BIEBER: Yankees struggle heading into Rivalry Week

After a rather tough week where the Yankees finished just 2-4, the team finds itself just 1.5 games up over a heavy Wild Card race. Taking just one game in the series versus the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, the Yankees are going to have to turn things around, and soon, if they want to clinch that coveted playoff spot.

There’s a lot of things worth noting this week. Here are a few…

News From The DL

C.C. Sabathia was forced to leave the game after just three innings on Tuesday against the Blue Jays. Giving up 4 runs on two home runs from Josh Donaldson, Sabathia’s struggles continued. Things got even worse when medical reports came out that he had right knee inflammation. He was immediately placed on the 10 day DL following the game. It took just until the next day on what was a rather successful game for the Yankees, when Masahiro Tanaka was also placed on the DL with inflammation in his right shoulder. These injuries only make options thinner for the Yankees, as now the next best move may be a guy like a struggling Luis Cessa.

On the bright side, Aaron Hicks finally came back from the DL after suffering a strained oblique in late June. The team’s prototypical #2 hitter currently holds a career high, .280 batting average and .387 OBP.

Offense Explodes

Wednesday was a good night for the Yankees, as they mustured up 11 runs on 17 hits. Nick Tepesch had not played a Major League game since May 6th and the Yankees took advantage of that. Todd Frazier homered and collected 3 RBI’s in a 3-hit performance. Jacoby Ellsbury, Garrett Cooper, and Ronald Torreyes each had 2 RBI’s. Cooper even went beyond that collecting his first career 4-hit game. The Yankees demolished by a score of 11-5.

It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

The first five innings of the series opener against the Red Sox, was not in favor of the Yankees. They found themselves down 3-0 and only collecting two hits against Red Sox starter, Eduardo Rodriguez. Tides seemed to turn however, when Adam Warren entered the game in the 6th. Warren went on to throw 2 ⅓ scoreless innings to keep the game close. Bottom of the 8th, Red Sox sent out recently acquired reliever, Addison Reed. After Gardner getting hit by a pitch, Aaron Hicks made him pay with a two run shot to knot the game at 1. In came Joe Kelly. Runners on first and second with nobody out, Didi Gregorius would tie the game up with a single into left center. Next batter, Todd Frazier did the same thing, blooping one ahead of the left fielder to give the Yankees the lead. A Ronald Torreyes sacrifice fly even gave them an extra insurance run. Fans sure went crazy at the sight of this one. A 5 run spot turned the entire game around, as the Yankees took a well needed game by a score of 5-4.
Red Sox Rock Sevy

Saturday was a night to forget for starter, Luis Severino, as Andrew Benintendi and the Red Sox had his number. Sevy, who has no doubt been the Yankees ace this year, was left in disbelief after leaving the game in the 5th innings with the score, 8-3. A two-run single from Mookie Betts, and 2 3-run home runs from Benintendi were the result of this. After a double surrounded by Giovanny Gallegos, Severino’s stat line would finish with 10 run surrendered (8 earned), 8 hits, and 2 walks. The Yankees ended up getting smoked amongst Drew Pomeranz and company, by a score of 10-5. This start was simply a disaster for Severino, as according to ktsharp on Twitter, he became the first Yankee in the last 100 years to have allowed 10+ runs in fewer than 5 IP vs the Red Sox. Originally having the best ERA since the All-Star break (min 20 IP), he has now fallen all the way down to 16th. His yearly ERA also went from 2.91 to 3.32.

$86 Million?

The Yankees were expecting a lot better things from All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman. The fireballing left-hander holds a dismal 3.48 ERA this season. He also holds his career low in K/9 (12.8) and a BB/9 of (4.3). The team is currently second in the league in blown saves and Chapman is certainly a huge resulting part of it. Things would not be better here against the Red Sox. After everyone being exhilarated from a 5 run 8th inning, Chapman would walk the bases loaded on his first three batters. He was luckily bailed out from an outfield assist from Aaron Hicks that formed a double play. However, no one was able to help him two nights later, as Chapman surrendered his first home run of the season to Red Sox rookie, Rafael Devers to tie the game. The Yankees would end up losing by a score of 3-2. It seems like Chapman is just about everyone’s least favorite player at the moment. Things will have to change with him soon if the team wants to have any kind of success; as Joe Girardi says, Chapman will not go anywhere.

Batter of the Week: Garrett Cooper
GM – 4
AB – 14
R – 1
H – 8
HR – 0
RBI – 4
Slash Line – .571/.533/.714

Pitcher of the Week: Jordan Montgomery
GM – 1
IP – 5.1
ER – 1
H – 2
SO – 4

Rivalry week continues, as the Yankees will take on the New York Mets for the annual Subway Series. They will also take on the Red Sox again, this time at Fenway Park. First pitch against the Mets will be on Monday at 7:00 P.M. The matchup is Luis Cessa and Rafael Montero.

Matchups vs/at New York:
Game #1: Monday, August 14th 7:00 P.M.
Rafael Montero (1-8) vs. Luis Cessa (0-3)
Game #2: Tuesday, August 15th 7:05 P.M.
Jacob deGrom (13-5) vs. Sonny Gray (6-7)
Game #3: Wednesday, August 16th 7:00 P.M.
Jamie Garcia (5-8) vs. Seth Lugo (5-3)
Game #4: Thursday, August 17th 7:10 P.M.
Luis Severino (9-5) vs. Steven Matz (2-6)

Matchups at Boston:
Game #1: Friday, August 18th 7:10 P.M.
Jordan Montgomery (7-6) vs. Drew Pomeranz (12-4)
Game #2: Saturday, August 19th 7:10 P.M.
TBD vs. Chris Sale (14-4)
Game #3: Sunday, August 20th 1:30 P.M.
Sonny Gray (6-7) vs. Doug Fister (2-5)

– 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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