Joey Gallo can’t hit in New York — no matter the borough.
With his time as a Yankee almost certainly coming to an end before next Tuesday’s trade deadline, Gallo was sent in to pinch Isiah Kiner-Falefa in a 6-3 loss to the Mets at Citi Field to see if he could. he could finally come through before he was finally dealt with.
But with a runner in the first and two out in the eighth, with the Yankees trailing by a pair, Gallo’s game against Edwin Diaz was as predictable as it could be, as Gallo struck out to end the inning.
Aaron Boone defended the decision to go with the strikeout machine on Kiner-Falefa, who had two hits earlier in the game to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest by a Yankee this season.
“It’s not [just] about getting a hit in this situation,” Boone said of why he went with Gallo on the hitting Kiner-Falefa. “The other element is forcing their hand to at least get closer there for a four-way situation.”
Mets manager Buck Showalter said he would have kept right-hander Adam Ottavino in the game to face Kiner-Falefa, and Ottavino was excellent against right-handers. Boone wanted southpaw Gallo against Diaz, a right-hander.
“It’s a situation where you need two runs and Joey is one of the best power hitters of the last two years, and I had zero [home runs on the season]” Kiner-Falefa said. “There’s nothing I can say. You’re giving him an opportunity right there. If I get a single, we’re still down two runs. I agree with that.
Making the move more debatable was the fact that Kiner-Falefa has been hitting well lately, and Gallo has been lost since arriving in the Bronx nearly a year ago. But he had managed two of his previous four games with a plate appearance.
Boone said he also liked the idea of bringing in Diaz in the eighth inning to force a four-out stoppage.
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Diaz had a small hiccup in the ninth, giving up a base hit to Jose Trevino and making a fielding error on an Aaron Judge ground player, but he sniffed out Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres to end the game.
At Citi Field, Gallo was no match for the dominant Diaz and was knocked out for the 103rd time this season.
Gallo is almost certain to be emotional about the trade deadline, as his time as a Yankee has been a failure since the Yankees sent four minor leaguers to Texas last July in exchange for Gallo and left-hander Joely Rodriguez.
New York Post