The Yankees officially entered SLUMP territory as they lost to first-place Tampa, 3-1 on a Monday Memorial Day afternoon game at The Stadium. It was the Yanks’ 4th loss in a row, and 6th of last 7 games. They got only 5 hits again; seemingly the median number of hits they get in a game this season.
Gone are the good ole days of a week ago, when the Yankees swept the Central-leading Chicago White Sox, and Yankee fans were treated to a No Hitter, pitcher’s duels, a Triple-Play, and 2 Walk-off wins within days (including a walk-off walk).
On Yankee Twitter the fickle finger of blame pointed all around — but mostly at Yankee Hitting Coach Marcus Thames, although many fingers were also strongly pointed in the direction of manager Aaron Boone, GM Brian Cashman, the owner Hal Steinbrenner, various Yankee hitters, the lively or dead baseball, the shift, and the modern era of launch angles and trying-to-hit-a-homer-all-the-time philosophy.
1. 41-Yr-Old Hill Dominates
To make matters worse, the vaunted Yankee lineup was stifled by 41-yr-old off-speed pitcher Rich Hill. And worse, the Yankees were ripping shots off of him in the 1st three innings, but luck and happenstance and a little bit of guile got Hill out of it.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Miguel Andujar hit a 2-out SHOT down the 3rd base line into left field, but the ball bounced off the side wall by the tarp and right to the left fielder, so Andujar had to stop at 1st with a single. The next batter, Kyle Higashioka, hit a sharp single to left — but instead of Andujar being on 2nd and scoring — Andujar simply went to 2nd base. Brett Gardner then grounded out and the threat was gone.
In the 3rd, Aaron Judge hit a LONG FLY BALL to right that was caught at the wall.
Hill finished with 5 innings of 3-hit shutout ball.
2. Taillon Pitches Well Enough
Jameson Taillon was on the mound for the Yankees and he pitched pretty well — so that was good news: 5 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 5 K’s.
Taillon allowed single runs in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th.
- In the 3rd, Kevin Kiermaier led off with a single, and Manuel Margot doubled him home. Taillon then got 3 straight outs to not allow Margot to come around.
- In the 4th, Austin Meadows hit a homer.
- In the 5th, Kiermaier doubled and with 2 outs, Randy Arozarena singled him home.
Brett Gardner made two good catches in centerfield to end innings with runners on base:
- In the 5th, with 1st and 2nd and 2 out (and a run in, see above) — Austin Meadows hit a line drive to center that Gardner came in and made the catch on.
- In the 6th with Lucas Luetge pitching, 2 on and 2 out, Margot hit a liner to center that Gardner made the catch on.
Both catches held the score at 3-0 at the time, and proved to give the Yanks a chance later on (as Yanks put tying run to the plate in the 9th).
3. Miggy Hits Homer
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 31, 2021
Miggy came up in the 9th with a runner on after Rougned Odor doubled with 2 outs. So the Yanks had a chance with the guy up who had hit a homer earlier. But Miggy struck out looking.
Andujar went 2-4 on the day to raise his average to .243. He is looking ok in left field as well. Another good development to take away from this game. Credit Marcus Thames?