Yankees Bullpen Blows Sweep, Ending Streak At 5

The New York Yankees lost to the Houston Astros 7-4, stopping their winning streak at five, falling short of the sweep. With boos showering over the Bronx the whole week, today began seeming like a series sweep was forthcoming. Yet, the Astros led by on his birthday had other plans.

Cole Struggles to Rack up K’s, Still Dominates for Yanks

Gerrit Cole again looked like his dominant self despite only racking up 4 strikeouts today. He had everything working today, yet an inconsistent strike zone forced him to throw a few extra pitches. That allowed players to make contact in at-bats that they typically would have struck out. Cole ended up stretching his start to 7 innings, giving up 2 solo shots to Yordan Alvarez. He really only made one mistake today, as one of the homers came on a good slider low-and-in that Alvarez somehow managed to get to. He left the game when the Yankees had the lead, thus I have no complaints about his performance. Cole is living up to every expectation.

The big problem today was the bullpen. Chad Green came in after Cole, and today was not his day. Only able to get one out, Green put two runners on before Altuve took him deep, giving Houston the lead. Boone may want to reconsider the times he is using Green, as this is his third loss on the season. After him, Justin Wilson was not much better, as Martin Maldonado took him deep to solidify the score at 7-4.

Stanton Continues Tear, Yankees Can’t Supply Enough Bombs

Giancarlo Stanton is unstoppable right now. Since moving to the 2 spots, it seems like he has either homered or gotten 3+ hits in every single game. Today was no exception. In the 3rd, Giancarlo hit a 117 MPH laser into the right-center field, putting the Yankees ahead. After Houston tied it up, Clint Frazier lined one to right for a 2-run-short-porch HR. After that, the only other notable offense came from Gleyber Torres, who scored from first on an infield single after reading the Astros shift. Aaron Hicks also had a solid day, reaching base all four ABs including going 3-3.

The game would have been wildly different if the Yankees capitalized on Lance McCullers Jr.‘s three first-inning walks. Yet, the RISP and LOB narrative continues, as DJ LeMahieu‘s and Aaron Judge‘s struggles at the plate continue.

Finally, Gio Urshela was taken out of the game after extending to pick up a grounder at 3rd base. It did not look incredibly serious, but it is something to look out for.

Conclusion

Just when things seemed to be getting easier for manager Aaron Boone, they get harder again. Now that the lineup and starter problems are solving themselves, the bullpen goes and puts out one of their worst performances of the season. On the one hand, Boone could stick with the guys with experience: Green, Wilson, O’Day. But conversely, it might be time to start giving more high-leverage opportunities to guys like Lucas Luetge, Michael King, and Luis Cessa. After all, they are the ones who have gotten it done in those situations for the Yankees this season. This is something to monitor in the upcoming 3-game series against the Washington Nationals. Jameson Taillon will face off against Patrick Corbin tomorrow night in the first game.

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