Torres’ seventh error, Rizzo’s bungle screw up Yankees in San Diego

Yankees' Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo have a poor defensive outing, costs game vs. Padres in San Diego on May 26, 2024.

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The high-flying New York Yankees hit turbulence on Sunday, crashing to a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Padres. A costly error by Gleyber Torres opened the floodgates, allowing San Diego to make a comeback and eventually take the lead. In front of a sellout crowd of 45,731 at Petco Park, the Yankees’ hopes of a series sweep evaporated in a single, disastrous four-run inning.

Yankees’ defensive collapse in the sixth innings

The sixth inning proved to be the Yankees’ undoing, as a slim one-run lead was swiftly overturned by the Padres’ four-run rally. Clarke Schmidt had been cruising, holding San Diego scoreless into the sixth inning, buoyed by a 1-0 lead from Juan Soto’s RBI double. However, the inning unraveled quickly. The trouble began with Jake Cronenworth’s ground ball slipping under Gleyber Torres’ backhanded glove—Torres’ seventh error of the season—and was compounded by a five-pitch walk to Manny Machado.

Torres was candid about his mistake, labeling it “a stupid error” and lamenting his inability to backhand Cronenworth’s grounder. Yankees manager Aaron Boone acknowledged it as “one of those things that happens,” but was quick to dismiss any concerns about Torres’ focus and work ethic, describing the error as not stemming from a lack of effort. “Just be better,” Torres said, reflecting on how to move forward.

Schmidt’s day ended there, yet he still became the 14th consecutive Yankees starter to pitch at least five innings and allow two runs or fewer, tying a Major League record set in 1893. Schmidt was charged with two runs in the inning, only one earned, ending the Yankees starters’ remarkable scoreless streak at 30 ¹/₃ innings.

Clarke Schmidt, player of the new york yankees
Yankees

Yankees struggle with a flaky bullpen and Rizzo’s slip-up

The bullpen, unfortunately, did not stem the tide. Left-hander Victor Gonzalez entered and immediately walked pinch-hitter Donovan Solano on five pitches, loading the bases. The situation escalated when Jackson Merrill hit a one-hopper to Anthony Rizzo, who managed to force out the runner at second but allowed Cronenworth to score from third, tying the game at one.

The turning point came with Ha-Seong Kim’s expertly placed bunt between the mound and first base. Rizzo attempted a barehanded play but mishandled it, allowing the Padres to take a 2-1 lead.

“Do or die. Very frustrating,” Rizzo commented on his failed barehand attempt, which prevented him from making a play at the plate for the second out.

With two outs, Luis Arraez lined a single back up the middle off Gonzalez, pushing the lead to 3-1. Fernando Tatis Jr. followed with a check-swing dribbler down the third-base line off Dennis Santana, extending the Padres’ advantage to 4-1. San Diego further padded their lead in the seventh inning with back-to-back doubles by Cronenworth and Machado off Caleb Ferguson, putting the game out of reach.

Yankees' Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo have a poor defensive outing, costs game vs. Padres

Despite a late effort, including Alex Verdugo’s solo home run in the ninth inning, the Yankees couldn’t close the gap with the offense not waking up in time. Torres’ seven errors, the most by any second baseman in the majors, highlight a critical area of concern for the team.

Addressing these defensive lapses is paramount for the Yankees, who still boast an American League-best 37-18 record. Have the Yankees had enough of Gleyber Torres’ defensive mishaps?

What do you think? Leave your comment below!

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