Game 136: Pathetic and Embarrassing

Putrid. Atrocious. A debacle. An abomination. All of those are words Randy and I likely used to describe the Orioles before this series on the podcast. Yet today, after this 8-7 loss and series loss, the only team they apply to is the Yankees. After all the heartbreaking losses they’ve suffered this year it’s hard to say this is rock bottom, but it’s easily the most embarrassing loss of the year considering the context.

The Orioles are going to lose 100 games for the 3rd year in a row. It is inconceivable that a team with championship aspirations loses a series to them. Hell, the Orioles were 1-15-2 in series against the AL East coming into this one. The Yankees lost 2 games in this series. That’s as many games as they lost the Orioles in all of 2019 and MORE games than the Rays have lost to the O’s this season. You want to know why one of those teams is leading the AL East and the other is fighting for a Wild Card spot? That’s why.

I hope you found something better to do with your Labor Day Weekend Sunday because that was 4 hours I want back. The Yankees are 2-6 since the 13 game winning streak and just lost two straight series to teams below .500. At least the Rays, A’s, and Red Sox all lost so the Yankees don’t lose any ground in the playoff races. Let’s get to the takeaways:

Call him Gary SLAMchez. After scuffling of late with only 1 homerun in August and being moved to the 9th spot in the lineup, Gary Sánchez showed up with two home runs today.

The first was a HUGE grand slam in the 2nd inning after the Orioles took the lead in the top half of the frame on an Austin Hays homerun. After yesterday’s debacle, the Yankees needed a response, and boy did Gary give them one. With the bases loaded following a Luke Voit walk, Gleyber Torres single, and Rougned Odor HBP, Gary did this:

That’s 113 mph off the bat and 430 feet of pure joy. Then in the 6th with the game a tense 5-4, he went ahead and did this:

You love to see it. After being unfairly boo’d early in the season it was incredible to see Sánchez get a curtain call from the fans in the Bronx. What a huge day for him and hopefully it serves as a catalyst for him to mash the rest of the year.

The Klubot is still calibrating. This start was eerily similar to his last start against the Angels – sharp early and then tired after 65 pitches. Kluber expertly navigated Cedric Mullins on 3rd and no out in the first by striking out the next 3 batters. After allowing a leadoff homer to Austin Hays in the 2nd, he picked up 2 more strikeouts. Unfortunately, that was all the K’s he would get on the day which was telling.

Kluber’s final pitching line was 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K on 78 pitches which signifies how he pitched. It was a battle all day with the command, and on a day the Yanks needed length from the starter, it just wasn’t enough. You can see he could only command his curve:

The cutter location is also okay, but the 4-seamer and sinker are nowhere near where you want those pitches going. He had an amazing 48% CSW% on the curve, but none of the other pitches were above 20%. Even the Orioles lineup can learn to lay off the curve when you have nothing else going.

It looked like Kluber started to tire in the 4th inning, and his pitch velos back it up:

Nothing the decline on both the sinker and cutter towards the end of his outing. It seems pretty clear Kluber isn’t fully built back up after spending months on the IL with a shoulder injury. The rainy conditions today certainly did not help, but we’ll need to see Kluber able to get through at least 5 innings his next time out to feel confident about him moving forward.

Death by bullpen. With a short outing from the starter, Chapman unavailable, and Jonathan Loaisiga just placed on the IL, a lot was asked of the B-relievers. Unfortunately, they struggled. Joely Rodríguez got out of the 4th inning jam but couldn’t get through the 5th allowing 2 walks. Albert Abreu got out of the 5th inning jam, but gave up a 2-run homer to Cedric Mullins in the 6th.

All that buries the lede because what truly buried the Yankees was an atrocious performance from Andrew Heaney. I’ll just post his line: 0.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 0 K. Only one of the hits was hard hit but that is still unacceptable. And what is really unacceptable is that Andrew Heaney is in a position where he is pitching important innings. Luis Gil is dominating the minors and was dominant in the majors. You can’t tell me he couldn’t do a better job than Heaney right now piggy-backing for Kluber and making the occasional spot start. With rosters expanded in September in the middle of a battle for the first Wild Card, your best players need to be in the big leagues playing in important spots.

Why is Andrew Heaney still on the roster? The Blue Jays picked up Brand Hand at the deadline and after he stunk it up, they released him. The Yankees need to do the same with Heaney. I’ve used the word unacceptable a few times in this recap because that’s what it is – it is not okay for a team in the Yankees’ position with their depth and resources to have Andrew Heaney pitching in such important innings and games. That’s a failure on the coaching staff and front office.

Also, what on Earth was that bullpen management? If you knew you had Chad Green for two innings, why was he not used in the 7th inning after Heaney took a metaphorical dump? Using Green down 1 in the 9th is nowhere near as valuable as using him up one in the 7th with runners on. That is awful and inexcusable managing. The players need to come through, but the coaches need to put the players in positions to succeed.

Leftovers

  • Mixed bag for Gleyber Torres today. He had two hits and two hard hit balls, but a crucial error in the 6th that led to the Mullins homer.
  • Hell of a defensive play for Giancarlo Stanton to end the 6th:
  • As if we needed another reason to promote the Jumbo Package. Between Gary’s homers and Giancarlo making great defensive plays, it was quite the day to pushback against a particular part of Yankees twitter.

The red hot Toronto Blue Jays (winners of 4 straight and 7 of their last 8) come to town for tomorrow’s labor day matinee. It’ll be Jameson Taillon (8-5, 4.44 ERA) against Hyun Jin Ryu (12-8, 3.92 ERA). Hope it’s better than today.

