Yankees fall to Twins 3-1 as Wild Card lead continues to fade

The Yankees ended their nine-game road trip in aggravating fashion Wednesday with a 3-1 loss at the hands of the lowly Minnesota Twins. Somehow, New York went 4-6 against three AL Central teams (Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota) with records well under .500 over the last two weeks. With the loss, the Yankees are now only one game up on the Oakland Athletics for the top Wild Card spot. This is extremely concerning considering Oakland has a much easier schedule down the stretch.
Photo Credit: Jim Mone/AP Photo
Let’s start with the offense, or lack thereof. Over the first seven innings of the game, the Yankees were held hitless by Jake Odorizzi, who entered the game with a 4.57 ERA. While he’s a solid MLB starter, Odorizzi is not someone that should shut down a lineup as talented as New York’s. The Yanks finally got to Odorizzi in the eighth when Greg Bird of all people doubled home Luke Voit, who was walked in the previous at-bat. Odorizzi was pulled following the RBI two-base hit, but Minnesota’s bullpen easily recorded the final five outs of the game. Miguel Andujar delivered a single in the ninth, but it’s rather hard to win when you only come up with two hits.

There was one positive to be taken away from this game, and that was the performance of Luis Severino. For five innings, Severino appeared to be the pitcher he was over the first-half of the season. Through five, the Yankees ace was throwing a one-hit, shutout with four strikeouts on only 57 pitches. Things fell apart a little during the ensuing three-hit, one-run sixth inning, but there were enough positives that can be taken away from this performance to make the Yanks feel much better about their star right-hander.

Unfortunately, the bullpen failed the Yankees once again as David Robertson came in and allowed two runs over 1.1 innings of work. Robertson has been largely good this year, but has been prone to blowups, and this was one of them. New York really needed him to hold down the fort with the offense struggling, but he obviously couldn’t. Zach Britton followed Robertson and fired a scoreless inning. Since August 16th, Britton has allowed two runs over 11 innings (1.64 ERA) to lower his season ERA from 4.50 to 3.71. Overall, this was an annoying game to watch, and the Yankees need to right the ship quickly if they want to avoid a threatening trip to Oakland for the Wild Card game.

What’s Next?
The Yankees get a much-needed off day before heading back to New York for the final home stand of the season. The team opens a three-game, weekend series with the Blue Jays starting on Friday and the probable starters are Masahiro Tanaka (11-5, 3.61 ERA) for the Yankees and Toronto’s starter is to be determined. First pitch is at 7:05pm on WPIX.

Recap by: Jake Graziano


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