Yankees’ offense lifeless again in 4-0 shutout loss to Blue Jays

One can’t say enough about how bad the Yankees look right now. They entered August with a middling record over the previous six weeks or so, and somehow, they’ve made that seem good in comparison to their current play. It’s just the same crap day after day with the only reprieve being minor miracles leading to narrow wins. But those have been rare, and New York is now 4-13 in August and 12-24 since their high-water mark on July 8th after another awful effort on Friday night.

The offense never got a man past second base, and Kevin Gausman hardly broke a sweat while twirling seven shutout innings in a 4-0 Blue Jays win. The Yankees were completely blanked for the fifth time in 13 games. They’ve scored just 14 runs in the past 7 contests, and 8 of them came during the improbable win on Wednesday — a true outlier. Otherwise, it’s been utter misery.

The fans at Yankee Stadium had hardly settled into their seats when rookie Oswaldo Cabrera gave them their one real highlight of the night. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got the nod at leadoff for Toronto with George Springer battling knee sorenessbut he did a good Springer impression by lifting Jameson Taillon’s first pitch to the limits of the Yankee Stadium outfield.

Cabrera went back to the wall, jumped …

… and robbed Gurriel of a homer to start the ballgame. As a reminder, Cabrera had never played the outfield before 2022, and this was only his fourth professional start out there (and first in the majors). The 23-year-old is making a terrific first impression on the fans in his debut homestand.

It was all downhill from there. An Aaron Judge walk and Josh Donaldson single gave Andrew Benintendi a chance to put them on the board with two outs in the first, but Gausman retired him on a grounder. From there, the 2021 All-Star had no problems turning the lineup over, and Taillon instead allowed Toronto to take the opening lead in the third. Whit Merrifield led off with a single, Cavan Biggio doubled him to third, and while Jamo did a decent job of limiting the damage, a Gurriel grounder scored the game’s first run.

The real problem for Taillon came in the fourth, when he again allowed the leadoff man to hurt him with a single to left (this time by Alejandro Kirk). Teoscar Hernández was the next batter and he walloped a fat offering that ended up right down the middle.

The Apple TV+ broadcast might have mostly missed it because they were airing an Aaron Boone interview, but it sure counted. That was just a terrible pitch, and the score was 3-0 with the Yankees’ offense showing no signs of life. Even the minor hope sparked by a leadoff single from Gleyber Torres in the fifth was oh-so-fleeting, as Isiah Kiner-Falefa immediately banged into a double play. Very helpful! Glad he’s around and not Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe.

Taillon threw a perfect fifth but would not survive the next inning. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Kirk began the sixth with a double and single respectively, and the call went out to Lou Trivino. Unlike on Monday night, the former Athletic brought the goods and bailed Taillon out of further trouble with a Hernández popup, a Bo Bichette strikeout, and a force out from Matt Chapman. It was honestly terrific work to keep it a three-run ballgame and save Taillon from an ugly pitching line. Five innings of six-hit ball with three runs allowed doesn’t look good, but it sure looks better than four or five-run ball. Taillon has Trivino to thank for that.

There’s not much more to say about the rest of this game because the Yankees’ lineup simply continued to go through the motions. It was so lifeless and futile that in the PSA Slack, we switched to talking about our preferred forms of booze. The only baserunner to reach in the sixth was Anthony Rizzo on a two-out bleeder to left for a single, and Donaldson promptly whiffed to end that nonsense.

From the seventh on? Oh whatever, I’ll just list the play-by-play because if the Yankees are phoning it in on a Friday night like they have better things to do, then you can bet your ass that I’m doing it, too:

  • Benintendi third-pitch fly out to left
  • Torres second-pitch lineout to right
  • IKF first-pitch fly out to right — End of seventh
  • Cabrera sixth-pitch fly out to left (at least the rookie is trying!)
  • Jose Trevino first-pitch groundout to shortstop
  • DJ LeMahieu third-pitch groundout to second — End of eighth
  • Judge reaches on catcher’s interference (lol)
  • Rizzo five-pitch strikeout
  • Donaldson first-pitch lineout to shortstop
  • Benintendi six-pitch fly out to center (final out)

Oh and just for the fun of it, Aroldis Chapman came in and melted down in the ninth on a single, two walks, and a wild pitch. Ron Marinaccio relieved him with one out and the fourth run scored on a sacrifice fly. This Yankees lineup wasn’t going to come back anyway, but I still can’t wait until Aroldis Chapman is off my baseball team.

Gerrit Cole will get the ball tomorrow afternoon for a matinee outing against Mitch White, and he’ll attempt to keep the AL East lead from falling to seven games for the first time since June 9th. First pitch will be at 1:05pm ET, back on the normal TV-watching/online streaming services. No word yet on if Cole — he of the three career home runs — will try to insert himself in the lineup in the hope of someone scoring a damn run for him.

Box Score

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