Yank Offense Undone Again by Joe Ryan. Minnesota 6 NY 2

Somehow the vaunted Yankee offense has become predicated on the likes of Willie Calhoun and Franchy Cordero amongst a bunch of .180 hitters at the back half of the lineup.

And they are not producing enough offense, especially against the likes of Joe Ryan, one of the better young pitchers in the American League — who they faced on this Tuesday night in Minnesota. The result, Minnesota 6 NY 2.

NY also isn’t getting enough defense — Anthony Volpe made his 3rd error in 3 games, producing an unearned run again. And Aaron Hicks continues to underwhelm in left field — this time jogging to a hard hit ball to left center to start the 6th that most good outfielders — including Hicks 4 years ago — would have caught — but he let fall for a double that opened up the floodgates in a 2-2 game at the time.

Without proper defense behind him, Nestor Cortes had no chance. He was not on his A game either — 5 innings, 5 hits, 3 ER’s; but pitched well enough for a win on other nights if the right offense and defense was behind him.

The Yanks had been shut down by Joe Ryan in the Jhony Brito disaster game of two weeks ago that Minny won 11-2. In this game, they hit Ryan better.

“I think just looking at it kind of hollistically, I think tonite was a lot better in the approach, and the aggressiveness, and taking the fight to him,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Problem is we weren’t able to get an extra base hit, he kept us in the yard. I thought at-bat quality was much better tonite — but in the end we couldn’t break through with him and you add it up and it’s only 2 runs.”

1. Yankee Offense Not Vaunted

“The Yankees 5-9 spots in the order are just not up to par,” noted baseball analyst and bank examiner John Morra before the game. The Yankee lineup had:

5. Willie Calhoun (.136)

6. Oswaldo Peraza (.158)

7. Franchy Cordero (.174)

8. Jose Trevino (.208)

9. Aaron Hicks (.107)

Yikes. How did it come to this?

The Yanks did not re-sign Andrew Benintendi (currently slashing 0-5-.294 (.348) in 85 at bats) in the off season, banking on Oswaldo Cabrera to play left and get 500 at bats. Cabrera has been terrific but his numbers do not support that yet — he is at .211 (.230 OBP) — and is batting .136 over the last 7 games. The switch hitter sat against the right-handed Ryan; switch hitter Aaron Hicks was put in left.

Hicks did get a hit on the day — a single leading off the 5th, and scored the Yankees’ 2nd run.

2. Yanks Jumped Out Against Ryan

And yet with all that the Yanks jumped off to a good start against Ryan. There is still the top half of the Yankee lineup to reckon with, which includes Aaron Judge.

Judge got a 2-out single in the top of the 1st, moved to 2nd on a wild pitch by Ryan, and scored on a DJ LeMahieu RBI single.

Willie Calhoun got the first of his 2 singles and the Yanks were looking to add more runs. But Oswaldo Peraza flied out to end the threat.

2. Ryan Is Good

And then Joe Ryan started to mow down the Yankee order.

“Ryan’s good,” said Boone afterwards. “His fastball plays. And when he has his secondary presence there, whether it’s the slider or the splitter, that fastball can play up even more. I thought we had the right approach against the heater. I thought there were some heaters that we were on that just missed, that turned into a fly ball. But that’s who that guy is — that’s why he’s had success — because of that heater, split combination.”

The Yanks were gifted a run in the 5th — leadoff singles by Aaron Hicks and Anthony Volpe put 2 on, but Ryan struck out Anthony Rizzo and got Judge to hit a sharp double play grounder to 3rd. However 1st baseman Donovan Solano made an error and the run scored to tie the game 2-2.

3. Cortes Did Not Get Defensive Support

Nestor Cortes was pitching well enough but did not get defensive support.

Volpe 3rd Error in 3 Games

Anthony Volpe let an easy grounder by Michael Taylor go under his glove for an error leading off the 3rd — Volpe’s 3rd error in 3 days. Donovan Solano immediately doubled home Taylor for a 1-1 tie.

Jorge Polanco doubled home Solano to put Minny up 2-1 before Nestor got the final 2 outs to end the inning.

Hicks Misplays Another Fly

Hicks’ misplay came in the top of the 6th — and had Yankee Twitter HOWLING. Polanco hit a drive to left center that Hicks got a bad jump on — seemingly jogging to the ball that he did not get to in time. It was noted on Twitter that Statcast had the ball at 30% chance of getting caught.

But Brett Gardner gets that ball. Aaron Hicks of 4 years ago gets that ball. “Oswaldo gets that ball,” pointed out baseball analyst Ed on Twitter. “My uncle with one leg gets that ball..” noted baseball analyst Marvin Dorfler.

“Maybe he needs glasses,” suggested analyst & maritime publisher John Snyder.

Next batter Byron Buxton hit a 367-foot homer to left for a 4-2 Minnesota lead and Cortes was gone.

4. Marinacco Got Hit

Ron Marinaccio relieved Cortes and struck out the first batter he faced, but then allowed an infield hit to 3rd, and with 2 outs, Trevor Larnach hit a 420-foot BOMB to center for a 6-2 Minnesota lead. Ballgame.

The Twins are noted for having a good-hitting team.

5. Ramirez Eats Up Innings

The Yankees brought in lefty Nick Ramirez — whom they had just brought up from the minors before the game — and he pitched a scoreless 7th and 8th.

Ramirez wormed out of trouble in the 7th — allowing a leadoff double to Joey Gallo then a walk to Carlos Correa — but got lineout, groundout, foul out to end it.

The Yankees currently have the following pitchers on the Injured List (IL):

When they get back the Yankee pitching will be lights out. “By the time those guys come back, the ones on the field now will get hurt,” noted baseball analyst JG Trades.

6. Yanks Offer No Further Offense

After that the Yanks got one more baserunner in the 7th through 9th — a Willie Calhoun single leading off the 9th. But Twins closer Jhoan Duran got the next 3 batters — the Yanks 6th through 8th in the order — 1-2-3 for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore



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