Corner not turned: Yankees drop series opener to Royals, 6-1

Riding high after last night’s dramatic win over Boston, the Yankees failed to carry that momentum into tonight’s series opener with the Royals, falling 6-1 to Kansas City. With the loss, New York is now a combined 3-7 at home against projected American League cellar dwellers Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago and Kansas City. 

Photo Credit: Julio Cortez/AP Photo

Domingo German came into tonight with a sparkling 1.38 ERA in 13 innings. That number would grow just three batters into game when the resurgent Alex Gordon drove home Adalberto Mondesi with a one-out double over the head of Aaron Judge. Gordon has been a revelation for the Royals this season, with a .328 batting average and OPS over .900. The Yankees would tie the game in the bottom of the first, but “Sunday” allowed another run in the top of the second on a second-row home run to left by Jorge Soler. 

From there, German settled down and allowed just one more run over the next four frames. The 26-year-old right-hander finished the night with three runs allowed on six hits over six respectable innings. He also posted nine strikeouts and now has 23 punch-outs in his 19 innings pitched this season.

While German wasn’t great tonight, this loss isn’t on him. The offense put forth a pitiful performance. Facing Homer Bailey, a pitcher that hasn’t had an ERA under 5.56 since 2014, the Bronx Bombers mustered only one run. One. Bailey allowed one run on three hits over six innings, while striking out six. The lone run came in the first inning when Aaron Judge and Luke Voit hit back-to-back singles to set up runners on the corners with one out. Then, Gleyber Torres got the job done with a sacrifice fly to center field. 

Unfortunately, the team had a mere two more hits over the final eight innings of the game after that. Both of those hits were courtesy of the red-hot Clint Frazier. One of the few bright spots on the team thus far, Frazier sports a .347 batting average and .970 OPS. Now, back to the bad. Kansas City's 28th ranked bullpen (6.37 ERA entering tonight) finished the game off with three scoreless innings to close the book on tonight. Former Yankee Ian Kennedy picked up the last four outs of the game for the Royals. Of note, Mike Ford made his MLB Debut for the Yankees tonight and went 0-3 with a walk.

To add insult to injury, the Yankees suspect bullpen wasn’t very good either. Jonathan Holder entered the game in the seventh in relief of Domingo German and allowed three hits, and one run, before departing. After that, Zack Britton entered the ballgame and allowed a sac fly, which made the score 5-1 KC. With how lethargic the offense was tonight, you could just feel that those two runs would be the final nail in the coffin. Holder’s season ERA is now up to 7.00 in nine innings. New York has to get him right. Another guy the team needs to get right is Chad Green. Green came on in the eighth and allowed two singles before pitching out of a jam. He just doesn’t have it right now and should be mixing in other pitches besides his fastball, which he uses 75% of the time, per Fangraphs. Joe Harvey came on for the ninth and allowed one final run to make the final score 6-1.

What’s Next?
Game two of this four-game, weekend series in the Bronx tomorrow night. The probable pitching matchup pits CC Sabathia (0-0, 0.00 ERA) against Jacob Junis (1-1, 6.14 ERA) of Kansas City. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (a change from the recent 6:35 starts this week) on WPIX. Let’s hope it goes much better than this did.

Recap by: Jake Graziano


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