Mistakes and regrets make Yankees’ downfall against Reds inevitable

Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman and CF Trent Grisham react after making errors against the Reds at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 2024.
Michael Bennington
Friday July 5, 2024

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The New York Yankees fell to the Cincinnati Reds 8-4 on Thursday allowing the first series sweep against them this season. The game came in the backdrop of mistakes and regrets that highlight the team’s slump into a horror show.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone highlighted a worrying pattern of pitching mistakes leading to home runs, contributing to the overall struggles of the once-formidable rotation.

“A lot of our mistakes are ending up in the seats,’’ Aaron Boone said. “It’s spoiling some outings.’’

However, the biggest mistake came in the ninth when Trent Grisham‘s defensive error invited boos and a sordid tale of horrifying defeat for the team that once boasted the MLB’s best record.

It began with Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman struggled once again as the New York Yankees fell to the Cincinnati Reds, 8-4, at Yankee Stadium, marking his fourth shaky performance in six starts. A pivotal moment came in the fifth inning when his slider resulted in a three-run homer by Spencer Steer, which ultimately shifted the game in the Reds’ favor.

Previously, the Yankees pitcher had given up two solo home runs, equaling a career high by allowing three homers in a single game. Reflecting on the outing, Stroman admitted his mistake in not being able to keep the game close, acknowledging his role in the team’s defeat.

“I’ve got to be better in that fifth and give us a chance there,’’ the Yankees starting pitcher conceded his mistake. “I was one pitch away from keeping it to two runs. I didn’t do my job.”

Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman reacts after surrendering a home run to the Reds in New York on July 4, 2024.

Stroman’s ERA has risen from an impressive 2.73 six starts ago to 3.58.

He also pointed out the challenge of dealing with Cincinnati’s Elly De La Cruz, whose base-stealing ability required additional attention and potentially distracted him from focusing on the batter.

“He for sure takes a lot of focus,’’ Stroman regrets. “It feels like he steals bases very easily, so you have to have a priority on timing [and] slide steps, so you end up losing your focus on the hitter a little bit.”

Yankees’ Grisham cements downfall with error

In the New York Yankees’ latest game, Grisham’s defensive misstep in the ninth inning has become a focal point. He acknowledged his misjudgment of a single hit by Jeimer Candelario and expressed frustration over the error.

“I just played back on it as opposed to coming to get it,’’ the Yankees center fielder said. “I just made a mistake. It’s frustrating in that situation.”

Despite the error’s poor timing amid the team’s ongoing struggles, Yankees manager Aaron Boone defended Grisham’s overall playing style. Boone highlighted Grisham’s credentials as a Gold Glove winner and described his approach in center field as relaxed and composed.

While Boone admitted the error allowed Candelario to advance to second base, he emphasized Grisham’s consistent excellence. The Yankees skipper characterized Grisham’s defensive style as having a “slow heartbeat” and a strong “motor.”

Yankees' Trent Grisham makes a defensive error in the ninth against the Reds at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 2024.

“It’s one of those that looks bad in the moment, especially with what we’re going through as a team right now,’’ he said. “It’s also the way Trent Grisham, Gold Glover, plays center field, with a relaxed, easy nature. He has a track record of outstanding play out there and that’s the way he does it,’’ Boone said. “With kind of a slow heartbeat [and] motor.”

The incident brought to mind second baseman Gleyber Torres’ recent defensive issues, with both players noted for their seemingly laid-back demeanor on the field.

On the offensive side, Austin Wells hit his fourth home run of the season, and Alex Verdugo broke out of a slump with three hits, including two doubles.

But the loss underscores the Yankees’ ongoing pitching issues, particularly with home runs, as they strive to recapture their early-season form.

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