Aaron Boone and the New York Yankees saw whatever momentum they picked up from an emotional series win against the Houston Astros completely sucked away, as they lost the first game of their series against the Washington Nationals thanks to the worst performance of the season out of their bullpen.
The Yankees, on paper, could’ve easily bounced back in a Saturday day game considering the fact that Corey Kluber is back on the hill, but Washington will have the starting pitching advantage in this game, as the Nats will send a future Hall of Famer in Max Scherzer to the hill against a very inconsistent Yankees lineup.
Boone apparently doesn’t think that his team has the ability to make much of a dent in the scoreboard against one of the best pitchers in the game, and his lineup has all the telltale signs of a punt.
While the three usual suspects of DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge are in the lineup in the top three spots, Gleyber Torres, in the middle of a power outage, is hitting in the cleanup spot, followed by Brett Gardner. Clint Frazier, Mike Ford, Kyle Higashioka, and Tyler Wade round out the lineup.
Aaron Boone and the Yankees aren’t psyched about Max Scherzer.
Scherzer might turn 37 in the middle of this season, but he is just as sharp on the mound as ever, as evidenced by the 2.54 ERA he is sporting right now. Having said that, despite his stuff and accolades, he is not untouchable.
The Atlanta Braves roughed him up for four runs in his first start of the season, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays managed to hang seven on him. Maybe, just maybe, the Yankees could’ve done that if they managed to piece a better lineup permutation together?
With Gardner, the struggling Frazier, Ford, who couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat over the last few games, and a complete non-factor on offense in Wade in the lineup, the Yankees don’t seem to be really going for this victory. With a three-game losing streak potentially staring them in the face, this isn’t a wise decision.
As has been the case with the Yankees this year, just when you’re ready to throw your hands up and give up on them, they rally with a performance that takes your breath away and starts getting fans hopeful that they could start to rack up the wins. Beating Scherzer will be tough, but much stranger things have happened this season.