For as good as the Yankees were and are expected to be this season, Saturday night proved why I still have my doubts about them in the postseason. Without Luis Severino this season, the Yankees need James Paxton to be a front-end starter and they can’t afford for him to have many other starts like his first.
Paxton was awful on Saturday with diminished velocity and no put-away pitch. Six of the nine batters he faced reached base, including all five in the second inning. He left the game with two runs in and the bases loaded and no outs, and for him, it’s a miracle his ERA wasn’t ruined for the shorteneed season in the second inning in what is a free agency year for the left-hander. The Yankees’ decision to open the season with a bullpen game in the third game meant that Paxton needed to give them length in the second game. He didn’t and now the Yankees are scrambling to make roster moves and get fresh arms to the majors for the third game of the season.
My book The Next Yankees Era: My Transition from the Core Four to the Baby Bombers is now available as an ebook!