Jonathan Loaisiga got thrown into the fire Thursday. After missing nearly six weeks on the injured list, the right-hander came into a tied game in the eighth inning. He allowed three runs to score in the Yankees 7-6, 10-inning loss to the Reds at the Stadium.
“Physically I feel really good, especially coming back from the injury,” Loaisiga said through Yankees interpreter Marlon Abreu. “Unfortunately, I don’t feel too good, that things didn’t work out the way I wanted. Definitely trying to get ground balls there for double plays, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way.”
He gave up a leadoff single to Jonathan India and an RBI-single to Joey Votto. Then he gave up a two-out, two-run double to Kyle Farmer.
“He threw the ball really well,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He comes out and blows up India, who bloops one out there and then he puts (Brandon) Drury on the ground and puts (Tommy) Pham on the ground. Votto put on a really good at-bat against him for the base hit and then he’s still in a double play situation there and gets the tapper around from the plate. And then that’s where I think it’s on me like at that point.” Boone had Albert Abreu ready at that point and on second thought he should have gone and made the switch before the Farmer at-bat.
“I think it’s something to build on,” Boone said of Loaisiga’s night.
Before he got hurt, however, Loaisiga wasn’t that sharp. In his last appearance before going on the IL, Loaisiga gave up four earned runs and recorded just two outs. He returned with a 1-2 record, a blown save and an ugly bruise of a 7.02 ERA over 18 appearances.
The Yankees did not think that his struggles were related to the shoulder issue. They spent some extra time while he was coming back from the issue working on his mechanics.
They expect to see more of the 2021 Loaisiga when he gets back in a game this time.
“Obviously, last year put together one of the best years of any reliever in the game and that’s who we think he is,” Boone said. “And that’s what I’m looking forward to getting back and that’s where I think he’s at physically and that’s my expectation.”
After Luis Severino left Wednesday night’s game with shoulder tightness, the Yankees bullpen was taxed going into Thursday. The Bombers optioned JP Sears, who picked up the bulk of the work Wednesday, after the game and Loaisiga took his spot on the roster. Severino went on the IL before the game as well and the Yankees added Ryan Weber to the roster to give them more coverage in the bullpen.
Cameras caught Nestor Cortes expressing some frustration on the only run he allowed Thursday night.
Cortes loaded the bases in the top of the fifth with one out, walking Fairchild, the Reds’ No. 9 hitter, and hitting leadoff hitter Jonathan India. Brandon Drury lifted a fly ball to Matt Carpenter in right field. In just his fourth outfield start since 2014, Carpenter hesitated, checking third base first, his natural instinct as an infielder, before throwing home. That allowed the Reds to score and got a flustered reaction from Cortes.
“Carp made a couple of great plays out there for me. Obviously, I don’t know how comfortable he is out there playing right field, but I guess he was trying to go to second base with a guy from first to make sure he didn’t advance,” Cortes said. “I might have had some reaction behind home plate, but I totally understand where he’s coming from. And he’s playing his heart out, out there. “