Sweep. It’s usually such a good word in Yankee Universe. Alas, not tonight. In this case, a when the term “sweep” is used against the Yankees, things just aren’t alright.
To close out the series against the Athletics, the Yankees sent Luis Severino to start tonight’s game, and he actually kept things pretty even for his 6 innings, giving up 7 hits, 2 runs, and no walks and striking out 4 Oakland batters. A lead-off double in the 4th scored on the next batter’s single to kick things off for the A’s, and a 2-out solo home run added one more in the 5th.
On the flip side of things, the Yankees scored their own 2 runs under the Athletics’ starter. In the 2nd, Teixeira and Rodriguez on base with walks, Aaron Hicks’ single scored Teixeira. Then in the 4th, Rodriguez (using all Prince songs for his walk-up music tonight in tribute to the late artist) worked a 1-out walk, stole 2nd and ended up at 3rd on a throwing error, and then scored a bit later on Austin Romine’s soft single (almost a bunt really).
So with the game tied going into the 7th inning with the starters out of the game, the Yankees handed the game over to Chasen Shreve, who clearly had a terribly off-night — giving up back-to-back solo home runs to lead off his inning before he got down to business and became the Shreve we’ve all come to know and love (with 2 great strikeouts).
The Yankees got one of those runs back in the bottom of that inning. Brett Gardner came into the game here as a pinch-hitter (still bothered some by that stiff neck) and led-off with a walk. He later moved to 2nd on Ellsbury’s 2-out single before scoring on Starlin Castro’s nice bloop single. And while he didn’t do so much today, my mother mentioned she loves watching Gardner play ball, especially when he races around the bases. She used an old saying of my grandfather’s to describe it: “Gardner doesn’t run; he just flies low.”
Back at the top of the 8th, the Yankees called in Johnny Barbato to finish the final 2 innings, and that spotty luck lately seemed to continue through Barbato’s innings. He gave up a 2-out 2-run home run in the 8th to add further cushion the A’s lead. And in the 9th, 2 consecutive walks double stole to get into scoring position before the lead runner scored on a sacrifice fly to cap off the scoring for the evening.
Honestly, the only significant statistic of tonight’s game was the 14 strikeouts handed out by the A’s pitchers, 10 by their starter (a former Yankee briefly, by the way) alone. Also, technically, both teams allowed the same number of runners on base (13 through a combination of walks and hits), but the A’s just cobbled those together more with 4 total home runs to help get the win tonight.
Final score: 7-3 Athletics, Oakland sweeps the Yankees 3-0.
The Rays are coming into town this weekend for another division rivalry. And the Yankees need to start winning again. Though currently, only Baltimore in on the winning side of the statistics in the AL East — Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay, and New York are all below .500 for the season so far. In other words, the strong and mighty and often feared AL East division isn’t living up to its reputation.
Well, then it’s time to shake things up.
The first no-hitter of the season came tonight by the Cubs in a blowout game against the Reds tonight. This is the second time the pitcher has done this (including last season) and is only the 3rd Cub to throw multiple no-hitters in history. It’s always a fun thing to watch and celebrate. But to be fair to Yankee Universe, it’s been 60 years since Larsen’s perfect game, 18 years since Cone’s, and 17 years since Wells. It’s not like it’s super common, which is why it’s always celebrated, respected, and honored.