Another lackluster offensive performance costs Yanks a critical game to Boston

After a big win last night behind the Yankee stopper CC Sabathia, the Bombers looked to snag another game from the Red Sox with Sonny Gray on the mound. The game started out fast with a quick run in the first, but that was the highlight for the Yankees as three Boston home runs doomed Gray and the Bombers, dropping them back to 5.5 games behind their rivals.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Sonny started fast with a first pitch six-four groundout and finished the first inning in only 12 pitches. The Bomber offense started just as fast, with back to back doubles from Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge, giving the Yankees a quick 1-0 lead. It started to look like the team was starting to finally click, but that would not be the case.



(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The lead only lasted until the third inning where a two run home run by Eduardo Nunez put Boston up by one. Gray fought back, getting a ground out and a strikeout to end the inning, but the damage was done. The Yankees needed to help their starter with some run support, but the offense offered no help.

New Yankee killer Andrew Benintendi hit his fourth home run this season against the Yanks with a rocket over the right field wall in the fifth inning, increasing the lead to two. The home run barrage continued with Hanley Ramirez solo shot in the seventh inning.

Aroldis Chapman would come in to relieve Gray in the eighth inning and looked pretty good, only allowing one hit and striking out three in one inning. Since his demotion, Chapman has only surrendered two hits, one walk, and one run. It is a small sample size, but the Yankees need Chapman to be his old self if they want to be successful moving forward.

The Bombers tried to get something going in the eighth, pinch hitting Aaron Hicks for the struggling Todd Frazier, but to no avail. The Yankees only hits after the first inning was a single by Jacoby Ellsbury and a push bunt by Chase Headley. Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel would come in the eighth and ninth to finish off the Yankees, pushing the division lead back to 5.5. 

The righty Gray was deadly in the beginning of the game, making grown men look silly with his curveball and had eight strikeouts in the first four innings. However, it still seems like Gray struggles with finishing batters when he gets ahead in the count, continuing to nibble at the edges of the strike zone instead of being aggressive. Tonight’s outing ended Gray’s 11-start streak of two or fewer runs allowed. It is safe to say that this was an aberration in an otherwise great season for Sonny Gray, but the club really needed a great performance from the starter and he just didn't have his best stuff through the night.  

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Tonight was another frustrating loss for the Yankees, as they are running out of time to catch the Red Sox for the division lead, and on top of that, the wild card race is getting tighter by the day. The offense is maddeningly inconsistent and has ruined some great start by the pitching staff. If this trend continues, fans cannot be too excited for a wild card game where they are just hoping the bats show up.

Tomorrow, the Yankees trot out Masahiro Tanaka to face Drew Pomeranz in a 1:05 PM day game in the Bronx. It may be a bit pessimistic, but if the Yanks can't win this series, they can kiss the AL East title goodbye.

Winning Pitcher: Doug Fister (4-7, 4.19 ERA) 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Losing Pitcher: Sonny Gray (8-9, 3.36 ERA) 7.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 3 HR
Save: Craig Kimbrel (32)

Notables:
Brett Gardner 1-4 R
Aaron Judge 1-4 RBI
Andrew Benintendi 2-4 R, RBI
Eduardo Nunez 1-4 R, 2 RBI

Article by: Maxx Hotton

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