LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Lose But Recent Stretch is Beyond Impressive

Friday, May 11, 2018

Yankees Lose But Recent Stretch is Beyond Impressive

When the Yankees finished a home sweep of the Minnesota Twins on April 26th, their season record was 15-9. That home stand seemed to lift the Yanks from the early season doldrums. It ended with an  impressive eight wins. 

But the schedule was about to get a lot tougher. 

The Yankees had won that April 26th game on a getaway afternoon thanks to a walk off home run by Gary Sanchez. The next scheduled road trip would take them to Anaheim to meet the Angels, then to Houston to face the World Champion Astros. The  home stand which followed would start against two first place teams, Cleveland and Boston. 

And in that thirteen game stretch which concluded with Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Red Sox, the Yankees went 11-2, winning in all sorts of ways. Late rallies were the order of the day a few times over.

And Thursday's loss produced another Yankees late rally. Trailing 4-0 into the seventh, the Yankees rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the inning  4-4. Unfortunately,  Dellin Betances allowed the tie breaker in the top of the 8th inning as the Red Sox salvaged the final game of the series, barely avoiding a sweep. The home run Betances surrendered was a typical Yankee Stadium short porch home run, which barely eluded the glove of Aaron Judge. You might remember it wasn't long ago the Yankees trailed the Sox by 7 1/2 games in the standings. Many among us wondered how long it would take for the Yankees to dig out of that early season sinkhole. Friday morning we wake up to a first place tie between said rivals, with identical 26-11 records. 

And the Yankees had the tougher road to get all of that 7 1/2 game deficit back. 

Bring on the Oakland A's
The Yankees meet  the Oakland A's to complete the current home stand this weekend. One irony is the A's have swept the Yankees in a series each of the last two years. The A's took all three games at Yankee Stadium in their only meeting in the Bronx in 2016. Last year the Yankees were swept by the A's in Oakland in a four game series. The Yankees did manage to return the favor in 2016, competing a four game sweep of the A's in Oakland, meaning in 2016 the home team lost all seven games the two teams played that year, which gave the Yankees a 4-3 season series advantage.  In 2017 the Yankees lost five of seven overall to the A's. 

There will be some intrigue from the Yankees starting pitchers in this series. Sonny Gray will meet his former team Friday night for the first time. Gray has pitched much better in his last two starts, having struggled in most of this early season. On Saturday Domingo German gets the start for the second time this year, coming off his six inning no hit performance. Can we expect to see some more German dominance in his second career start? We'll know Saturday. 

And remember Dustin Fowler? Last June the Yankees called Fowler up from triple A to join the big club in Chicago. His Yankees career lasted almost all of one half inning. Fowler injured his knee chasing a foul pop fly running into a solid steel electrical box along the right field line of Guaranteed Rate Field. Fowler was later included in the deal with the A's which made Gray a Yankee. The A's called Fowler up earlier this week, and he finally got that elusive first MLB at-bat, grounding out in a pinch hit appearance.

Here's wishing Fowler all the best, except in the win column this weekend. Let's start another winning streak, Yankees.  

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