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18 Comments

  1. Jim Beam

    Pretty sure Gil isn’t in the bigs because they want him stretched out when they need him to start, but this is goal-line defense right now and Heaney is trash. Only thing I can think is that they want Heaney as an option in late ALDS when the rest of the pen is gassed, and don’t want to expose him to waivers… but that’s just sad. Heaney was the most perplexing move of the trade season. A HR prone pitcher picked up for the stretch run in YS? WTF?

    anyway…

    All the rest, as frustrating as it is, is just Baseball, Suzyn IMO.

  2. nahkadinga

    Tough loss, tough weekend, the fellas didn’t look ready to play and the O’s did…

    I’m with y’all on Gil, but it can’t be service time manipulation, that’s giving Cashman too much credit, this is a we’re smarter then you are so watch the game and STFU scenario..

    Torres back at SS immediately rears it’s ugly head, the ball was wet impacting the throw, he’s right, but he laid back on the Baltimore chop, then, busted a 2 step move before the lob to Rizzo

    Abreu was one bad change-up from us saying he was pretty good, it’s a pitch he shouldn’t have had to throw.. Pick your boys up Albert, it’s what separates the varsity earners from the JV

    Can’t have Heaney in that spot, the soft contact probably extended his rope until it was too late…

    Boone unless you think he’s running the show from his penalty box got tossed in the 5th inning, Mendoza was calling the shots at the time, so I’m shooting the messenger..

    Stanton a tremendous play laying out, but he didn’t help Heaney misplaying what should have been an F/9

    Cashman / Boone used the Angels and O’s to audition Kluber twice and Heaney out of the pen, and got their head on a stick as a return…Blame Fishman, it’s his department that advised they could fix him…

    Fix him in the off season, or lower him to mop status…The DFA works too, who’s gonna pick him up, the Mets?

  3. Disco

    Yep….that about sums up my thoughts but in a damned more entertaining fashion.

  4. Kansas

    Boone is not a major league manager. Torres is not a major league shortstop. Heaney is not a major league pitcher. This ain’t that hard.

  5. Larry Mofield

    Well to start Andrew Hearney had no business pitching the 7th. There is no reason for Brooks Kriske to be on the 25 man roster
    I know Gil is not on the 40 but a DFA can take care of that. Torres needs to understand that he needs to finish all plays with a strong throw. I think he has the ability but the mental part of the game is holding him back.
    If Urshella can not play then Wade needs to start instead of a hitter hitting less than a .100. Voit I though he would do like he did the other day and hit the ball in the hole but he swung as hard as he could when he swung the bat.
    Gallo is so bad we should void the trade, unfortunately we can’t so just do a Billy Martin and send him to the bench.
    Judge and Stanton had a bad series but drove the ball deep but not deep enough.
    This team needs some thinking because the Rays went 18-1 against the O’s while the Yankees are 8-7.
    That is a difference of 8 games.The difference between first and second.

    • Westchester Dave

      mlb.com lists Gil as on the 40 man roster, so unless it is to play with his service time, I can’t see any reason that he not be on the 25 instead of Heany or Kriske.

    • Jim Beam

      28 man roster, and 26 before Sept 1st.

  6. Willie

    Yanks 2021 is like climate change. The highs are higher but the lows are lower.

  7. H. Avis

    The entire Yankees organization is embarrassing. A bunch of great pretenders. Clean house this winter!

  8. Boone has to go at the end of the season. Enough already.

  9. dasit

    no one should have been rooting for the blue jays to beat the a’s today. the next 4 games might be ugly

    • H. Avis

      Maybe VERY ugly.

    • Jim Beam

      At least R Ray pitched today. I’m not the slightest bit frightened by the rest of their rotation, nor their pen.

      • You may not be frightened, but the Yankee hitters sure seem to be–at least after 7 innings where they’ve managed 0 runs on 4 hits.

  10. Dani

    Can you hear the laughs from Anaheim? They still can’t believe they got something in return for Heaney!

    I also don’t get why Kluber has to rehab in the big leagues when Gil was pitching perfectly fine.

  11. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    You forgot to say it was the worst loss since dinosaur extinction, Rohan. I’ve been a Yankees fan for 50 straight years and today that streak comes to an end. This is by far and away the worst Yankee team I’ve ever seen. Kluber should not be rehabbing in the majors if he gets tired after 60 pitches. Let him build up in the minors while Gil dominates. Where is Gil? If he up here for Heaney? No. Kriske? No. Wade? No. 0 ERA in 3 starts and he’s rotting in Scranton. Oh we can’t bring Gil up because he was a covid replacement and we’d lose a player. Great, DFA Heaney and call up Gil. Problem solved. I just don’t understand what they see in Heaney other than Cash or willing to admit he was wrong. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. And if they do ever have a lead in the future Gleyber needs to be taken out. He is not a major league SS. Cost 2 runs with his lazy defense. Stanton too. He made one nice play in RF but is otherwise a lumbering Frankenstein out there. If Gary hadn’t hit those homers they lose 8-1. Too many hero swings. I saw Voit, Odor and DJ go to one knee trying to hit the 6 run homer 600 feet. Why not choke up like Rizzo and dunk a single into the OF? They’ve had this boom or bust philosophy for 5 years and every year it goes bust in October. As soon as Judge and Stanton go cold they cant score runs. Gallo is the worst #2 hitter since 40 year old Jeter. Odor is about as useful as a bucket of used condoms. And Hyde managed circles around Boone, who needs to be fired immediately. One manager showed urgency. One manager used his bullpen matchups effectively. One manager had his club ready to play and that was Hyde, who is trying to tank. And then Boone had a really weak toss from the game and it just fell flat. Nobody responded and nobody was inspired. Nobody cared. That’s when you know it’s time to go but some people just don’t know when to quit.

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