Yankees, but Gary Sanchez has been immune to the struggles. He blasted his third home run in two games on Wednesday, making it his fifth in 13 days with the team. Sanchez has solidified himself as a middle of the order hitter for the Yankees, one who should be starting behind the plate almost every day now.
The Yankees luckily have Thursday off, before heading to Anaheim to take on the struggling Angels. On paper, this should be an easy series for the Yankees, starting with Masahiro Tanaka (3.40 ERA) taking on Jared Weaver (5.32 ERA).
Photo: Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports