In the wake of a very active 48 hours leading up to the trade deadline, GM Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone were talking about everything they added to make this a championship team. In the clubhouse, there was a moment of adjustment and recognition that the loss of Jordan Montgomery was a blow to the roster, before looking ahead to the addition of starter Frankie Montas.
Still, losing Montgomery after trading top prospects away from home raises the obvious question of whether they have enough pitching to make a legitimate run at a World Series title. On Wednesday, facing Luis Castillo, whom the Yankees tried to acquire, Gerrit Cole didn’t exactly give the Bombers much confidence. Cole was hit in the first inning and the Yankees couldn’t pull away, falling to the Mariners 7-3 at the Stadium.
It was the second straight loss for the Yankees (70-36) and they dropped the series to the Mariners (57-49), who are a legitimate contender for the American League playoffs. It was the first series in the last 10 against the Yankees that the Mariners won.
Cole pitched six innings, which was surprising after a disastrous first. He allowed six runs, just one short of his season high, on seven hits, including three home runs. He walked one and struck out eight.
Cole gave up all six runs in the first inning, the most he’s ever allowed in one inning. Adam Frazier hit a single off him and walked Jesse Winkler. Eugenio Suarez crushed a hanging slider for a three-run homer to left field. Carlos Santana turned in a four-seam fastball for a solo shot. It was the second time this season the Mariners hit back-to-back homers.
But they didn’t happen.
After getting Kyle Lewis to strike out, former Mets prospect Jarred Kelenic worked a changeup for a two-run shot, his fourth of the season.
Cole has allowed 14 earned runs in his last 18 innings pitched.
The concern after Montgomery and the majority of their high-level minor league pitching depth is gone is that the Yankees need to get this rotation healthy and effective the rest of the season.
Not much depth left.
“I mean, sure, especially with Monty gone from our team that hits our depth a little bit, but we can add Frankie Montas, which is, which is really good,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Clarke will come down to try and stretch out a bit to give us a bit more depth. We feel good about where Sevy will end up.
“We’re definitely a little better based on yesterday’s drive, but hopefully if we stay healthy we feel like we’ll be in a really good spot heading down and what we hope will be the playoffs and beyond.”
The Yankees have Clarke Schmidt down in Triple-A. He’s proven he can get outs in the big leagues, the Yankees optioned him to make room on the 26-man roster and extend him to be a starter again after the bullpen was depleted here. Luis Gill, who had been a big part of the Yankees’ pitching depth plans, went down with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and Tommy John surgery, missing him for the season. JP Sears, who had been an effective first baseman for them, went to the A’s in the package for Montas, along with Ken Waldichuk, the Triple-A hitter who was close to being able to contribute in the big leagues. They also lost Hayden Wesneski, who went to the Cubs for Scott Efros.
Severino said Tuesday that he feels good and ready to go, despite the Bombers pushing back his return from the 15-day injured list by placing him on the 60-day IL. The Yankees have to hope the top six starts before the season opener after the right-hander starts.
The Yankees scored one in the second when Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled in Andrew Benintendi Kyle Higashioka hit his sixth homer of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh.