It’s getting ugly rather quickly, folks.
The New York Yankees are developing a knack for blowing leads. For a second consecutive game in Baltimore the Yanks got up comfortably early, saw the gap close and ultimately blew the lead (and game) in the seventh inning. This time it was a 4-1 margin that went up in smoke as the Bombers lost 5-4 in Camden Yards.
Unfortunately the Yankees lost more than just a game Saturday. They also lost the series, and most importantly have lost Gary Sanchez for at least some time. Sanchez left in the fifth inning after grimacing in pain following a swing. The teams says he’s suffered a right bicep strain and is being placed on the 10-day disabled list, with a timetable for his return is a complete unknown right now. The injury being to his right arm (his throwing arm) means the team will obviously be even more cautious, as they should. The Yanks aren’t taking long in showing people they aren’t going anywhere in 2017.
New York led by three midway through the fifth on the strength of a two-run single by Ronald Torreyes and a single by Starlin Castro.
Just like Friday, prosperity didn’t last. Chris Davis doubled off Tommy Layne and Mark Trumbo singled off Dellin Betances to tie the game in the seventh, and a Hyun Soo Kim hit gave Baltimore the first and only lead it’d need.
Zach Britton worked the ninth inning for his third save.
A few thoughts & reactions:
♦ It’s bad enough the Yankees are off to a 1-4 start. The fact Greg Bird’s already bothered with a sore ankle, and now Sanchez makes opening week monumentally worse. Sunday marks the half dozen games mark and we’re already waking up to to Brett Gardner or Jacoby Ellsbury being the most prominent bat in the lineup. Ugh.
♦ For those keeping score, that’s two crappy starts by Masahiro Tanaka in two opportunities. After being hammered in Tampa last Sunday Tanaka wasn’t much better at Baltimore. Command was a major issue in walking four to go with six hits allowed and three earned runs over five innings. After two starts he’s sitting with a 11.74 ERA and even more alarming, a 2.61 WHIP. If the Yankees have even pipe dreams of contending in the East this season the 2016 version of Tanaka better return quickly.
♦ Torreyes is hitting just .200 but is making the most of his hits, unexpectedly leading the team with five RBI so far this season.
♦ How great has Adam Warren been in relief early on? He fired a hitless 1.1 innings Saturday with a strikeout, and hasn’t allowed a baserunner while striking out seven over six innings.
♦ Matt Holiday picked up his 2,000th career hit in the first inning, a bloop single. He’s off to a decent 6-for-18 start with a home and 4 RBI. I mean, hey—it’s not the Yankee offense that has sucked through a handful of days. They’re 7th in batting average and an acceptable 19th in runs scored. They simply can’t hold a lead and the starting pitching sans one C.C. Sabathia start has been abysmal.
♦ How abysmal? Check out this sharp take (pun intended) from Katie Sharp on Twitter (who by the way is an absolute must follow for any Yankee fan)
This is 2nd time in last 100 yrs that Yankee starters went 5 IP or fewer in each of 1st 5 games (also in 2007)
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) April 8, 2017
♦ Maybe the Yanks can salvage one game Sunday afternoon with Sabathia taking the ball against Wade Miley. The way they’ve played in Baltimore over the past four years (7-22)— probably not.