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Mini Losing Streak: No Panic For Yankees

Yankees' Juan Soto, 2021 National League LatinoMVP, makes a throw back to the infield on Tuesday night against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

BRONX, NY — The Yankees are expected to have a losing pattern at some point and perhaps losing consecutive ball games at home for the first time this season is a taste of adversity. Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, the Seattle Mariners used the home run ball four times including two from Dylan Moore.

But the Yankees 6-3 loss and second straight to the Mariners is just a bump in the road. Good teams as the Yankees are, can overcome this minor bump and make the adjustment so there is no reason to panic, though losing three-in-a-row has not been their repertoire.

And Wednesday evening Nestor Cortes will take his turn on the mound. The left-hander will start on a regular four days of rest and got the win last Friday evening in the Bronx against the White Sox with seven-innings and allowing one run.

Nestor Cortes in last Friday’s outing against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

For sure, the Yankees don’t consider this two-game skid a slump, though starter Clarke Schmidt lasted only five innings and gave up the home run ball to Ty France in the third inning. Their season high seven-game winning streak was snapped Monday night in the Bronx, a 5-4 loss. Too early but the Yankees still hold the best record in the American League and second best in baseball to the Phillies.

Yankees pitchers allowed five runs in that loss, still a good reflection of a staff that has held opponents to three runs or fewer in 31 of their 49 games. The staff ERA (2.68 ERA) leads the majors.

Again no reason for a concern, though Schmidt did admit he was tipping his pitches and made adjustments in between innings. It resulted in deep counts and close to 70 pitches thrown in the third inning,

“I had a game plan,” Schmidt said. “Credit to them fouling off pitches and driving deep counts. Really happy to make some adjustments.”

Clarke Schmidt has 61 strikeouts this season in 10 outings – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

He said the fastball was off for an inning-and -a-half and made the adjustments. But the Mariners were able to seize their moment as Schmidt and his adjustments went to work in the fourth inning.

The Yankees, though, could not take advantage of their moments. Oswaldo Cabrera ended a ninth inning rally and come-from-behind game tying opportunity, something that was not in the Yankees repertoire during their recent winning streak.

No reason to panic. Every team has these bumps in the road, though this one is minor and not expected to continue Wednesday evening. Gleyber Torres hit a three-run homer in the seventh, his third of the season that got the Yankees in reach.

Recently it has been a struggle for Torres. Compared to the Yankees lineup of Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Giancarlo Stanton, Alex Verdugo, Anthony Rizzo, Anthony Volpe, and Joe Trevino, who all played a hand during the winning streak, Torres’ at-bats had limited impact.

The home run may have come too late for the Yankees. But a consistent Torres and that home run is a good sign.

“Just to put the ball in play in that situation, I am looking for a fastball,” Torres said. “Hopefully tomorrow, one day at a time working. I’m just trying to be more consistent.”

Back to Schmidt and a 42 percent strikeout rate on the knuckle curve that adds to his repertoire. He recorded five strikeouts through 2-⅔ innings. The Moore two-run homer to left went two rows back a 3-2 cutter down the middle Moore’s 4-RBI night including a run scoring single in the 7th.

But no cause to panic with this brief two game slide. Schmidt is confident he made the adjustments and the Yankees are known to rebound after a loss, 11-4 after one loss. Their longest losing streak is three (mid April) and two consecutive losses at home is rare.
Consider also, Bryan Woo and allowing two hits over six innings, striking out seven.

Last June, he threw 5 ⅓ innings for his first Major League win against the Yankees. The Yankees could do nothing with his fastball. Judge was limited to a walk and Soto struck out two times.

Aaron Judge and the Yankees experienced their 17th loss of the season on Tuesday night, and are now 33-17, 16 games over .500 – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

“Elite fastball,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone about Woo (2-0). The manager sensed this was a night for the Mariners pitcher and there is no reason to panic during this mini losing streak.

However losing two in a row is not in the Yankees repertoire and they will try to avoid losing a series and that starts with Wednesday evening with Cortes on the mound.

Rich Mancuso: X (Formerly Twitter) @Ring786 Mancuso

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