A RISP Loss & Fickle Finger of Blame Is Pointed — July 6, 2019: Tampa 4 NY 3

It was 2018 all over again — the Yankees were 1 for 12 with Runners in Scoring Position (RISP) — a game they continually threatened to win easily ended up being Tampa 3 NY 2 with 2 outs in the top of the 9th — when a bit of 2019 magic stepped to the plate in Aaron Hicks — who hit a game-tying homerun.

But Tampa answered with their own homer by former Met Travis d’Arnaud off Chad Green in the bottom of the 9th for the 4-3 walkoff win. And Yankee fans were left to either:

a) say you can’t win ’em all, and “Stop the nonsense — the Yankees have won like 16 of the last 18 games… Can’t win all the games in a 162 game season,” as @HudStreet pointed out. Even with the loss, the Yankees are 57-30 in 1st place by 7.5,

b) start looking around at whom in the lineup to point the fickle finger of blame at, because in the playoffs — you need to plate those RISP, and any fallback to last year’s homer-happy-but-not-clutch lineup is a red flag.

Fickle Finger of Blame

That fickle finger is pointed at Edwin Encarnacion — who went 0 for 4, was 0-2 with RISP, and is now batting .219 on the season. He’s hit the occasional homerun for the Yanks since they obtained him and gotten some big walks — but is not providing the Machine Gun bat of Clint Frazier, who was a big part of the effective Yankee lineup that made so much contact and plated RISP this season. Clint took his 11 homeruns and .285 to the minors.

The worry is not about the regular season — but the playoffs, where refs are calling everything a strike in 2.5-hour cold late October games and you’d better have a lineup that puts the ball in play against great pitching. Like the Red Sox did last year.

Maybe Clint will be back up by then or maybe he’s in the minors to ‘put on ice’ his .285 average and high value so Yanks can trade him for an elite pitcher.


CC Sabathia pitched well — 7 strong innings before yielding a 2-run homer in the 7th to put the Yanks behind 3-2. CC could have used some of those RISP plated.


Brett Gartner’s career continues to be not dead, and feeling much better. He went 1 for 2 with a homer and 2 walks and is batting .242 with a .326 OBP (which is all that Aaron Boone cares about, as he said last year when reporters asked about Gardner’s batting average). The Yanks got 7 walks in this game — 2 off Blake Snell (who has struggled this year but pitched well in this game, lasting 5 innings) and 5 off the ballpen.

The Boxscore




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