Too many missed opportunities doom Yankees offense in the final against A’s

An Oakland player chases to tag Gleyber Torres as he tries to steal a base in the Yankees vs. A's game on April 25, 2024 at Yankee Stadium.
Michael Bennington
Friday April 26, 2024

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The New York Yankees squandered numerous scoring opportunities in a frustrating 3-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night. The defeat came despite facing a team in transition, with the A’s potentially relocating to Sacramento and a roster focused on prospects rather than immediate contention.

Despite a chilly night at Yankee Stadium and a crowd of 40,141, Aaron Boone’s squad failed to capitalize on their scoring chances against a struggling A’s starter, Alex Wood, who entered the game with a hefty 7.89 ERA. Many fans, perhaps opting to watch the NFL Draft or the New York Knicks playoff game, may not have missed much in terms of a competitive matchup.

The Yankees’ struggles with runners in scoring position continued and they left 11 on base. Of those 11 hits, only one came with runners in scoring position, and it failed to produce a run. These struggles began early, setting the tone for the night. With just seven pitches into the game, the Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs against Wood. However, Giancarlo Stanton‘s strikeout and a subsequent double play by Anthony Rizzo quickly extinguished the rally, a microcosm of the Yankees’ offensive woes on Thursday night.

Manager Aaron Boone’s frustration was evident after the game, as he lamented the team’s inability to convert on their scoring opportunities. The skipper admitted that his team failed to capitalize on scoring chances with runners on base.

“You want to create that traffic, but you gotta deliver on it,” Boone said after his team left 11 on base. “We weren’t able to do that tonight.”

Missed opportunities aplenty as Yankees’ bats fizzle

aaron-judge-new-york-yankees
AP

The New York Yankees let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers on Thursday night, dropping a disappointing 3-1 decision to the Oakland Athletics and splitting the series. This loss came despite facing an A’s team facing a potential relocation to Sacramento and fielding a roster seemingly focused on the future rather than competing in the present.

The Yankees’ struggles began early. In the fourth inning, a combination of an error on Stanton, a single by Rizzo, and a base hit by Verdugo loaded the bases with just one out. However, Verdugo’s hit, the team’s only clutch at-bat of the night, wouldn’t translate into runs as Jose Trevino grounded into a double play, squandering the golden opportunity.  

Trevino acknowledged the team’s need for a key hit in that situation, but he also pointed out the positive aspects. “We’re taking good at-bats, working deep counts,” Trevino said. “That’s encouraging, but right now, this is the reality we’re facing.”

Similar scenarios unfolded in the fifth and sixth innings, with runners left stranded each time, including Stanton grounding out with two on in the fifth and Oswaldo Cabrera doing the same in the sixth.

Even the Yankees’ lone run came with a sense of missed opportunity. In the second inning, Gleyber Torres was caught stealing after reaching base. The very next pitch saw Trevino hit a home run, but Torres’ baserunning blunder meant it was just a solo shot, not a potential two-run homer.

“Aside from Trevi’s homer, we just couldn’t capitalize,” lamented Manager Aaron Boone, acknowledging a mostly wasted effort by starting pitcher Nestor Cortes.  

Despite throwing seven innings and allowing only three runs on five hits, Cortes admitted to some regret about a couple of pitches. Ironically, both homers he surrendered came from players with personal connections to Boone.

nestor-cortes-new-york-yankees
X-@MLBNetwork

Nick Allen, the A’s shortstop, and Boone’s nephew-in-law, launched a solo shot in the third inning. Shortly after, right fielder Tyler Nevin, son of Boone’s friend and former Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin, delivered the decisive blow with a two-run homer to right field.

While the A’s managed only six hits on the night, two of them were the crucial home runs that sealed the Yankees’ fate.

Yankees bats go cold as Miller shuts the door

Despite facing a struggling A’s pitching staff, the New York Yankees’ offense sputtered yet again in a disappointing 3-1 loss. This defeat is particularly concerning considering the A’s focus on rebuilding and the lack of firepower in their pitching arsenal.

One surprising weakness for the Yankees has been their lack of home runs. “We expect to start hitting more homers once a few key players find their rhythm,” manager Aaron Boone said with optimism. 

The Yankees’ struggles against a soft-throwing starter like Alex Wood did not bode well for their ability to handle the A’s potent bullpen. Flamethrower Mason Miller shut the door on any comeback hopes, striking out Juan Soto and forcing Aaron Judge to fly out to secure the win.

Miller’s dominance capped off a frustrating night for the Yankees. He closed out the series by unleashing fastballs that clocked in at over 101 mph, leaving a lasting impression.  

The Yankees, who had just won four out of seven games on their homestand, now head out on a more challenging seven-game road trip to Milwaukee and Baltimore. While Wednesday night offered a glimpse of the Yankees’ offense potentially emerging from a slump, with nearly everyone contributing, Thursday proved to be a different story.  

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