Bizarre moments can’t distract from key Yankees issue: Sherman

The Yankees’ overall winning streak and the one against the Red Sox inevitably had to end. This being 2020 it came with the strangest attendance of one and a third-string catcher throwing knuckleballs.

Action was halted in the top of the eighth inning when a human (sorry I won’t describe him as a fan) snuck into Fenway Park, reached the camera wells in center field and began hollering and tossing baseball caps onto the field. He was eventually corralled and removed.

“Probably the last thing you think you are going to have is a fan delay this season,” Erik Kratz said.

Or a 40-year-old catcher throwing knuckleballs. But there was Kratz in the bottom of the eighth — the strangest inning in 2020 is really saying something. J.D. Martinez homered, but that was the lone run allowed by Kratz, who Aaron Boone jokingly praised for his “pitchability” due to bouncing between a high of 86 mph and a low of 55.

Levity, though, could not distract from the key Yankee issue in what was a 10-2 Red Sox victory: that Deivi Garcia had his first stinker after four impressive starts to open his career. Especially because Boone questioned his actual starting pitcher’s pitchability, wondering about his mix (Garcia’s curveball was largely absent) — is that a sideways shot at Gary Sanchez?

Boone also noted a little less life on the righty’s fastball — the 90.8 mph average down nearly 2 mph from his first four starts. Garcia said he lacked command, particularly of his heater.

Garcia allowed six runs in three innings. He could not find a put-away pitch as six of the eight hits off of him came with two strikes, including the two key blows, two-run and three-run homers, both by Michael Chavis.

Aaron Boone
Aaron BoonePaul J. Bereswill

Kratz, who perhaps knows this pitcher best of at least any Yankee player having caught him last year in the minors too, said the combination of Garcia’s precocious pitching intelligence and adaptability will make Sunday at Fenway a lesson, not a bellwether of more bad stuff to come. Which is vital. Because whether Garcia is used in what would be a decisive first-round Game 3 or not, for the Yankees to win four rounds he will be an important figure.

There are no off-days in either the Division Series or the League Championship Series, so whichever teams navigate to the World Series are going to have to use a fourth and possibly fifth starter and depend on more bullpen figures than ever. So in some form, Garcia — the youngest starter in the AL — is going to be prominent.

Until pitching on the Fenway mound of his idol, Pedro Martinez, Garcia had appeared unflappable. He helped stop the Yankees’ suffocating five-game losing streak earlier this month with seven two-run innings on Sept. 9. That triggered a 10-game winning streak that concluded Sunday as the Yankees failed to win a 13th consecutive game against the Red Sox, which would have set the record within this 118-year rivalry.

The winning streak helped the Yanks climb from the eighth seed in the AL to fourth and the potential to gain home field in the first round. Boone vowed to try to win over the final week to secure games in The Bronx, but not at the expense of nursing Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton back to regular play. Most importantly, Boone left Monday’s starter against the Blue Jays a mystery (Michael King will be asked to throw bulk innings no matter what) to push Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka back to Tuesday and Wednesday. Those are their final starts of this abridged regular season, setting them up to start Games 1 and 2 of the playoffs wherever they are contested.

ALSO READ  Nollywood actress, Mercy Aigbe believes nationwide protest will give more ladies husbands this year

J.A. Happ, on a six-start binge with a 1.93 ERA, might now be in line to start Game 3, should there be one. Garcia is due one more outing next weekend to make a case.

In the 10-game winning streak that Garcia initiated, Yankee starters went 7-0 with a 2.13 ERA, walked just 3.3 percent of the batters they faced and held hitters to a .184 average. You do two full turns — emphasize full — of the rotation like that in these playoffs, in particular, and you will win rounds.

So is that the Yankee rotation, one in which Cole looked like a $324 million pitcher, Happ worked at a near-elite level and Garcia was a blessed arrival? Or did Garcia’s first major league start in chillier climes at Fenway raise alarms and doubts about at least his reliability moving forward?

In this short season with a longer playoff than ever, decisions have to be made with whatever evidence becomes available.

New York Post

Source: Newzandar.com

Trending Now🔥

Recent Posts⚡

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments