That was embarrassing. Absolutely embarrassing. I have no affiliation with the Yankees aside from being a lifelong fan who writes about them in my free time, and I am still personally embarrassed after watching the last four games. Imagine how the team feels? Here are some statistics about the Yankees’ pathetic display against the Blue Jays, with whom the Yankees are now virtually tied for the Wild Card:
- They scored 8 runs in 36 innings, with just 4 extra-base hits, 3 of which game in tonight’s game.
- They allowed 25 runs in 36 innings.
- In those 36 innings, they did not hold a single lead. Not even for an out.
- Leads? They were only tied for 5 innings of the 36.
- The team surrendered the first Wild Card spot and have lost 6 games in the standings to the Blue Jays in the last 6 days.
There really isn’t a whole lot to say about this, but anyway, let’s get to the takeaways.
Nasty Nestor Was Good Again. Things are so bad that I don’t even have the heart to discuss Nasty Nestor, who once again threw 100 great pitches for the Yankees. He was shaky in the first, bore down, and ultimately threw 6 innings of 6-hit, 2 run ball against the Jays. He didn’t walk anyone and he struck out 5. Of course, he wasn’t perfect, allowing 2 HR, but this was another damn fine performance from Cortes. He’s been one of the only bright spots in what has quickly devolved into an unwatchable season.
I had to get this off my chest, at least. Parts of the Yankees are fun! Can you believe that?
It’s Time to Move on from Aaron Boone. Okay, here’s the meat and potatoes of this one. How does Aaron Boone wake up and still have his job managing the New York Yankees tomorrow? The Yankees have looked like less than the sum of their parts for two consecutive years, and Boone is still making the same infuriating mistakes he did as a rookie manager in 2018. All of his managerial inadequacies were on display tonight. Let’s walk through some of the big questions this evening:
- Why Doesn’t Luke Voit Play Every Day?: This is one that really grinds my gears. It is inexplicable. Voit came back on August 8 and is hitting .259/.333/.494 (126 wRC+) in 90 plate appearances since. That makes him one of the best hitters on the team in that stretch. Still, Voit has apparently not earned a regular spot in a horrible lineup despite three great seasons in pinstripes. It’s baffling. But let’s get back to tonight. Once again, Voit did not start. Then, in the 7th inning in a 3-2 game and a man on first, both Tyler Wade and Gio Urshela came to the plate. They both struck out and Voit remained on the bench. It wasn’t until the 9th inning, with the game almost entirely out of reach, that Voit hit. He, of course, launched a home run. It was pointless.
- Why Sal Romano? In the 6th inning, after an utterly lifeless offensive performance, Anthony Rizzo hit a game-tying two-run home run. Big moment! It tied the game! With Cortes done, it makes sense to turn to a good arm out of the pen to keep the game tied, right? Wrong, apparently. Boone inexplicably went to Sal Romano, who was not good enough to even be on the team as recently as yesterday. Shockingly enough, this decision did not work out. I guess that’s not fair. It did for two batters, since Romano got the first two guys out. After that, though, the wheels fell off. He gave up a run and faced 6 (6!) batters overall. Romano left with the bases loaded, and Wandy Peralta – a much better pitcher who should have started the inning – struck Vlad Jr. out. Terrible.
- Andrew Heaney? Really?: That was not Boone’s worst bullpen decision of the day, inexplicably. That came in the 9th inning, when he turned to Andrew Heaney in a two-run game. Look, I like Heaney well enough as a person. He seems like a good dude. But he’s not having a great season, he’s a fly ball pitcher in Yankee Stadium, and he’s been bad lately. What the hell is he doing in this game? He surrendered two runs in the 9th, which made it a 6-2 game going into the night. To sum up, the Yanks used their two worst relievers in two of the biggest spots in the game in this one. I’m sure the excuse will be the bullpen is thinned out and exhausted, which I’m sure is true, but also doesn’t cut it. The Yankees need to win games. Period. And it takes a manager to manage with urgency to get that done. (Of course, the Yankees scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th. I trust you can do the math.)
I am far from a “fire the manager” guy but I’m fully, 100% at the point now where I think the Yankees need to move on from Aaron Boone. If I were running the team, I’d get rid of him now. That’s how bad I think he was tonight and over the course of this season. Why drag it out? Is there a realistic scenario in which Boone is back next year?
The Yankees have been worse than the sum of their parts over the last two years and that has to fall on the manager. It also falls on the players, the front office, and ownership, to be clear. But the manager – and his coaching staff, Matt Blake aside – should not be comfortable in their jobs right now. I’m not sure how they could be given how this has gone. And Boone has shown time and time again to be an inept in-game manager who consistently makes boneheaded strategic decisions. It’s time for him to go. I really don’t think the Yankees can reach Mt. Everest with him at the helm.
No leftovers in this one. Aaron Judge was good. There were double plays. Gary Sánchez hit a home run. Tyler Wade played horrible defense. It’s all secondary at this point. The Yankees are embarrassing and, at this point, a large part of me hopes they miss the playoffs. (I don’t actually mean that, but it will save us the trouble of having to care before they lose 7-1 to the Jays or Sox in Toronto or Boston.)
Anyway, the Yanks have another game tomorrow. Hooray! They’ll travel to Queens to take on the Mets at 7:05 pm ET. Have a good night, everyone. See you tomorrow.