Game 140: An Embarrassing Display from Top to Bottom

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.

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17 Comments

  1. Nahkadinga

    Well that was expected, it’s simple, the Jays are a more talented team..

    I think the folks that are this upset simply over hyped this team Cashman put together

    Green wasn’t automatic, the Jays hit FBs really well, Wandy walked the first two batters in the 8th, then walked in a run..

    Which one of you trust Chapman?

    Big Sally did match up vs the bottom of the line up, you just didn’t want to see their line up turn over, unfortunately Lamb was hit with the second pitch, Wandy didn’t have enough time to heat up

    Voit in the 7th I agree, Heaney at any point other then garbage time I agree

    If you don’t want guys playing don’t put them on the roster

    Aaron Boone forgot more baseball then the entire peanut gallery combined so I’d vent on the architect not the manager

    It’s about time the offense which is healthy starts to earn their money, and probably time to cut bait on Heaney he’s wasting a roster spot

    that’s on Cashman

    • MikeD

      If the Jays are the more talented team, why are they still fractionally behind the Yankees 140 games into the season? Maybe both teams have underperformed.

      The Rays are the talented team in the division. The Yankees, Jays and Red Sox are all flawed.

  2. MikeD

    Is there any realistic chance Boone stays, you ask? Win the World Series? If they can hold a WC spot, and several of their sluggers got hot at once, yeah, they could storm through on a hot streak. Unlikely though. I don’t see Boone surviving, and I’ve been advocating for him to be replaced with a more seasoned manager, one who will take the front office’s data, but in the end be strong enough to make his own decisions. There is no more important job a manager has in today’s game than managing a bullpen, and Boone has shown zero skill in this area. It’s actually his greatest weakness.

    The Yankees opened their current win-now window in 2017. They also peaked with this group in 2017. That’s sad. That peak season also occurred under Girardi, who likely would have brought the Yankees to the World Series if not for a cheating Astros team. The Yankees have underperformed every season since under Boone, who has shown no growth. This is a Cashman failure as he let Girardi go (didn’t have an issue with that) and brought in Boone (I do have an issue with that), who has consistently managed the team to perform below the sum of its parts. Question now, is Cashman strong enough to recognize he failed at this part, and that instead of a novice field manager he needs an experienced field manager? Can Cashman let another strong-willed person in the picture who will tell him to F-Off when he disagrees? If not, then this is where Hal has to step in, and tell Cashman that he may now be more a part of the problem than the solution.

    Play Voit everyday? Sure, but that means either sitting Stanton or Rizzo, neither of which is a good idea, or playing Stanton every game in RF and Judge in CF. That could be problematic health wise, but we are down to the last few weeks of the season and the Yankees are struggling to hold onto a postseason spot. They may have to push Stanton and Judge everyday in the field. That’s the only way Voit can play every game.

  3. Terry from LA

    The “Just Good Enough to make the playoffs” Yankees apparently aren’t.

  4. chip56

    um…this is news:
    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/09/zack-britton-undergoes-reconstructive-elbow-surgery.html

    “Yankees reliever Zack Britton underwent a reconstructive procedure to repair the UCL in his throwing elbow, manager Aaron Boone told reporters (including Erik Boland of Newsday). The surgery will sideline him for at least a significant chunk of the 2022 season, although Boone wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Britton making it back at some point next year.

    “It’s disappointing and somewhat surprising news. Britton was known to be undergoing elbow surgery, but the southpaw downplayed the possibility of there being significant structural damage at the time of that announcement. Instead, the belief had been that doctors only needed to remove bone chips from the joint. Evidently, there was a more significant issue involved than originally expected.”

  5. chip56

    The Yankees are such a funny (not haha) organization:
    Gregg Allen clearly outplays Brett Gardner – send him down.
    Play Tyler Wade no matter how bad he is, and then, when he finally rewards them by playing well – stick him on the bench in favor of Odor
    Stanton proves he can be healthy and productive in the outfield – stick him back at DH even though it leaves you no room for Voit.
    You have good, reliable, rested relievers…but go with Andrew Heaney and Sal Romano in a must win game.

    It’s like they’re trying to prove they’re smarter than everyone else and really they’re just not.

  6. Zooboy

    Not pinch hitting Voit in the 7th had me screaming into the abyss. A chance to replace Wade with a better hitter at the plate, and then with a better fielder with the kid from the Bronx in the bottom of the inning. Wade struck out, then flubs what should have been a sure double play. But no, Aaron-Effin Boone waits until the game is out of reach—due to inept bullpen management—before using Voit.

