Sonny Gray certainly deserves most of the blame for Friday night’s debacle at Yankee Stadium against the Blue Jays, but he was far from the only Yankee to perform poorly.
Working with declining velocity and not being aggressive enough, Gray didn’t get out of the fourth inning of what turned into a hard-to-watch, 8-5 loss in front of 39,197 chilled customers who sat through a first-pitch temperature of 46 degrees and had to put up with a wind-chill factor of 37 late in the game.
Five runs, five hits and four walks in 3 ¹/₃ nnings wasn’t bad enough for Gray to shoulder the defeat. That went to reliever Domingo German, who allowed two runs, two hits and walked four in 1 ²/₃ innings.
German (0-1) wasn’t alone in contributing to the Yankees’ second loss in the three games, which lowered their record to 9-9.
Gary Sanchez didn’t block two wild pitches by Gray, was charged with a passed ball, his third in two games and fourth of the season, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and took a foul tip in the groin in the eighth inning.
Despite hitting three homers and getting 11 hits, the Yankees only batted twice with runners in scoring position and didn’t touch home plate in the final five frames.
Gray and German wasted home runs by Tyler Austin, Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar in the second, third and fourth innings. Gray flushed a pair of two-run leads.
Leading, 2-0, going into the third, Gray believed the pitch Teoscar Hernandez hit for a two-run homer was a good one, but after that couldn’t identify the problem.
“The next inning kind of got away from me, I don’t know,’’ Gray said. “Anytime you walk that many guys and give up free passes it is going to come back to bite you sooner or later and it kind of caught up to me in the fourth.’’
Consecutive doubles by Russell Martin and Kendrys Morales started the fourth and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. added a two-run single to the cause. Gurriel was promoted from Double-A before the game and the No. 9 hitter finished his major league debut with a 2-for-5, three-RBI night. After Gray walked Curtis Granderson, he was replaced by German. In the fifth, German gave up two runs and Adam Warren surrendered a leadoff homer to Yangervis Solarte in the sixth.
Four singles was all the Yankees could collect from the fifth to the ninth inning. The only at-bats with runners in scoring position came in the fourth when Brett Gardner flied to right and Aaron Judge was caught looking for the final out of the ugly loss.
Gray is 1-1 with an obese 8.27 ERA in four starts. Masahiro Tanaka is 2-2 with a chubby 6.45 ERA in four starts. Saturday’s starter, Jordan Montgomery, is 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA in three starts. Only Luis Severino, Sunday’s pitcher, who is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA, and CC Sabathia (0-0, 2.70 ERA in three starts) are holding up their end of the deal.
As for the drop in velocity, Gray touched 95 mph against Boston in his last start and was in the low 90s on Friday, but insisted the cold had more to do with it and that he isn’t hurt.
“I feel fine. It is 40 degrees outside. I don’t think anybody is throwing as hard as they will in the middle of the summer,’’ Gray said. “I feel good.’’
And looked bad.
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