Wade has emerged as a problematic issue for the Yankees, who saw their right-handed reliever enter last night’s game against the Indians and nearly cough up a six-run lead. He surrendered four runs in two-thirds of an inning, forcing Rafael Soriano to save the eventual 6-4 victory.
After being terrific throughout his Yankees tenure last year and the first two months of this season, Wade has served up runs in six of his last 10 appearances, allowing nine earned runs through 6 2/3 innings during that time for a 12.15 ERA.
“I’m sure he’s gone through this before. Everyone’s going to go through it. We saw a guy with 3200 hits go through it for two months last year,” manager Joe Girardi said, referring to Derek Jeter. “We’ve got to get [Wade] right.”
Girardi believes Wade is healthy, reasoning that the 29-year-old’s velocity is unchanged. Catcher Chris Stewart said Wade’s issue is his location.
“He’s missing over the plate,” Stewart said.
Wade had been a revelation after the Yankees picked him up in mid-season last year, pitching in 40 games and posting a sparkling 2.04 ERA. Then, for his first 22 games this season through June 1, Wade had a 2.28 ERA.
Through his first 62 games as a Yankee, Wade’s ERA was 2.13. In his last 10 games, it has been almost six times that.
Wade has become an important component of the bullpen, but right now it’s difficult to imagine the Yankees can trust him in important situations. If Wade doesn’t start pitching better, it’s also possible his role could be further diminished with rehabbing righty relievers Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma potentially returning later this season.
Last night, Wade began the ninth inning with the Yankees up 6-0, thanks to Phil Hughes’ eight innings of work. Wade allowed Jason Kipnis’ leadoff double to center, then after getting the next two outs, surrendered Johnny Damon’s RBI bloop single and Casey Kotchman’s single. Jose Lopez then followed with a three-run homer to left, making it a 6-4 game. At that point, Girardi brought in Soriano to close it.
— Additional reporting by Dan Martin.
Cory Wade, Wade, the Yankees, Joe Girardi, Rafael Soriano, Chris Stewart, Phil HughesвЂ™