    The Jays look like a more talented team at this point. That’s when the manager has to shine, not shrink. He’s just not up to the task.

  7. H. Avis

    The entire Yankees organization is a joke. Sell the team to people who are 100% in on winning championships. The Yankees are near the bottom of their own division. A total disgrace!

  8. Kansas

    Won 13 in a row using speed, energy, and defense……then went away from that. Boone is a moron

  9. chip56

    Boone is here because a good manager wouldn’t let the GM and analytics department run the team for him the way Boone does.

    Voit doesn’t play because the aforementioned analytics department really doesn’t like the idea of Stanton in the OF. It’s really all the same issue: why this guy and not that? Because someone in the front office is telling Boone what matchups look best on paper and Boone is going with that.

    None of this, by the way, is to say that analytics are bad, they’re not. But your analytics are only as good as the people analyzing the data and you have to wonder if the Yankees have the best and brightest in that regard. Actually, you don’t have to wonder, they clearly don’t.

    As I said yesterday, this team needs an overhaul from the front office to the players, but that’s not going to happen. Cashman is in no danger of losing his job because Hal doesn’t care. That means that the people who work for Cashman are in no danger of losing their jobs because Cashman hates admitting his mistakes.

    This team has been too satisfied with mediocrity for too long under this regime and I don’t see it changing any time soon.

  10. 100% agree that Boone needs to go. I wasn’t on board on with this early in the season but his gaffes and decision making are glaring!! I hate to be “that guy” and romanticize the elder Steinbrenner but seriously, can you imagine Boone sticking around under George??? I’d love to see a breakdown of potential replacement candidates (hint hint). Might make for a good first week of the offseason post. Also agree on the missing the playoffs idea. I really wouldn’t mind at all at this point. The wild card game is stupid and should not be considered “the playoffs”. Can you imagine being proud that this team “made the playoffs” by playing in a one game play-in and losing? So pathetic.

  11. During the 13-game winning streak, the Yanks caught a lot of lucky breaks, and fooled me into thinking they had turned a corner. Championship teams often get these lucky breaks in addition to having great pitching and/or hitting. Unfortunately, that streak was just a mirage, a lucky stretch, where they often won by a sliver. The true 2021 Yankee team is what we have seen these past four games. The fact that their best starting and relief pitchers are injured (or lost, see Chapman, Aroldis) is certainly part of it, but the offense just can’t put anything together. The two home runs in the bottom of the ninth was just another con.

  12. My season of baseball watching ended with the Stanton GIDP in the 8th inning, it was so predictable it’s incredible.

    This team isn’t going to ever win a WS with the emphasis on a lineup of alleged ‘mashers’ and until ownership wakes up and realizes that it’s a waste of time and energy following them and getting frustrated. They need to blow up the roster and start over, most likely with Judge being the centerpiece because he’s far and away the best baseball player on the team. They are stuck with Stanton so they need one more masher and a bunch of contact hitters who will focus on hitting the ball hard rather than trying to work walks at every AB.

    The Yankees should made it mandatory to watch a 2 hour session of Yogi swinging at every pitch he could hit rather than parsing out every pitch to 1st see if it’s outside the strike zone before even thinking about swinging and then, with 2 strikes, either flailing away at pitches 2′ outside the zone or watching strike 3 called on a close pitch and then getting pissed off about the call. Just pick a pitch you can hit and drive it!

    Here’s how you fix the bullpen-get starters who can go more than 5-6 innings (at best) so you don’t need 4 relievers to finish up a game. That’s why guys like Romano and Heaney wind up pitching critical innings in a must win game-of course, the Yankees didn’t have a single pitcher in the bullpen last night who was a solid choice in a high leverage situation, that ship has sailed for Green with his overreliance on his crappy curve ball.

  13. Fat Toad

    What about the guy who hired Boone? He wanted his yes man; he should be held responsible for the results. He has had the largest financial advantage in American sports and can’t even beat out the powerhouse that is the Rays? Not even over a 162 game season. The strategy set by executive leadership is not working and hasn’t for many years, coming up on decades. Let’s please move on and find someone that knows who to build a championship baseball team.

  14. TBonesNYY

    This team is the worst kind of team there is. Just enough of everything to trick you into thinking they’re good. But add the station to station baserunning, lazy defense, suspect closer/setup, DP tendencies and the ever present soul crushing strikeouts and you have a fraud of the highest order. They are predictable, mediocre and boring. Unwatchable, unclutch, uninspired and unworthy. They are overrated and they under deliver. They are not fun. The fans don’t deserve this. Hal does. Pitiful, putrid and pathetic. Sadly, that’s all there is.

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