The Yankees couldn’t feel terribly confident in their offense entering their series with the Kansas City Royals, especially after losing multiple key pieces like Anthony Rizzo, Gary Sánchez and Gleyber Torres.
They’ve done nothing but survive and advance in recent weeks, though, and the expectation was that would continue against a well-under-.500 Royals team.
Unfortunately, Monday night’s game was an outright disaster…of a victory.
Featuring four blown saves and the winning (well, losing) run at the plate in the bottom of the 11th, a half-inning Wandy Peralta entered with an 8-5 lead, the series opener was as torturous a game as you’ll ever see, for both sides.
Tuesday’s game was set to feature Nestor Cortes Jr., effective in short spurts but still barely a starting pitcher. Wednesday? That was a pre-planned Yankees bullpen game. To take even one of these contests, the Yanks would have to get a significant number of bounces.
You know what doesn’t help? Errors in triplicate, added to a bullpen meltdown ignited by their recently-unearthed diamond Stephen Ridings.
Prior to his entrance on Tuesday, most of us hoped the electric Ridings might be able to lock down the middle innings on Wednesday. Instead, he rolled up in Game 2 without even a modicum of control, throwing 95 after touching 100 last week. Just peachy. For the stretch run and the team’s immediate future, the way this unfolded was a worst-case scenario.
Yankees rookie Stephen Ridings had a worrisome Tuesday game.
We were already worried about everything else. Now we’re worried about Ridings, one of the few bright spots from New York’s rookie-powered week? Doesn’t seem fair.
Nothing in 2021 is.
Ridings entered with two outs and a runner on first in the sixth to retire Hunter Dozier, who received a 1-2 fastball dead center that was extremely mis-located, either by Ridings or by Kyle Higashioka’s intuition. The only reason the inning ended was Dozier gunning for third, nonsensically, and getting relay’d back to the dugout.
Unfortunately, the seventh inning looked much worse. Ridings got a clean inning and couldn’t find the corners or his velocity. After a Michael A. Taylor double, he took a gifted out and spiked the throw at Luke Voit’s feet after a bunt attempt. The spiral was, unfortunately, complete.
Let’s keep Ridings High, though. We simply need to feel something, and would rather not dwell on the much-slower and poorly-located fastballs we just watched. We know this guy has something special within that right arm, and we’ll need him to rest up and find it soon.
Unfortunately, perhaps as “soon” as tomorrow.
Sorry, kid. This team doesn’t like luxury.