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Yankees GBU – A small step backwards

The New York Yankees finished off their West Coast road trip with two losses in a row to the Arizona Diamondbacks but still completed the swing with a 6-3 record.  It’s not ideal to be on a two game losing streak but considering they took three of four from Anaheim and three straight from San Francisco, it’s okay to let your guard down for two games.

 

The Good

C.C. finally gets to 3,000 Ks

For those of you who missed out, C.C. Sabathia finally collected the 3,000th strikeout of his career on Tuesday night against John Ryan Murphy, former Yankee catcher.  It was a great accomplishment for the big man and cemented his legacy as a Hall of Fame pitcher (although some may dispute that claim).

Sabathia finally got the monkey off his back and although he didn’t pitch outstanding in that game (5 1/3 inning, two runs, five hits) he gave the Yankees a chance to win the game with his performance.  Regardless of the loss on Tuesday, it was his accomplishment that overshadowed everything.  Sabathia now sits as only the third left-hander in MLB history to have 3,000 strikeouts and he will continue his path to hopefully another World Series this season.

Luuuuuuuke stays hot at the plate

Luke Voit has become sort of a wunderkind in such a short period of time.  He’s still very young (28) and is probably just about to hit his prime, so it’s no wonder why he’s been red hot since joining the Yankees last year.  Even though he was held hitless in Tuesday’s game, he still extended his on-base streak with a walk.  On Wednesday, he continued that and added a home run to boot, giving him nine home runs on the year and extending his on-base streak to 41 straight games.

Voit has shown time and time again that he’s not a one-hit wonder (pun intended).  There’s a bit of a debate whether or not he deserves to be an All-Star, but with all the injuries to the Yankees so far this year he has absolutely carried them.  Without Voit and his power surge who knows where the Yankees would be in the standings.

The Bad

Another unimpressive outing from Tanaka

The Yanks may not have scored many runs but they certainly didn’t get a good performance out of their ace either.  Masahiro Tanaka struggled again in what can only be diagnosed as a slump for him.  He went four innings of five hit ball but was inefficient with his pitches and gave up three runs in his short time on the mound.

If this was an American League park he probably would have went longer but he still was nearing the 75 pitch park after only four innings, which means he didn’t have full control over his stuff.  Tanaka is at his best when he’s commanding his pitches well and when he can spot everything in the places he needs to.  Without Tanaka on his A game the Yankees couldn’t overcome the three runs given up and lost Game 2.

Zack Britton teetering of late

Zack Britton is very lucky that Adam Ottavino bailed him out against the Giants last week.  If Ottavino hadn’t, Britton would be on the hook for many more runs than shows.  Britton was inefficient last week and loaded up the bases before Ottavino shut the door.  This week was more of the same, as Britton gave up two hits and a run in just an inning of effort.

It’s not that Britton was horrendous in relief, but that he was relied upon to keep the Yankees within striking distance and gave up a run the team couldn’t afford to give up.  He was one of the best relievers in the game just a few years ago and still has nasty stuff.  He runs into trouble when he can’t find the strike zone, and it feels like this isn’t the first time it’s been mentioned.  If he can find the strike zone once again, Britton will be much better off.

The Ugly

Umpires send Boone packing

The umpires were none too kind to the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon, as a few plays were called in the Diamondbacks’ favor.  Firstly a neighborhood play on a double play call was wrongly deemed out when the D-Back’s second baseman clearly had his foot off the bag.  Then when the Yankees were out of reviews late in the game, Tyler Wade was “hit” with a sinker on the foot and it was ruled no hit.

While the Yankees probably would have lost the challenge anyway, Wade later grounded out and the opportunity was lost for the Bombers.  Aaron Boone then came out to argue both calls and was immediately thrown out of the game.  He got his money’s worth by getting in the face of the home plate umpire and throwing his gum onto the field after a profanity-laced tirade.  It’s nice to see Boone fired up from time to time and stand up for his players.

The offense goes cold in the desert

Three runs in two games is all the Yankees could muster in Arizona.  They left ten men on base total, including eight on Wednesday afternoon.  Every time they had a chance to score a run they squandered it somehow, whether it be a GIDP or an untimely strikeout.

They couldn’t touch Zack Greinke, who went 7 2/3 strong of five hit ball, and they couldn’t get to Merrill Kelly, who has experienced a good season so far but is far from an ace.  The Yankees’ bats went ice cold and they have no one to blame but themselves.  Sabathia and Tanaka weren’t world beaters but certainly put them in a position to win close games.  They couldn’t do so, hence why they lost both games.

 

The Yankees have lost two in a row but they come back to the Bronx for some home cooking against the Twins.  They’ve notoriously been a very good team against Minnesota so this could be a welcome sign for a team that’s still on the mend.  Miguel Andujar is on his way to the Bronx so that’s always a good sign, and Giancarlo Stanton is close.

The Yankees have fought through injuries all season but getting some of their starters back is a welcome sign.  It’s good to have had positive streaks while everyone was gone, but it’s time for some of the big boys to step up to the plate.  If the Yankees can get on a bit of a run again, they’ll find themselves in first place in no time.

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