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Marcus Semien has six RBI through three innings vs. Royals

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Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien is off to the races Monday night in Kansas City. The 28-year-old cleared the bases with a triple as part of a five-run second inning, then blasted a three-run home run in a five-run third inning to give him six RBI on the night.

Semien has quietly had a career year. Including his three at-bats tonight, he’s hitting .275/.360/.492 with 23 home runs, 68 RBI, 94 runs scored, and seven stolen bases on the year. His next double will be his 35th of the season, which will match his career-high. He appears on his way to exceed his career-high of 27 home runs and 75 RBI as well. He has already surpassed his previous career-high in runs scored, which was 89.

According to FanGraphs, Semien has been worth 5.3 Wins Above Replacement so far this season. The only American League players with more are Mike Trout (8.4), Alex Bregman (5.9), Xander Bogaerts (5.7), and Rafael Devers (5.4).

On a night full of letdowns, Yankees’ defense let them down the most

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Game 4 of the ALCS was a gigantic letdown for the Yankees for myriad reasons. They lost, first and foremost, 8-3 to the Astros to fall behind three games to one. Their fans continued to act boorishly. CC Sabathia exited with an injury, likely the final time he’ll pitch in his career. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest letdown of the night, though, was the Yankees’ defense. They committed four errors, their highest total in a postseason game since committing five errors in Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS.

Make no mistake: the two three-run home runs hit by George Springer and Carlos Correa, given up by Masahiro and Chad Green respectively, were the big blows in the game. But the errors contributed to the loss and were downright demoralizing.

The first error came at the start of the top of the sixth inning, when Alex Bregman hit a cue shot to first baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu couldn’t read the bounce and the ball clanked off of his knee, allowing Bregman to reach safely. He would score later in the inning on Correa’s blast.

The Yankees committed two errors in the top of the eighth, leading to a run. Yuli Gurriel hit another grounder to LeMahieu, which he couldn’t handle. That not only allowed Gurriel to reach safely, but Bregman — who led off with a double — moved to third base. He would score when second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t handle a Yordan Álvarez grounder.

Error number four occurred when Altuve hit a grounder to Torres to lead off the top of the ninth. The ball skipped right under his glove. Facing Michael Brantley, Jonathan Loaisiga uncorked a wild pitch which advanced Altuve to second base. Brantley followed up with a line drive single to left field, plating Altuve for another run. Loaisiga would throw another wild pitch facing Bregman but that one didn’t come back to haunt him.

The Yankees can’t control injuries, the behavior of their fans, or how good the Astros’ pitching is on any given night. They can control the quality of their defense. On Thursday, it was a farce, and now they’re staring down the barrel of having to win three consecutive games against the Astros to stave off elimination.