The Yankees have had a tumultuous August so far, with a five game losing streak and a three-game win streak to their name. But a 6-8 record in the season’s next-to-last month is the bottom line. And for a team that has its sights set on a playoff berth, playing below .500 baseball for any stretch of time is cause for concern.
The Yanks looked as though they were headed in the right direction just 24 hours ago as they were coming off back-to-back road wins over their immediate threat in the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays. But Sunday, Toronto capitalized on a Yankees miscue with two outs in the third as Carlos Beltran lost a flyball hit by Troy Tulowitzki in the sun. It extended an inning in which Josh Donaldson would single in a run and Jose Bautista would belt a two-run home run. It would be all the runs the Jays would need in a 3-1 victory.
Despite taking the loss, Luis Severino was strong on the mound, working 6.0 innings while allowing three earned runs on five hits. He struck out nine and walked three on 104 pitches.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi is just fine with allowing his starters to pitch well into the hundreds when it comes to pitch count as he has made it clear, of late, that he wants to give his bullpen – specifically Dellin Betances - a rest.
“To me, it’s throwing [relievers] too many days in a row or throwing them four out of five days [that’s the issue],” Girardi told MLB.com. “That’s just an awful lot to ask of a reliever. We do two in a row and then we do three out of four, but we don’t do much more than that.”
The Yankees are back at the Stadium tonight to begin a three-game set with Minnesota. The Twins have been having their own issues as they have fallen off the pace in the AL Central and now own a .500 record at 58-58. C.C. Sabathia will get the ball Monday (7 p.m., YES) for the Yanks with Nathan Eovaldi and Ivan Nova set to follow him in the rotation.