Unless I’m missing something in the play-by-play, Luis Ayala had a good day today, and the rest of the Yankees bullpen did not. If Wednesday’s loss rested on an inability to execute on defense, this one rested on the inability to execute in relief.
• Boone Logan faced one lefty and gave up an RBI double that pulled the Orioles within a run.
• Aaron Laffey faced one lefty and walked him to put the potential tying run on base.
• Cory Wade gave up a near game-tying double but benefited from an out at the plate.
• Rafael Soriano faced four batters, gave up three hits, and might have allowed more than one run if not for a play at the plate and runner caught stealing.
• Scott Proctor stranded two runners in the ninth before coughing up the game in the 10th.
A few thoughts…
• Logan’s allowed six hits in his past 2.1 innings, and he’s allowed a double in each of his past three appearances. These sudden struggles are coming at the end of a long stretch during which Logan pitched well. It might be nothing but a lefty reliever going through an inevitable bump in the road, but if it’s something bigger, the Yankees don’t have anyone to replace him.
• Speaking of replacing Logan, obviously Laffey is getting more lefty looks than Raul Valdes (who still hasn’t pitched). Laffey has faced Nick Markakis three times in four days. After a fly ball outs on Monday and Wednesday, Laffey walked him today.
• Hard to get down on Wade. The guy’s been awfully good lately.
• Soriano was dominant in those first few outings off the disabled list, but he’s allowed eight base runners in his past 4.2 innings. How’s Dave Robertson looking these days? Can you imagine this bullpen without him?
• Why Proctor for a second inning? Can’t say for certain, but Robertson had pitched back-to-back games and Hector Noesi had pitched two innings the night before. Maybe it was better to give George Kontos that 10th inning, but I’m not sure there was an obvious way to go at that point. It hadn’t been pretty, but the bullpen had setup a Soriano-to-Rivera finale. When Soriano didn’t do his part, the plan became improv.
A few other quick notes…
• Joel Sherman reports that Dellin Betances will join the Yankees here in Anaheim, but there’s no guarantee he’ll actually pitch.
• Proctor told Ian Begley that he hung a slider on the walk off.
• Mark Feinsand notes that the Angels are planning a September 11 ceremony while the Yankees are in town.
• Just a random note that I noticed while working on some notes for Sunday’s paper: The Giants gave a September call-up to former Yankees outfielder Justin Christian, who played pretty well in the Yankees minor league system last year and put himself back on the map with a strong showing this winter. He’s one of those guys who I covered in the minor leagues and have always kept track of a little bit.
Associated Press photo