Game 39: Unacceptable

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The Yankees lose again by the score of 6-1 against the Baltimore Orioles. They are now 21-18. We’re going to do something different tonight.

Normally, this is where we would give some instant analysis of the day’s game. This performance isn’t deserving of that. Today’s game was an embarrassment. The Baltimore Orioles outclassed the Yankees. I am going to say that again. The Baltimore Orioles outclassed the New York Yankees. It was a listless performance from the Yankees.

This level of play cannot happen for a team with title aspirations. We’re reaching the point where the rash of injuries is no longer the primary reason for these outcomes. The active players on the roster are getting their asses kicked. The manager continues to make odd lineup choices. The maligned catcher is validating oftentimes harsh criticism. The vaunted bullpen is stinking it up. If Boston wasn’t in the Al East, the Yankees would currently be the worst-performing team in the division.

It is time to bench guys like Thairo Estrada and Tyler Wade. They are actively harming the team with their performances. The Estrada error in the sixth inning changed the complexion of the game. It is a routine play that needs to be made. If you’re going to be a zero at the plate, your defense has to be airtight. Speaking of zeroes at the plate, Tyler Wade should no longer be on the 28 man roster. There is nothing of value he brings to the team. His offense is non-existent and even his baserunning hurt the team on one occasion. Both of these guys are huge black holes in a lineup struggling to find its footing. The fact that both of them continue to get starts is baffling.

This brings us to Boone. At first glance, sitting DJLM makes sense. He has played a lot since coming off the DL. The bigger question is why have Andújar start in left field instead of someone like Brett Gardner? The left on left matchup reasoning doesn’t work because I saw Tyler Wade pop up a bunt behind home plate against a lefty tonight. These games are precious now. They are especially precious because Judge, Stanton, and Paxton aren’t coming back tomorrow or the next day. You have to win the games your ace starts. These lineup choices have to show a sense of urgency. I understand Boone’s thing is being calm, cool, and collected. That is totally fine with me but there are moments where urgency rules the day. We are at that point. Boone needs to match that moment.

Gerrit Cole isn’t above criticism either. There are stretches where a team needs its ace to persevere. This is one of those stretches and Cole is not succeeding. An error can’t unravel a brilliant outing. He has to pick his third baseman up. Instead, he loses his command and in the process tires himself out. He was fantastic for five innings. The team needed him to maintain that level of performance through the sixth. It didn’t happen. These are tough circumstances with the offense faltering. The Yankees paid a ton of money for him to rise above those circumstances. He is not meeting the challenge at this point. It is difficult to write that but this is where we are.

There are plenty of other places to lay blame. There is the ghost of Gary Sánchez. The bullpen is struggling. Aaron Hicks is not having a good year. The next men up players are crashing back to Earth. There is a laundry list of issues. The team needs to figure this out quickly. Teams across the league are facing a ton of challenges this season including COVID outbreaks. The Yankees issues are largely performance based. It is time to step up and turn this garbage around. There is still time to do so but it is quickly slipping away.

At least Clint Frazier is rewarding some Yankees’ fans patience. That is nice to see.

The Yankees will try to split the series agains the Orioles tomorrow at 1:05pm ET. It will be Tanaka versus Wojciechowski. I hope you have a better night than the Yankees.

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Strolling Thunder: On Clint Frazier’s Improved Walk Rate

8 Comments

  1. Dani

    The 2020 Yankees … damn, who would’ve thought this could turn into such a frustrating mess?
    tbh, the only things worth watching right now are Frazier, Voit, DJ and Deivi. Everyone else just isn’t performing as one would expect them to.

    Ugh, let’s hope this somehow doesn’t get even more frustrating than it already is.

  2. Steve

    You pretty much summed up my thoughts nicely. I’m with you – I just don’t much care about this season with everything else going on. It’s nice to watch baseball again but it doesn’t FEEL like baseball to me. I’m not getting worked up over ugly losses like I would normally do either.

  3. Shaun P.

    I would much prefer that the Yankees play well and win. I love the intensity and passion you all bring – it is why I kept reading you all after a good friend recommended you – and in any other season, I would be nodding my head in complete agreement. But honestly, given the current state of the world and MLB, I just can’t get that worked up about it. This is a lost season that doesn’t feel legitimate. I totally understand why they have 7 inning doubleheaders and runner starts on 2nd in extra innings, and agree they should do both; and I think the extra inning rules are a fun and exciting change. But it doesn’t feel like actual major league baseball, for those and a dozen other reasons – healthy players not playing, no out of division games, teams missing days of games on end, last second schedule shifts; none of this is normal. And so the Yankees stinking up the field just doesn’t matter to me this year. And honestly, if it was all impacting the players and staff in various ways – how could it not? – I would be completely sympathetic and appreciate that they were out there and also not care about their win loss record or making the postseason or winning the “2020 championship”. I love baseball and I love this team, but if ever there was a season where the results are truly meaningless in the grand scheme of things, this is it.

    • Randy

      I’ve seen this sentiment in some places and while I fully respect this perspective I don’t share in it. The season has its compromises but it is a legitimate season. It exists. Games are being played. They’re going to have a champion. I’ve been on record multiple times saying this season should not have taken place. All sides decided to play. With that in mind, the team needs to improve its performances. If they’re going to do it they may as well win some games.

  4. Winfred wade

    Sitting DJ lamahue makes no sense u got all fall and winter to rest quit babying these players

  5. This is a team of sub .200 hitters who either can’t hit the fastball (Sanchez and others) or anything resembling a breaking pitch (Estrada).

    It’s time to put the 9 best hitters in the lineup every day and see what happens-that means DJ plays every freaking day, Voit continues to play every day and stop this crap about relievers not being able to pitch 3 days in a row.

    Wade and Estrada shouldn’t see another game in the lineup, they aren’t major league players.
    At least Mercer is a major league players. Andujar needs to try to play 3rd base for the next 10 days, they made it to the playoffs with him there and have no other option until Urshela gets back.

    That leaves Gardner, Hicks, and Frazier for now-they play every day for the next 20 days or until Judge gets back. Tauchman can’t hit a fastball, he sits or comes in for defense late in the game.

    Sanchez gets some kind of phantom injury (other than his brain) that gets him off the roster for now-Kratz is a far better receiver and at least puts the bat on the ball consistently and Higashioka is a decent back up.

    Ford still gets to play but you can’t bat him anywhere near the middle of the order.

    It’s a 60 game season, for crying out loud, they had 4 months to rest before the season started and the way they are playing will be making tee times for October 1st.

    And, if all else fails, buy one of the backup infielders a freaking harmonica and tell him to read about Phil Linz, maybe it will wake up Boone.

  6. Brian M

    Teams go through bad stretches every season. Hoping this is just one of them and that they will magically turn it on in time to actually make the playoffs and go on a run. What else can we hope for at this point?

    • Randy

      You hope that they turn it around before the playoffs. They haven’t accomplished anything to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to turning it on for the playoffs. Like I said in the post, there is time to turn it around but it needs to happen immediately.

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