Week 7 Record: 4-2
Season Record: 28-12
Week at a Glance: Yankees at Washington Nationals (2 games), Yankees at Kansas City Royals (3 games)
Recap it!: Well, it wasn’t going to last anyway. The Yankees eight game winning streak came to a close last Thursday with a loss to the Boston Red Sox, but they managed to win 2 out of 3 in both series with the Bosox and A’s. This team continues to chug along, winning 20 of their last 23 games, despite attempting to lose a few of them (Oh, we’ll get to that).
- The starting rotation has floundered somewhat over the last few games, with the bad version of Sonny Gray showing up again, getting tattooed for five runs on nine hits over five innings pitched in an infuriating 10-5 loss to the A’s on Friday. This is the point where I remind you that the A’s are below .500. Domingo German ran out of gas the very next day, giving up six runs over five in a game the Yanks won on walkoff. CC Sabathia surrendered four runs in four innings pitched during the streak-breaking loss to the Red Sox on Thursday.
- But none of that matters, because the offense is starting to click in unexpected ways. I had the pleasure of attending the Saturday afternoon game and watched the Yankees crawl back from a four-run deficit to beat the A’s 7-6 in 11 innings. The decisive blow was struck off the bat of first baseman and designated generic white guy Neil Walker. Yup, you heard right. Neil Walker came through in the clutch. If you’d told me a week ago that Barney runs a Vegas brothel, or that Ronald McDonald is a meth kingpin, I’d have an easier time believing that than Neil Walker delivering a walk-off win. Still, I’m not inclined to argue with results. Good on you, generic white guy.
- The Yankees bullpen continued its’ Jekyll and Hyde act throughout the week, with Dellin Betances serving up backbreaking home runs in one game, then mowing people down in another. Aroldis Chapman walked the bases loaded in the ninth on Saturday before wriggling out of trouble thanks to a clutch tag on A’s right fielder Matt Olson by Gary Sanchez on a relay throw by Gardner, turning what could have been a sac fly into a double play. Olson was initially called safe, but upon replay review, the call was overturned. Hey, the Mensa members finally got one right! Still the bullpen remains consistently inconsistent, and needs the return of Tommy Kahnle and Adam Warren from the disabled list badly.
Look Out For: What will happen when the Yanks go up against Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez in Washington? Will the Yankees score a bajillion runs off a horrid Royals team?
Hey, That’s New!: A.J Cole, who I had no idea was on this team until I saw him run out of the bullpen Saturday afternoon, pitched two scoreless innings against the A’s, striking out four. Holy underwear! Not bad for a guy who hadn’t pitched since April 23rd. Tune in next week, folks. We may find out that the soda vendor in Section 17 can hit a curveball 500 feet.
Rant of the Week: We need to curb stomp the notion that the Yankees most important relievers (Betances, Robertson, Green and Chapman) can be stretched out into multi-inning pitchers. This is not going to work. Full. Stop. These guys have been groomed for their entire career to be inning specialists, sometimes working on a batter-to-batter basis. Now Yankees manager Aaron Boone wants to use conventional wisdom and common sense as toilet paper and start mentally retraining veterans to do what they’re totally unprepared for? Ugh. Just stop it, man. Don’t be surprised when these guys start coughing up runs wholesale, Boonie.
Meme/GIF of the Week: