ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Over the first month of the season, Michael King emerged as one of the biggest weapons out of the Yankees’ bullpen.
In the past three weeks, however, the reliever has looked more human, including Saturday against the Rays.
King entered a tie game in the seventh inning, with runners on first and second and one out, but wasn’t able to escape the jam cleanly in a 3-1 Yankees loss at Tropicana Field.
The Rays tacked on an insurance run off the right-hander in the eighth inning, marking the fifth time in his last seven games that King has given up at least one earned run. He had allowed an earned run in just one of his first eight appearances of the season as a multi-inning shutdown threat.
“Definitely frustrating,” King said. “I threw a couple pitches today that I felt like I didn’t convict like I should have. That hurt me. I hate doing those because it’s not even a pitch that I wanted to throw and I still got burned on it. So I’d rather get burned on a pitch that I had a lot of confidence in and I didn’t do that a couple times today.”
King’s rough stretch — he has a 7.15 ERA over his past seven games, with opponents batting .326 (15-for-46) against him — has come at a tough time, with the Yankees bullpen already dealing with injuries to Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga.
In a 1-1 game in the seventh inning, Lucas Luetge created the jam for King by putting runners on first and second with one out. King entered to face Taylor Walls, who hit a ground ball to second base, but hustled down the line to beat out the potential inning-ending double play.
Yandy Diaz came up next and hit a high chopper to third base, where DJ LeMahieu had to wait for the ball to come down. Once it did, LeMahieu had no play at first base, which allowed the runner to score from third for the 2-1 Rays lead.
“I didn’t get the job done,” King said. “Yeah, there was soft contact, but there are times when you need strikeouts and swing-and-miss and I didn’t get it.”
King, who entered the day averaging 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings, did not record a punchout across 1 ²/₃ innings, only the second time he has gone without one in 15 appearances this season.
Wander Franco led off the eighth inning with a triple down the first-base line off King and came home to score one out later on a single by Manuel Margot.
“I actually thought tonight he threw the ball well,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Last outing [three runs in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday against the Orioles] I thought was some pitch selection and just some execution.”
Soruce : https://nypost.com/2022/05/29/yankees-michael-king-struggling-after-strong-start-to-season/