July 14, 2018

Schadenfreude 224 (A Continuing Series)

The Yankees have won seven of their last 10 games - and dropped an additional 2.5 games behind the Red Sox in the American league East.

Since June 25, New York is 11-6 - a 105-win pace, not to shabby - but has lost 3.5 games in the standings because the Red Sox have gone 14-2.

Kevin Kernan, Post:
For all their first-half success, there are pitfalls ahead.

The Yankees may have gotten a glimpse of the difficulties that could haunt them in the second half. On Friday the 13th, they fell to [Cleveland] 6-5 at Progressive Field against a rookie pitcher who handled them for seven innings. ...

[I]t was not a good night for Boone.

With Giancarlo Stanton on deck, Aaron Judge was caught trying to steal second to end the eighth on an Aaron Hicks strikeout off a 3-2 pitch with one out. Boone gambled and lost. ...

Bieber outpitched Domingo German, who went only four innings and walked the first two batters he faced, allowing six runs on five hits, once again putting a spotlight on the fact the Yankees need to get a starter, any starter.

They are 60 feet and 6 inches short, and they know it. ...

Boone has brought many pluses to the job, but he still does not have the feel for getting that starter out before deep damage is done. He is working with starting-pitching issues, so he is trying to get as much as he can from this group.

Even ace Luis Severino has struggled his past two times out. ... Severino could be gassed heading into the All-Star break.

There is reason to worry about Aroldis Chapman's balky knee as well. ... This is a situation Boone said must be monitored the rest of the season.
Mike Mazzeo, Daily News:
The Yankees obviously need at least one starter.

But after a night like Friday, it makes you reconsider they might actually need two.

Domingo German couldn't command his fastball, issued too many free passes and got burned early as a result in the Bombers' 6-5 loss ... After his four-plus inning, six-run, four-walk performance, German's ERA sits at 5.49.

Couple that with Masahiro Tanaka's home run problem and Sonny Gray's issues when facing quality opponents, and the need for more rotation depth behind Luis Severino and CC Sabathia becomes even greater. ...

The problem, of course, is that many potential second-tier starter trade targets have struggled, too.

J.A. Happ allowed a grand slam to Mookie Betts in an epic, 13-pitch at-bat Thursday at Fenway Park, while Nathan Eovaldi got shelled in Minnesota on Friday, giving up eight runs while failing to get out of the third inning. ...

It's made Aaron Boone's job harder, too ... Boone was burned again for sticking with German too long, as [Cleveland] tacked on a pair of runs in the fifth that made the difference in the end.

At least the Red Sox finally lost, their win streak over at 10. But the Bombers couldn't make up any ground despite having a chance to do so.

They were down 6-4 with one out in the eighth when Aaron Hicks struck out on a 3-2 pitch and Aaron Judge was thrown out trying to steal second on a close play, the twin-killing ending the inning with Giancarlo Stanton on deck.
George A. King III, Post:
If Aaron Judge had stolen second base in the eighth inning while Aaron Hicks was striking out, nobody in their right mind could correctly say Giancarlo Stanton would have followed by hitting the home run he drilled leading off the ninth.

To think otherwise is stupid because Stanton would have been pitched differently with Judge on second in the eighth — instead of the bases empty in the ninth, with [Cleveland] leading by two runs.

Still ...

Hicks swung through the pitch from Neil Ramirez, and catcher Yan Gomes made a perfect throw to shortstop Francisco Lindor. Judge was initially called safe, but [Cleveland's] challenge led to Judge being called out.

Stanton greeted [Cleveland] closer Cody Allen with a leadoff homer in the ninth that cut the hosts' lead to 6-5, and Greg Bird followed with a single to right. With the largest Cleveland crowd of the season bracing for the latest bullpen collapse, Allen fed Miguel Andujar a 6-4-3 double play ball before walking Neil Walker to keep the Yankees' hopes alive.

Those hopes died a quick death when Didi Gregorius, who was hitting for Kyle Higashioka, popped up to Lindor for the final out. ...

Thanks to Domingo German's early bout of wildness — 18 of his first 34 pitches were balls — the Yankees spent the evening going uphill. German walked the first two batters in the home first when [Cleveland] scored a run and gave up three in the second when Michael Brantley delivered a two-run double.
Mike Mazzeo, Daily News:
Manny Machado obviously would be nice and all, but what the Yankees could really use is some starting pitching.

In typical fashion, Domingo German struggled out of the gate, and the Bombers lost ...

German, who has been up and down this season, allowed one run in the first and three more in the second – two of them on Michael Brantley's two-run double with two outs.

After getting through the third and fourth unscathed, German gave up an RBI triple to Jose Ramirez and was lifted with nobody out in the fifth.

German ultimately surrendered six runs on five hits and walked four in four-plus innings. His ERA is 5.49. ...

Domingo German has allowed 21 runs combined in the first and second innings this season.

Shane Bieber, making just his seventh career start, mostly kept the Yankees off the scoreboard while getting deep into the game.

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton went a combined 1-for-7.

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