On a day the Yankees traded away one of their starting pitchers, Jameson Taillon made that decision look even more questionable. The right-hander continued to struggle and the Bombers’ offense couldn’t keep up as the Mariners beat the Yankees 8-6 at the Stadium.
The Yankees (70-35) have split the first two games of the series against the Mariners (56-49), a possible American League Wild Card team. The Bombers have won four of their last six games, but are 6-9 since the All-Star break.
Hours after the MLB trade deadline passed and the Yankees had surprisingly sent Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals, Taillon gave them reason to worry about their rotation — even after adding Frankie Montas on Monday.
“That one hurt,” Taillon said of the deal that sent Montgomery to St. Louis. “Caught me caught me off guard. He was definitely a best friend for me here. I’m gonna be in his wedding this offseason and stuff… we sat next to each other on the flights and shared a love for bourbon and coffee and we’re pretty much inseparable at the field.
“So it’s going to be tough.”
Taillon allowed six runs, five earned on two hits and a season-high four walks. He struck out six. Over his last eight starts, Taillon has struggled, allowing 28 earned runs over 40.1 innings pitched (6.25 ERA). He’s walked 12 over that span and struck out 28.
The walks are concerning.
He gave up a one-out walk to Jesse Winker that was costly when Eugenio Suarez hammered a homer to left field. He gave up a solo shot to Cal Raleigh in the season. Taillon, who had nine walks in his first 13 starts, walked Adam Frazier to lead off the third and it cost him a run on Carlos Santana’s sacrifice fly. He walked Frazier again with one out in the fifth and then issued a two-out walk to Suarez before Aaron Boone came out to get him. They both came around to score on Santana’s double.
“It seems like every time I’ve tried to put my finger on it, figure something out, I have a good start and go back to having a bad start and stuff,” Taillon said. “So yeah, I mean, there’s different things I’ve identified as we go along, but I’m kind of just chasing it. Like, I feel like I’ll chase something, figure something out and then have to chase something else and figure something else out. So hopefully, soon I can put my head down and nail everything and knock out some good starts in a row.”
Rizzo homered in the sixth, his fourth straight game, the second time he has done that in his career. The last time was July 29- Aug. 1, 2015 with the Cubs.
Jose Trevino, who had his first career multi-home run game on Monday night, hit a two-run shot in the fourth. That scored Josh Donaldson, whose double had brought in Rizzo.
Donaldson snapped an 18-game homerless streak with a two-run shot in the sixth. That tied the game at 6-6 for a moment.
The Yankees had the bases loaded in the ninth after DJ LeMahieu lined a two-out single into trite field and Aaron Judge and Rizzo walked. Gleyber Torres, pinch hitting, struck out to end the night.
Lucas Luetge gave up a lead-off home run to Sam Haggerty in the seventh inning to give the Mariners a lead. In his first appearance as a Yankee, Scott Effross worked around a hit in 0.2 innings of work. Albert Abreu threw a perfect inning, before giving up a run in the second. Lou Trivino, also making his first appearance in pinstripes, got the Bombers out of the top of the ninth.
With the roster now set for their attempt to snap a 12-year World Series drought, the Bombers feel like they come out of it a better team.
That will have to be played out on the field now.
“I think so. And I hope so,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We added Frankie Montas and a couple of good bullpen pieces. You know an elite center fielder (Harrison Bader). Obviously (Andrew Benintendi). . . So yeah, I think we’re significantly better. But again, as I kind of said all along, we’re better in name and paper and now it’s on us to go out and prove it.”