The Yankees got shutout for the third time in 13 games on Thursday against the Detroit Tigers, as the Bronx Bombers’ offense once again fell flat in their afternoon road game. Left-hander Jordan Montgomery got the loss for the Yanks, and brought the team to a mediocre 7–6 record on the year.
As has become too familiar for fans of the Pinstripes this young season, the team failed to record more than 2 hits in any single inning, while recording just a total of 8 baserunners during the 9-inning contest.
Anthony Rizzo managed to hit a 91 mph fastball for a single off Michael Pineda in the first inning, but he was quickly stranded on base by two consecutive pop-outs — a theme that would continue throughout the game.
After the Tigers retired the side in the next 3 innings, before DJ LeMahieu and Isiah Kiner-Falefa both singled in the 5th, but they were also stranded after 3 pop-outs.
The struggling Aaron Judge tacked on another hit in the 6th off a 94 mph fastball to right, which gave fans hope, both for a potential score and for Judge’s long term prospects to regain his elite form — as he’s recorded a .250 ERA so far, which, if continued, would mark the lowest total since his rookie year.
The team’s best chance to score came in the top of the 8th inning, when Josh Donaldson pinch hit for Marwin González and doubled to left and Gleyber Torres recorded an infield single, before Judge walked to load the bases.
But yet again, the offense couldn’t close, and the potential rally was squashed when Gregory Soto took over on the mound and retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Soto would go on to retire the side in the 9th, and give the Yankees their third shoutout out the season — after a 3-0 loss to the Blue Jays on April 11, and a 5-0 loss to the Orioles on April 17.
As a silver-lining for Yankee fans, the team’s pitching staff held their own, with Montgomery tossing 6 innings, and giving up just 3 hits and 1 run, which came on an RBI double in the 3rd inning from Robbie Grossman that scored Victor Reyes at a close play at the plate.
The Tigers only other 2 runs came when Yankees lefty Lucas Luetge entered the game with bases loaded in the 8th inning and no outs.
Luetge made a terrific play against the first batter he faced, who grounded straight back to the mound, and the lefty tossed the runner out at home, before Yanks catcher Jose Trevino threw the base runner out at first for the double play.
That left runners on the corners with 2 outs, and led to a controversial decision by manager Aaron Boone, who decided to intentionally walk Tigers star Miguel Cabrera, who currently sits at 2,999 career hits — robbing him of the chance to secure the historic 3,000th hit.
Detroit fans were less-than-happy with the decision, and the vocal reaction was near-deafening.
Boone defended the call after the game, saying “it’s a baseball call all the way,” and had nothing to do with the hitting mark.
“Obviously, understanding the moment in time,” he said. “[It’s] a little more gut-wrenching than usual.”
“You don’t necessarily like being in that position.”
The call also didn’t work out, as the next batter up, Austin Meadows, hit an RBI double that allowed 2 Detroit baserunners to cross the plate, and brought the team to a 3–0 lead.
The Yankees now move to a 7–6 record on the season, putting them second in the AL East. They will next play the Cleveland Guardians on April 22, with plans to start righty Jameson Taillon on the mound.