Yankees close ugly homestand with strikeout-fest loss to Tigers


The Yankees opened the season with a pair of series against teams that figured to be among the worst in the majors.

Six games into 2019, and it’s actually the Yankees who look like the dregs of the league.

They lost again Wednesday to the Tigers, 2-1, to close out a nightmarish homestand in which they dropped four of six to Baltimore and Detroit and lost seemingly half their roster to injuries.

“We definitely haven’t started off this first week like we would have hoped,’’ said Brett Gardner, who was caught stealing to end the eighth inning. “Obviously, it’s still very early. We’ve got a lot of talented guys in this room. It’s not ideal, but our depth is gonna be tested. I’m confident we’ve got the guys to get the job done and play better than we have so far.’’

They can hardly play worse.

On Wednesday, the Yankees set a franchise record by striking out 18 times, their most ever in a nine-inning game, and Troy Tulowitzki become the latest — and perhaps least surprising — player to go down.The shortstop left the game in the fourth inning with a low-grade left calf strain and was replaced by Tyler Wade, as Gleyber Torres moved to short. Tulowitzki is likely headed to the injured list.

Tulowitzki battled leg injuries the previous two seasons with Toronto. He responded well in spring training and in the first week of the season, but it didn’t last long.

He joined an ever-growing list of injured Yankees, with Miguel Andujar and Giancarlo Stanton the most recent to go down before the 34-year-old Tulowitzki. When he is officially shelved, the Yankees will have 11 players on the IL less than a week into the regular season.

After Aaron Judge admitted hitters started to expand their strike zone in Tuesday’s loss to Detroit, the lineup was even worse in that area a day later.

The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the third off Tigers starter Matthew Boyd, but even that inning was marred by a mistake.

DJ LeMahieu, one of the few bright spots for the Yankees this season, doubled to left with one out and scored on a Judge opposite-field single to right. After Luke Voit struck out, Gary Sanchez walked to extend the inning.