Yankees relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (29) leaves the game in the seventh inning after giving up a grand slam to Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar (24) at Yankee Stadium.
BY BRENDAN KUTY
Nope. Actually, the opposite, Clippard said.
“Yeah, I’m on track,” he said after surrendering the grand slam that broke the Yankees’ back in a 9-4 loss to the Brewers at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.
“I don’t necessarily know how they feel. I know how I feel. I feel very good about where I’m at on the mound right now. Tonight, the result was a bad result. I realize that and it can’t happen. But, again, as far as how I feel on the mound, I feel pretty good.”
Jesus Aguilar’s full-count grand slam off Clippard in the seventh inning snapped a 4-all tie. Clippard put the first two runners on via walk and then Girardi ordered an intentional walk to Travis Shaw to load the bases.
Clippard sank into a crouch on the mound when Aguilar’s home run landed over the center-field wall.
Girardi was asked if he thought Clippard’s confidence could have taken a beating.
In his last seven games, Clippard has given up 13 runs with eight extra-base hits and seven walks. He hadn’t surrendered an earned run in his previous three outings. On the season, he’s 1-5 with a 5.24 ERA in 38 games.
“It’s not where you want it because he struggled,” Girardi said of Clippard’s confidence. “I think that’s pretty normal for any player when you struggle, when you’re in a slump, there’s frustration there. Clip has been through this before and I believe he will come out of it and be fine. But when you’re going through hard times, of course you’re going to question things that you do. It’s just only normal.”
Instead, Clippard said he felt “really good.”
“I feel like my stuff’s there,” he said. “It’s just frustrating. I felt like I battled pretty well most of the day. Obviously, the walks hurt. But even the last at-bat, when I gave up the home run, I made some good pitches. Obviously the last one wasn’t what I was trying to do but that’s baseball, man. It’s frustrating.”