All was right in Yankeeland late Saturday night.
Gerrit Cole tossed a masterful 129-pitch, complete-game, 10 shutout of his old teammates in Houston. Cole not only needed that type of outing to prove it to himself, but also to the Yankee faithful that he still had his touch.
Late Sunday afternoon, all was wrong again.
Jamison Tallion threw six solid innings and tossed his second consecutive start. He gave way to Domingo German and Chad Green, who couldn’t hold onto a 7-2 lead.
Soon after, the sportsworld found out about Jose Altuve’s, walk-off, three-run homer that gave Houston an 8-7 victory and possibly demoralized the Yankees again.
The Bronx Bombers will stumble into the All-Star break with an overall 46-43 record and left them a solid eight games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox.
It also left the Yankees trying to answer the never –ending question of this season – do they have enough pitching, particularly starting pitching?
Remember at the start of the season when the Yankees flirted with the thought of a six-man rotation?
Cole was the obvious anchor and the restructured Tallion and Corey Kluber would find their form to solidify the top half of the rotation. German could be brought along slowly to help him find his identity, and Jordan Montgomery could slide into a role.
Deivi Garcia, Michael King, Clark Schmidt, Nick Nelson, and Michael King were all legitimate candidates for a six spot.
Still, there was a queasy feeling with Tallion and Kluber coming off arm surgeries, and Montgomery looking to regain a promising form.
There was a faint ticking in the background, and unfortunately, it blew up in the Yankees’ faces.
Cole has had some bumps along the road and accusations of doctoring the ball, but he still has nine wins and a 2.68 ERA.
Tallion has been inconsistent, and Kluber hasn’t had much other than his no-hitter. There is a prevailing feeling that Kluber could be done for the season.
German and Garcia –the two wunderkinds – lost what they had from previous years. Garcia has struggled in Scranton, and German has looked like he should be there.
Montgomery has battled to put more than two strong starts together. King appeared to be the extra arm, but he has had trouble getting past the first inning, and seems destined for the pen.
Beyond Garcia, there is next to nothing to offer at Scranton, where the remaining starters are geared more toward Triple-A starters.
So, what are the options? GM Brian Cashman will need to piece together a deal for a frontline starter to help his team attempt to make a second-half run.
Veterans Jon Lester and Madison Bumgarner both are low in their tanks, but they have a veteran presence. Tyler Anderson and German Marquez are two of the top-notch, more attractive young arms.
Or they could roll the dice with exes Michael Pineda or Sonny Gray.
Through 89 games, it’s easy to see the Yanks can’t fully rely in their current staff. For the remaining 73 games, they will need to reshuffle their deck with some new cards.