'Tough day at the office' for Taillon, Yankees

June 13th, 2021

It was a game that seemed to have been lost in the first inning, when saw six of seven Phillies batters reach base before trudging toward a seat in front of his visiting clubhouse locker. Yet provided new life, clearing the left-field wall for a late three-run homer.

LeMahieu's second career game-tying ninth-inning homer had echoes of his blast from Game 6 of the 2019 American League Championship Series against the Astros. Like that one, there was included heartbreak: Jean Segura knocked home the deciding run in the Yankees' 8-7, 10-inning defeat on Saturday.

"We're trying to roll out W's right now," LeMahieu said. "It doesn't really matter who we're playing or where we're playing. The way we've played, we just need to roll out W's. When we don't, it's frustrating."

New York trailed by three runs heading to the ninth inning, but and worked one-out walks against closer Héctor Neris. LeMahieu saw five pitches from Neris, connecting with a splitter for a 397-foot blast that cleared the left-center-field wall.

It went for naught, however, as was forced to walk off the field at the end of a second consecutive Yankees defeat.

"Look, we're not into moral victories right now," manager Aaron Boone said. "The offense is certainly waking up, and we're seeing better and better at-bats. We had a lot of chances today to do even more offensively."

Having blown his second save of the year on Thursday in Minneapolis, Chapman entered a tied game in the 10th and fired a high throw on a bunt by pinch-hitter Travis Jankowski, moving designated runner Ronald Torreyes to third base.

"I got to it quick and my first intention right there is to try to get an out at third base," Chapman said through an interpreter. "But when I took a look out there, I didn't have anybody at third base. I tried to execute the throw to first, but unfortunately it was a little wild."

One out later, Segura smashed a grounder down the third-base line. stopped the ball with a sprawling stab, then threw home from the seat of his pants -- a valiant effort, but too late to nab Torreyes, whose right foot touched the plate to give Philadelphia its third consecutive walk-off victory.

Lauded in many corners as favorites to win their division and perhaps the American League pennant, the Yankees are now just two games above .500 at 33-31, on pace for 83 wins.

"It's definitely a little surprising, understanding what kind of team we have and what kind of talent we have," Chapman said. "At the same time, I'm a positive type of person. I believe that with the guys we have on this team, it's a matter of time for us to get going in the right direction."

Over and out
The late theatrics came after Taillon could not unlock the necessary pitches to finish off the Phillies' hitters, handing the ball to Boone after recording only a single out in the first inning -- the shortest outing of his career.

Each of the first five batters Taillon faced reached base on four singles and a walk, running the team's string to nine straight unrecorded outs following Chapman's ineffective appearance on Thursday.

"It's frustrating," said Taillon, whose ERA rose from 5.09 to 5.74. "I feel healthy, I feel good, but I need results. I put us in a four-run hole right there off the bat. It's embarrassing, it's humiliating. It's a tough day at the office, for sure."

In a sequence that nearly coincided with being helped off the field from a rehab start with a right groin injury -- a concerning double whammy for the Yanks' staff -- Taillon allowed a two-run Bryce Harper single, an Andrew McCutchen sacrifice fly and Alec Bohm's RBI single before departing.

"He just didn't have anything to put them away with," Boone said.

Hanging tough
Give credit for this, at least: The Yankees battled back after Taillon put them in a hole. homered and Gardner tripled in a run against Phillies starter Vince Velasquez, who permitted six hits over five innings.

homered in the sixth inning off reliever Sam Coonrod and Sánchez cracked a RBI hit in the eighth, drawing New York within three runs. preserved the tie with a lunging ninth-inning grab of a Bohm bouncer, which Boone called a "really special play."

"We fought hard to put ourselves in striking distance there at the end," LeMahieu said. "Jamo had a tough start, but I thought we really battled today."