The New York Yankees got their matchup against the Los Angeles Angels started off with a bang in the first inning, as Joey Gallo obliterated a two-run home run to give New York a one-run lead following Justin Upton’s solo jack for the visitors. That, and some solid relief pitch, was the good news.
The bad news encompasses everything that transpired afterward. A game that was still a 2-1 victory ended up as a complete mess. The Yankees looked poised to tee off against an Angels pitching staff that remains ineffective outside of Shohei Ohtani, but the offense was completely sucked out of the building after Gallo’s blast.
The Yankees have more than enough star power in their lineup with names like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton right in the middle, and they have performed well enough lately to take home a series win against the mighty White Sox, but that doesn’t mean everything smells like roses in the Bronx.
The Yankees continue to show an ineptitude for coming through in clutch situations and taking advantage of subpar competition in ways that are more complex than trying to clout as many home runs as possible, a method that has often had disastrous results.
If the Yankees manage to make it to October (already unlikely) playing like this, they can expect a quick exit. With 23 losses this year in games decided by one or two runs, living on a knife-edge is a very risky strategy.
The Yankees’ approach at the plate is not sustainable.
While Gallo provided some early fireworks with his missile of a home run that sailed into the second deck in right field, lefty starter Jose Suarez had a field day picking the Yankees apart. Keep in mind, this team is designed to crush left-handed pitching. Somehow, Suarez turns into Steve Carlton against this lineup.
The biggest kick in the stomach came in the sixth inning, as Suarez walked the bases loaded with Stanton and Luke Voit coming up to bat. The Yankees didn’t get a single run out of that escapade, as Stanton struck out and Voit immediately bounced into a double play.
Between the fact that the Yankees seem to be crossing their fingers, hoping that one of their sluggers runs into a fastball at the plate and their horrid situational hitting, they can’t expect to win meaningful games down the stretch playing like that.
Adding more left-handed power at the deadline should get Brian Cashman some praise, but this roster is still showing poor situational awareness and no clutch gene. Anthony Rizzo did his best to mitigate some of the damage when he touched down, but now that he is incapacitated, the Yankees continue to blow leads late and win by the skin of their teeth.
If they can’t capitalize on a huge Gallo home run at home against an average pitcher in Suarez and an Angels team that won’t play postseason baseball, when will they capitalize? With another Red Sox series coming up, New York needs to sharpen things up.