BIEBER: Yankees lead diminishes as injuries mount

The tides seemed to change for the New York Yankees this week. After going on a 6 game winning streak that gave the team a four game lead in the division, they would go on to lose the next 6 and now see themselves tied with the Boston Red Sox. They also witnessed some of their key players go down with injuries.

The Yankees headed out to the west coast for a road trip that started with the Los Angeles Angels. After winning the first game of the series on a home run from Aaron Judge and a much stronger outing from Masahiro Tanaka, things started heaing south.

C.C. Sabathia took the bump to try to get his 5th straight win. Everything seemed to be going fine for the left-hander hander, as he was in the process of going through his fourth scoreless inning. However, an error by the first-baseman, Chris Carter, kept Sabathia on the mound. An RBI double from the next batter, C.J. Cron gave the Angels a 1-0 lead. Sabathia would be forced to leave the game at the end of the inning due to tightness in his left hamstring that occurred during his second-to-last pitch. It was soon found out to be strained and like many injuries similar to this it had a rather serious outcome. Sabathia now finds himself on the DL for at least the next six weeks. The Yankees ended up losers in this game. Despite a go ahead home run from Chase Headley, a couple of late inning RBIs from Eric Young Jr. snapped the team’s win streak. The final score was 3-2.

A 3-run home run from Gary Sanchez gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead in the first inning of the series’ rubbermatch. Unfortunately, Michael Pineda, who has been solid all year, did not have his sharpest stuff. The Halos struck back, tying the game in the third inning. Pineda’s outing was not very good in this one, as he surrendered 5 runs and 10 hits through six. He allowed a hit to every batter in the lineup including 2 as well as an RBI to Eric Young Jr. The real big blow in this one however, was a go ahead home run off of rookie, Ronald Herrera to Andrelton Simmons, giving the Angels a 7-5 lead. The Yankees had promise in the 9th with a fly ball from Aaron Hicks not being ruled out on a potential catch from Kole Calhoun. This ended up being a double, but unfortunately Aaron Judge was unable to bring him home and the Yankees fell short. The Angels were winners by a score of 7-5.

Now in Oakland the Yankees were ready to take on the Athletics. The pitching was again not good in this one, as both teams would combine for 30 hits. Chris Carter, Chase Headley, and Gary Sanchez were the main contributors on offense totaling 7 hits and 6 RBIs. The game went rather back in forth with the A’s scoring in the bottom half of almost every inning the Yankees scored. The game went into extra innings after Gary Sanchez hit a single up the middle to tie the game. A Starlin Castro sacrifice fly gave the Yankees the lead in the 10th. But the Yankees ended up losing again, as Castro may have been too aggressive on a center fielder’s ball. He was unable to make the grab over his shoulder which resulted as a walk-off bloop single from Khris Davis. To top it all off, more bad news came after the game, with fans finding out that Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, and Adam Warren all had injuries. Warren was placed on the 10-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, while Sanchez and Hicks were day-to-day.

Game #2 of the series featured a matchup of Luis Severino and Sean Manaea. It seemed like the A’s were in the driver’s seat in this one, as they put up four runs in the second inning. But the Yankees didn’t take much time coming back. This was most notably due to a 3-run home run off the bat of Aaron Judge. The Yankees took a 5-4 lead in the 6th after Chris Carter hit a solo shot off Manaea to dead center field. However, with the score 6-4 the bullpen was unable to give support. Chad Pinder made the game closer with a sacrifice fly off of Chasen Shreve. Matt Chapman soon came through as well with a 2-run single to left against Jonathan Holder. This was Chapman’s first major league hit and it was a big one leading to a 7-6 A’s win. The Yankees lose yet another close one.

Masahiro Tanaka hoped to build off of his last start but his problems kept on continuing. Just like against the Angels, a 1st inning home run, this time from Matt Joyce, put the team behind early. Ryon Healy had himself a day, homering twice off of Tanaka, both being solo shots. The A’s put up two more in the 4th, with singles from Adam Rosales and Jed Lowrie. The offense for the Yankees was a non-factor, despite putting up two runs in the second, they only finished the game with 5 total hits. The A’s bullpen was marvellous in this one combined with Healy’s power gave the A’s an easy 5-2 win.

On a hot Fathers’ day afternoon, the Yankees were looking to avoid getting swept for the first time all season long. Matt Holliday gave the Yankees some hope with a shot off of Jahrell Cotton in the second. Aaron Judge also followed suit with an RBI single to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately though, Luis Cessa, who was recently called up, did not have a good start. Cessa gave up 4 runs in four innings pitched, including a 2-run home run from Khris Davis to give the A’s the lead. For the second straight game in a row, the Yankees could not get anything going against the opposing bullpen. In fact they weren’t even able to get a hit passed the 5th inning. The A’s were able to sweep the Yankees, as they were winners, 4-3.

In other sad news, Yankees’ #1 prospect Gleyber Torres will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn UCL. The 20-year-old will undergo Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing hand and is expected to be recovered for 2018 spring training.

Batter of the Week: Aaron Judge
GM – 7
AB – 27
R – 6
H – 7
HR – 2
RBI – 6
BB – 6
Slash Line – .259/.412/.556

Pitcher of the Week: Dellin Betances
GM – 2
SV – 1
IP – 3.0
H – 1
ER – 0
K – 6

Hopefully the Yankees will turn things around, as they head back home to once again TO take on the Los Angeles Angels as well as the Texas Rangers.

Matchups Vs. Los Angeles
Game #1: Tuesday June 20th 7:05 P.M.
Parker Bridwell (1-0) vs. Michael Pineda (5-3)

Game #2: Wednesday June 21st 7:05 P.M.
Ricky Nolasco (2-8) vs. Jordan Montgomery (4-4)

Game #3: Thursday June 22nd 7:05 P.M.
Jesse Chavez (5-7) vs. Luis Severino (5-2)

Matchups Vs. Texas
Game #1: Friday June 23rd 7:05 P.M.
Yu Darvish (6-5) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (5-7)

Game #2: Saturday June 24th 1:05 P.M.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2-0) vs. Luis Cessa (0-1)

Game #3: Sunday June 25th 2:05 P.M.
Nick Martinez (1-3) vs. Michael Pineda (7-3)

– David Bieber is a contributing columnist to FingerLakes1.com covering the New York Yankees with a weekly report published on Monday throughout the season.

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