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Justus Sheffield moved to bullpen in Triple-A, primed for September call-up

The Railriders scratched Justus Sheffield from his start today and have announced that he is being moved to the bullpen. While typically this is meant for someone who is struggling and not performing to expectations, this is a different scenario. This move will not only monitor Sheffield’s innings for him so he can contribute down the stretch, but it will allow him to adapt to a new role the Yankees plan on using him in when September 1 arrives.

Yankees Split Doubleheader with Kansas City


It is often said that it is extremely difficult to win both games of a doubleheader, no matter how below average the team you are playing is. That has been the case for the Yanks, as they have split all of their doubleheaders this season including the one on Saturday against the Royals, losing the first game 10-5 while edging out the night cap 5-4. It was an eventful day in the Bronx to say the least that saw Severino continue to struggle, Zach Britton lose the strike zone, C.C take a tumble and Neil Walker having his best day as a Yankee.
Photo Credit: AP Rich Schultz 


In the first game, Severino was on the hill looking to back bounce from his recent struggles: spoiler alert, he did not bounce back. In fact, Sevy once again had an extremely poor performance that saw him unable to command his off speed, or much of anything for that matter. It was Severino’s shortest start of the season, and his second consecutive start allowing six earned runs. Severino has now allowed 19 earned runs in 19.1 innings pitched over his last four starts, and it is impossible to not have at least some level of concern about him.

Photo Credit: AP Julie Jacobson

Despite being down 6-0 when Sevy exited the game, the Yanks fought their way back. A two-run home run to dead center by Stanton in the fifth put the Yankees on the board, and an RBI single from Neil and a double play with the bases loaded in the sixth inning cut the deficit to 6-4. After an RBI double by Gleyber in the 8th, a play in which he was thrown out on trying to advance to third on a throw, it seemed as if it was going to be another spectacular comeback victory for New York. Sadly, that was not the case, as Robertson came in to the game and shortly after gave up a three-run shot to Goodwin to put the game out of reach.

The night cap started off well for the Yankees, however it was far from easy and a certain recently acquired relief pitcher almost blew it. An infield single by Andujar and a sacrifice fly from Walker gave the Yankees a quick 2-0 lead in the first, gifting C.C with some much-needed support. Salvador Perez and Shane Robinson, yes; that Shane Robinson, exchanged solo shots to keep it a two-run game, and all things seemed to be going just as planned until the fifth inning. C.C ran into trouble in the fifth, which was manifested by him falling while trying to field a little dribbler to first. It wasn’t what you wanted to see with all the recent injuries, however C.C seemed to be fine and stayed in the game before walking in a run with the bases loaded forcing Boone to pull him. Jonathan Holder was called upon and got Dozier to strike out swinging to keep the Yanks ahead.

Photo Credit: AP Rich Schultz

Holder came back out for the sixth and did not find success, as there were runners on first and second with two outs, forcing Boone to bring in Chad Green. Unlike Holder, Green could not keep the Yanks lead in check, as an RBI single from Herrera tied things up at three, and the bad day for the bullpen would only amplify in the seventh. Zach Britton was the seventh inning guy today; and my God was it awful. After getting the first two outs of the inning, all hell broke loose. A Dozier double and an infield single had the Royals on the verge of taking the lead, but not to worry, the eight and nine hitters were up for Kansas City; what could possibly go wrong? Apparently, many things, because Britton walked both on four pitches, marking the second time in the game that a Yankee pitcher walked in a run with the bases loaded, and the Royals took the lead 4-3.

Photo Credit: AP Rich Schultz

Despite these terrible bullpen performances, the Yanks found a way to climb back. Greg Bird started off the eighth with just what his team needed, a solo shot that tied things back up at four. Walker then followed Bird up with a double in the gap, and out of nowhere the Yanks had some life. Walker was brought in on an Aaron Hicks sac fly, giving New York the lead once again. The ninth inning was Aroldis Chapmans first appearance since his disaster against the Mets, and despite him still being a bit shaky and having to work out of danger, he got the job done, got the save and secured the win for the Yanks.

If Saturday taught us anything it is this: doubleheaders suck and are extremely difficult to sweep, and the Yanks need to play far better against inferior teams. It is the main reason that the Red Sox are 5.5 games up in the division. Their ability to beat bad teams is something the Yankees simply have not done this season, and it may cost them an A.L East crown.

What’s Next?
The Yanks and Royals face off Sunday at 1:05 PM ET, with JA Happ making his Yankees debut. The 35-year-old will get a pretty favorable first team to go up against. Another interesting aspect of this game to watch out for will be Boone’s lineup after having two questionable lineups on Saturday.

Article by: Matt Luzzi

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