“Heading in the Right Direction” — 5 Reasons Why Toronto 5 NY 4 on 4-14-21

­Well it doesn’t seem like it’s heading in the right direction for the Yankees from the score — a 5-4 loss on a walkoff, bottom-of-the-9th homerun by Bo Bichette — a very good ballplayer, and son of former major leaguer Dante Bichette.

Here are the reasons why:

1. Kluber Clobbered But “Heading in the Right Direction”

Corey Kluber got clobbered, but did get through the damage after getting punished for ‘mistakes’. Kluber:

  • Was in trouble in the 1st but got out of it, leaving 2 on.
  • Allowed a 2-run homer to catcher Alejandro Kirk in the 2nd (hanging a breaking ball to him),
  • Gave up a solo homer to Bo Bichette in the 3rd. He allowed two more runners in the 3rd, but got out of a 1st and 2nd, 1 out situation.
  • Hit a batter in the 4th, but got a grounder to shortstop that Gleyber Torres made a good play on in the hole, flipping it to Rougned Odor who tried to catch it with his barehand, and dropped it. It was 1st and 2nd, 1 out again, but Kluber got Bichette to hit into a groundball double play.

Kluber left with 77 pitches thrown, 50 for strikes; 4 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, 4 strikeouts. After the game he felt he “was heading in the right direction” — saying he felt he was starting to hit his spots more, getting the ball where he wanted to get it — but made some mistakes, which he was punished for. When asked if he had let the bullpen down by only pitching 4 innings, he said he doesn’t have control over when the manager takes the ball away; aka in his mind he could’ve pitched longer.

During the game Yankee analyst David Cone said it looked like Kluber’s fastball was “ticked up” since last start. That’s the second day in a row someone associated with the Yanks has used that “ticked up” phrase — manager Aaron Boone using it after yesterday’s game to describe Jameson Taillon‘s fastball.

Boone agreed with Kluber after the game, saying he “is close”, and his “stuff was fine”. “When you think of Corey at his best,” added Boone, “it is movement and precision, and (he’s) just getting over the final hump of getting real precise.”

2. Judge Homers Twice

The game had just barely begun when Aaron Judge, batting second, started the day’s scoring with a MISSILE over the left-field wall off Toronto’s 6’7 righty starter T.J. Zeuch, to make it 1-0 NY in the top of the 1st.

In the top of the 4th, Judge came up for the second time, NY now down 3-1 — and hit a BOMB to centerfield off Zeuch to make it 3-2 Toronto.

Here is another video recap of Judge’s performance at the plate, including the grounder to 3rd:

3. Gio Hero

After Judge’s homer in the 4th, Brett Gardner walked, Gary Sanchez flied out, and Gleyber Torres doubled — putting runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out. Gio Urshella singled both runners home for a 4-3 Yankee lead.

Note that later in the 8th, in his 4th time up — Judge hit a ROCKET to 3rd that bounced off the 3rd baseman.

It was ruled an error but after the game was changed to a hit, making Judge 3 for 4 with the 2 homers, raising his average to .308, with.386 OBP, .615 SLG, and 1.002 OPS — all terrific numbers.

4. NY Bullpen Falters; Toronto’s Bullpen Excels

But then in the 6th — Jonathan Loaisiga coughed up the tying run on a wild pitch, blowing the Yankees’ 4-3 lead.

Justin Wilson came in to pitch a scoreless 7th, and Darren­ O’Day a scoreless 8th.

In the 9th, Chad Green took the hill and allowed the game-winning walkoff homer to Bichette.

It was the first time the Yankee bullpen blew a game all year.

In the meantime Toronto’s bullpen pitched 5 shutout innings — 6’0 righty Trent Thornton with 2 shutout innings, 6’0 righthander Anthony Castro with 2 shutout innings, and 6’4 righty Rafael Dolis with the save.

5. Bichette Is Very Good

Shortstop Bo Bichette hit the 2 homers and now has 4 on the year in 52 at bats. Last year he hit 5 homers and batted .3o1 in 123 at bats in the COVID shortened sprint of a season; in his rookie year he hit 11-21-.311 (.358) at age 21.

The wiry but strong Bichette is 23 yrs old now and is very, very good at the plate and looks good in the field too.

The Boxscore



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