Yanks Out-Hit Braves, But Lose. Atlanta 2 NY 0

Aaron Judge singles to lead off the 4th against Charlie Morton.

The Yankees out-hit the Atlanta Braves, 4-3.

But baseball is a scoring contest not a hitting contest, as manager Aaron Boone likes to say — and the Yankees were out-scored, 2-0.

Old nemesis Charlie Morton — who like Gerrit Cole, learned his knuckle curveball from old friend A.J. Burnett in Pittsburgh — shut the Yankees out for 6 innings, and the Atlanta bullpen took it from there.

Randy Vasquez started for the Yanks and did well — 3.1 innings only 2 hits allowed —  but one of those hits was a 2-run homer to Eddie Rosario in the 2nd inning and that was the ballgame.

Michael King — who continues to warm up to a starting role — pitched 3.2 innings of 1-hit shutout ball, and Keynan Middleton pitched the end — a shutout 8th, striking out 2.

They took care of the vaunted Atlanta Braves lineup. But lost.

“There’s a quarter of the season left, and we have to keep working to try and figure it out,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “I’m 50 years old and I’ve been in this game my whole life — and it doesn’t always go the way you script it or hope, and you got to keep fighting. And that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

Atlanta sweeps the 3 game series — only out-hitting NY 24-16 — but shutting them out the last 2 games.

“When you don’t hit and have games where you don’t score any, it has that look of being flat,” added Boone. “That’s just the nature of it. I don’t think that’s the case — these guys have a lot of pride in what they do.”

NY falls to 60-61, 14 behind Baltimore, 12 behind Tampa, 6.5 behind Toronto and a wild card, and 3.5 behind Boston. Atlanta improves to 78-42.

1. Vasquez Good

Some good news — Randy Vasquez went up against the vaunted Atlanta Braves offense and did good. His only trouble came in the top of the 2nd, when Marcell Ozuna led off with a double, and Eddie Rosario hit a 422-foot, 2-run homer to center.

Ozuna was doing so badly earlier in the season that Atlanta was thinking of DFA’ng him, noted Suzyn Waldman on the radio.

After that Vasquez retired the next 7 batters, before walking consecutive batters in the 4th, and being relieved by Michael King.

2. Morton Salt

Charlie Morton entered the game having had control issues in his prior 4 starts. He had:

  • Walked 7 against the Mets (but pitched 5 shutout innings) in his last start, and before that,
  • Walked 4 (and gave up 5 runs in 4 innings),
  • Walked 3 (and gave up 3 runs in 6 innings), and
  • Walked 5 (and gave up 4 runs in 3.2 innings).

But like a number of pitchers the Yanks have faced recently — he geared up for the Yanks and had his best start of the year.

Just in the last 4 games:

Morton — the 39-yr-old, 6’5 righty from Flemington, New Jersey — only walked 1, and struck out 10. He used a wicked knuckle curveball and lots of cutters with some 94-MPH sinkers and fastballs to shut the Yankees down.

NY got a runner to 2nd base twice on Morton — with 1 out in the 4th, Aaron Judge singled and Giancarlo Stanton walked, but Morton struck out Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Billy McKinney.

With 1 out in the 5th, Anthony Volpe beat out an infield single, and went to second on a wild pitch by Morton, but then Morton got consecutive groundouts to end the inning.

Gleyber Torres singled to lead off the 6th, but Morton then struck out the next 3 batters to finish his appearance.

3. King Terrific

Michael King relieved Vasquez in the 4th with 2 on and 1 out, and got a strikeout and ground out to end the inning, and then pitched a shutout 5th through 7th inning.

4. Middleton Good at the End

Keynan Middleton pitched the 8th — a shutout inning with 2 K’s.

5. No Rallies

After Morton:

  • Pierce Johnson pitched a shutout, 1-2-3 inning in the 7th,
  • Kirby Yates pitched a shutout, 1-2-3 inning in the 8th,, and
  • Raisel Iglesias pitched a shutout, 1-2-3 inning in the 9th for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore



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