Yanks Can’t Catch a Break. Sandy Alcantara Lights Out. Miami 3 NY 1

Jhony Brito strikes out another -- 6 K's, 0 walks

It’s been a season of the Yankees not being able to catch a break — with injuries and flat tires just when they seemed to be rolling.

And in this one — another flat tire — against one of the best pitchers in the National League — Sandy Alcantara who was having a miserable season until the last 6 starts after the All Star break. Alcantara came in with a 4-10 4.24 record but pitched his best game of the season, a complete game striking out 10.

Alcantara was filthy lights out, but the Yankees did scratch a run against him in the 7th, and almost got to him in the 9th, when Gleyber Torres singled and with 1 out, Billy McKinney hit a shot to deep left that looked like it could go — but was caught at the warning track in the big Miami Stadium (the wall 344 feet down the line and 360 feet away where McKinney’s fly was caught).

Flat tire.

The good news for the Yanks was the pitching of Jhony Brito, who pitched 5 brilliant innings of 3-hit ball, allowing 1 run, after Michael King “opened” with 2 innings. King allowed a 2-run homer to Luis Arraez — who leads MLB in batting at .366 — in the 1st inning and that was the difference in the ballgame.

“I did,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards when asked if he thought McKinney’s ball was going out. “Obviously I know it’s big out there. But he got it pretty flush. We’re really close here and right behind it, I felt like he clipped it pretty well. But back of the mind knowing how big it is, especially down the left field line — what 344 — but I still felt he hit it pretty pure.”

NY falls to 60-57, 12 games back of Baltimore, 10 behind Tampa, 4 behind Toronto (and a Wild Card), and 1 behind Boston. Miami improves to 61-57, .5 behind a Wild Card.

1. King Opened — Prelude to Starting?

Michael King “opened” and made a mistake in the 1st inning to Luis Arraez — who — did we mention? — leads MLB in batting at .366. Jazz Chisholm Jr. led off with a broken-bat single and with one out, King hooked a 97-MPH too much over the plate and Arraez hit a 409-foot homer to right center. Miami 2 NY 0.

King pitched a shutout 2nd inning.

King asked Boone a week ago if he could “open”, and he would like to start games if the opportunity presents itself. King came up through the Yankee minor league system as a starter.

“I’m going to do whatever they want me to do and do it to the best of my ability,” said King afterwards. “I think there are a lot of times where I feel I can provide some length for this team, and if I’m only built up to 45 (pitches), it’s not my full potential. I feel I’ve been able to develop some pitches that I didn’t have in ’20 ad ’21 when I did get the opportunity to start, so I’m curious to see if they will play over multiple ups and flipping a lineup multiple times. So I still hope for that opportunity.”

2. Brito Terrific

Jhony Brito was absolutely terrific. He used his 96-MPH fastball, 95-MPH sinker, 87-MPH off-speed pitch, and 83-MPH sweeper to mostly shut down Miami for 5 innings.

  • He came in for the 3rd inning, and retired the side in order.
  • In the 4th he got into some trouble: he hit Jake Burger with a pitch leading off the inning, then allowed a single to Jesus Sanchez and a 1-out RBI single to Joey Wendle, but got a double play to end the inning.
  • Brito then pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th, striking out 2, a shutout 6th, working around a 1-out single, and a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, striking out his last 2 batters.

His line: 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 6 K’s, 0 walks.

He pitched the way the Yanks were expecting Luis Severino to pitch.

“Even when he’s taking his lumps he’s bounced back really well,” said Boone afterwards about Brito. “And the same with Randy (Vasquez)”

3. Alcantara Lights Out. But IKF Nips Him

Meanwhile Sandy Alcantara was filthy lights out. The athletic 6’5 righty was throwing 99-MPH fastballs and 98-MPH sinkers, with filthy 90-MPH sliders — and pumping strikes all night, getting ahead of hitters — attacking, attacking, attacking.

“He got ahead with every pitch,” said Billy McKinney afterwards about Alcantara. “He threw strikes with every pitch he had. Even when he got ahead with 0-2 counts, he was still attacking and he wasn’t shying away from any pitch. It was pretty impressive.”

Finally in the 7th the Yanks nipped him — Billy McKinney worked a 1-out walk, and went to 2nd on a balk by Alcantara where no one seemed to know what Alcantara had done wrong but McKinney went to 2nd.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa then got a clutch single to left for a 3-1 game.

Alcantara got Harrison Bader to hit a fielder’s choice grounder to move IKF to 2nd, but Anthony Volpe struck out.

4. McKinney Just Misses

Alcantara was over 100 pitches but was trotted out for the 9th — a move that looked like it might backfire when Gleyber Torres led off with a single, Giancarlo Stanton struck out but Billy McKinney hit a 98-MPH fastball square and sent it to opposite field left — where it was caught about 350 feet away — a few feet in the warning track

“I was hoping so,” said McKinney afterwards on if he thought the ball would go for a homer. “I know it’s big out there to left here. Unfortunately it didn’t go; I was hoping but. Hopefully next time.”

Alcantara then got IKF to ground out for the old ballgame.


  • The Yanks only got 5 hits: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Kyle Higashioka.
  • Billy McKinney went 1-3 with a walk and the near HR in the 9th that went for an out.
  • Aaron Judge went 1 for 4 — he got on with a single in the 1st but was erased with a double play.
  • Yuli Gurriel made the defensive play of the game in the 7th when the 1st baseman caught a Giancarlo Stanton popup in foul territory in the stands, and fell backwards into a garbage pail.

The Boxscore



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.