The New York Yankees, who snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday with a jolt thanks to a walk-off win, followed that up by doing their best to silence the stadium in the first couple innings in the series finale against the San Diego Padres.
With Gerrit Cole on the bump, it felt like this one was lined up for the Bombers had they just been competent. Sadly, a rocky first inning for Cole followed by a circus performance by the defense put the Yankees in a hole early.
The second batter of the game, Jake Cronenworth, who was hitting .213 with five home runs heading into this one, homered off Cole after the right-hander grooved a fastball over the heart of the plate on a 2-2 count.
Aaron Judge responded in the bottom half with a monster solo shot of his own off Yu Darvish, but those joyous feelings would be short-lived.
In the second inning with one out, Cole walked Ha-Seong Kim, who is hitting .239 with a 98 OPS+ and 18 walks in his first 48 games this year. Simply can't walk that guy. Kim then stole second before Cole surrendered a single to Jose Azocar, someone hitting .227 with a 46 OPS+ this year. And then the defense took it from there.
Comedy of Yankees errors puts New York in early hole vs Padres
Harrison Bader has already done exactly that multiple times this season, and whatever Kyle Higashioka did deserves some sort of medical attention. The next inning, Higashioka slid into third base on what was a single up the middle by Anthony Volpe. Really not sure what he's doing.
Overall, the Yankees' defense needs to clean it up. It's been far to sloppy over the last couple of weeks and was a big reason the Orioles took two out of three against them in the Bronx.
Thankfully, the Yankees stormed back in the bottom of the third to hang six runs on Darvish, who had to be saved by Trent Grisham's epic robbery of what would've been a three-run homer for DJ LeMahieu.
After Willie Calhoun doubled into the gap with two outs to drive in another run and make it 6-3 Yankees, the Padres were forced to go to the bullpen. Here's the sequence the Yanks responded with:
- Volpe RBI single
- Jude RBI single
- Rizzo RBI single
- Bader RBI groundout
- Calhoun RBI double
- IKF RBI single
- Higgy RBI double
Your move, Gerrit; just have to last three more innings to put this victory into focus.
Either Cole has to stay sharp or the defense needs to remain awake for six more innings. You'd think one of those could fall in the Yankees' favor.