By Dan Martin
There may not have been a more effective reliever than Adam Warren for most of the summer. From May 27 through Aug. 16, the right-hander gave up just two earned runs in 27 ²/₃ innings, good for a 0.65 ERA.
Lately, though, Warren has been hit significantly harder and been off with his command.
Not only did a wild pitch lead to a run in the Yankees’ 6-2 loss to Cleveland on Monday night in The Bronx, Warren also gave up a solo homer to Austin Jackson.
It was the fourth straight outing in which Warren was scored upon. And in those 3 ¹/₃ innings, he’s given up five runs, all earned — including two homers.
“He’s not making his pitches,” manager Joe Girardi said after the Yankees dropped the series opener to the Indians. “I look at tonight, it looked like it was a slider that was up in the zone [that Jackson hit out].”
Warren said he was “a little bit all over the place” and was more bothered by the wild pitch that allowed Bradley Zimmer to score from third base after Warren replaced Luis Severino with two outs in the seventh.
The pitch was supposed to be an inside fastball, but Warren held it too long and it wound up away and in the dirt and Gary Sanchez couldn’t block it.
The play gave Cleveland a 4-2 lead.
“I would rather somebody beat me than give away a run,” Warren said. “I know we have a chance with [Corey] Kluber on the mound if we keep it to one [run]. I felt like that was a big run crossing right there to make it two runs. … I completely missed my spot.”
Girardi seemed stunned by the errant pitch.
“Very seldom are you going to see Adam throw a wild pitch with a fastball in the dirt,” Girardi said. “It’s probably the first one I’ve ever seen.”
Jackson took Warren deep on a 3-2 pitch with one out in the eighth to give Cleveland more of a cushion.
Warren’s problems, though, extend beyond Monday’s game and with the Yankees also trying to get Aroldis Chapman right, they can hardly afford to see Warren scuffle for too long.
“I haven’t been as sharp,” Warren said. “I feel like I’m more throwing than pitching.”
He plans on spending time with pitching coach Larry Rothschild on Tuesday to sort it out.
“It was just one of those nights,” Warren said. “I have some things to work on [Tuesday].”