Game 60: No offense or urgency lead to sweep

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Make it four straight losses. The Red Sox beat the Yankees in 10 innings tonight, 6-5, and completed the weekend sweep at Yankee Stadium. Just another awful, no good, and miserable performance from the Yankees tonight. The umpiring didn’t help, but it also doesn’t excuse the rest of what happened. Here are the takeaways from tonight’s game:

This should have been a blowout win. Instead, the offense’s ineptitude kept Boston in a game where two of the team’s best relievers (Jonathan Loaisiga and Chad Green) were unavailable. As such, the Red Sox capitalized on the Yankees’ inability to score. Sound familiar?

Boston’s starter Garrett Richards looked absolutely awful today and the Yankees let him off the hook. He allowed ten baserunners in his five innings of work, and yet, the Yanks could only scratch across three runs. So it goes for this year’s team.

While hitting with runners on base is a huge issue, the teamwide power outage is a larger concern. Gary Sánchez’s first inning two-run double was the club’s lone extra base hit this evening in spite of a number of high exit velocity batted balls. Singles and walks are good and all, but it’s not easy to score a bunch of runs without the long ball.

Until this team rediscovers it’s power stroke, it won’t go anywhere. This lineup wasn’t constructed around a bunch of .300 hitters. And in today’s pitching environment, trying to build a team like that is a fool’s errand. Home runs win games. I know a lot of people don’t want to believe that, but it’s true.

Aaron Boone managed the end of this game like it didn’t matter. The offense stinking isn’t Boone’s fault, but he still left his mark on tonight’s loss.

First, how does Boone not blow a gasket after the atrocious called strike three to Rougned Odor to end the ninth? Phil Nevin and Carlos Mendoza got tossed, but Boone let it slide and/or played damage control. Would be awfully nice to see the manager as angry as the rest of the fanbase, wouldn’t it?

Secondly, and with a more direct impact to tonight’s outcome: why did Aroldis Chapman not pitch the tenth inning? He needed just 12 pitches to throw the ninth frame and hadn’t pitched in four days. Tomorrow’s an off day. What is Boone saving him for? Instead, he turned to Luis Cessa, who almost worked out of trouble before giving up two runs.

What the hell has happened to DJ LeMahieu? With tonight’s 0-for-5, LeMahieu has a .253/.335/.321 (89 wRC+) batting line. Are we sure this is the same guy who hit .336/.386/.536 (146 wRC+) in his first two seasons in pinstripes? He’s been nothing short of awful this season. And that he’s doing it out of the leadoff spot day in and day out really puts the offense in a terrible position.

To make matters worse, he made a costly error (generously scored a double) in the eighth inning that led to the go-ahead run.

If you’re not hitting, the least you can do is make plays defensively. I suppose you could argue that’s Clint Frazier’s ball, but it still clanked off of LeMahieu’s glove after he called for it and overran it.

Domingo Germán’s performance. I’ve written a similar version of this particular takeaway about Germán before. He’s always going to give up the long ball — it’s part of his game — but as long as he limits baserunners like he did tonight, he can get away with it. Alex Verdugo took him way deep for a solo homer in the first inning, but that was the only damage Boston did against the Yankees’ starter.

Other than the Verdugo dinger, Germán kept the basepaths pretty clear. He allowed just four baserunners the rest of the way and finished his 5.2 innings of work with just three hard hit balls against him (including the homer).

Germán’s always been a strike-thrower, which perhaps is one of the reasons he gives up a lot of homers. Historically, the 28 year-old righty has been control-over-command. Tonight, though, he had exceptional command (save for the middle-middle fastball to Verdugo, of course).

A few curveballs slipped way high as you can see, but generally, he kept that pitch down. Likewise for his changeup.

Most importantly, he also kept his four-seamer and sinker on the edges. Commanding those latter two pitches are key as Germán’s fastball velocity is middle-of-the-pack (52nd percentile). And as you can tell from below, he’s typically more in the heart of the zone with his four-seamer and sinker.

So yeah, tonight will do. He did pay for the bad fastball to Verdugo, but otherwise, those two offerings were on point:

The final line: 5.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts. A good effort after an inauspicious beginning. Of course, it went wasted.

Leftovers

  • Giancarlo Stanton didn’t start, but he pinch hit for Brett Gardner in the eighth inning as the go-ahead run and struck out.
  • Relievers Lucas Luetge and Wandy Peralta gave up three runs in 2.1 innings. Luetge gave up a game-tying two-run homer to Marwin Gonzalez in the seventh and Peralta gave up a tough-luck run in the eighth after LeMahieu’s aforementioned misplay.
  • The Yankees are 0-18 when allowing five or more runs.

The Yankees are (thankfully) off tomorrow before they start a series against the Twins in Minnesota. Have a good night.

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18 Comments

  1. lee

    home runs may win games these days, but you still have to hit for average. of the top 5 AL teams in runs scored, 4 are in the top 5 for BA (HOU, BOS, TOR, TBR, CHW – TBR being the exception ranking 4th in R/G, but 10th in BA). overall AL correlation between R/G and BA is 0.82.

  2. Esteddardban Florial

    I thought it was the worst loss in the history of history, Derek. Worse than Pearl Harbor, worse than Vietnam, worse than the Black Plague. As I’ve been saying for months now, it’s time to pull the plug on this sinking ship. It’s over. Boone needs to go today. He couldn’t even rally the troops after the Odor “strike 3.” It was left to a sick and decrepit Phil Nevin, who has been near death for three weeks. How did Boone not get tossed there? And we need computer strike zones please!

    I’d call up Florial tomorrow and all other kids to see what we have in them. DFA Gardner. Start asking other clubs what we can get for Chappy and any bullpen piece besides Loisaga. Every starter should be available, even Cole. There’s no reason for him to be here wasting away in a rebuild. Anybody in the lineup can go except for maybe Judge and Gio.

    And it shouldn’t be Cashman that makes these trades. He should be fired along with Boone for giving us the inept Boone and putting together this awful ballclub. God they’re bad. I’ve never seen a team not be able to hit a flyball with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs. That game should have been 8-1.

    And call me crazy but if Chris Gittens is going to call himself “Hard Hitting” Chris Gittens shouldn’t he actually hit the ball? I’ve never seen him hit the ball and he was supposed to be this great savior.

  3. Willie

    DJ Lemahieu had some mediocre seasons with the Rockies, in addition to his good ones. He’s just regressing to the mean in 2021. It is not realistic to expect another 2019 or 2020 from him every year, especially as he ages.

    • lee

      exactly. i don’t know why so many people are surprised by LeMahieu’s mediocre performance this year. his career OPS+ is 101, pretty much league average. in the prior 10 seasons he was below league average in 7 of them. people talk about how great he was in his first two seasons in pinstripes, totally forgetting that the second season was really only a third of a season, and a rather atypical season at that. so seeing him at 88 OPS+ is not really all that surprising. as you say, good old regression to the mean.

  4. Dani

    Fun fact: did you know that the Yankees are actually better than their expected record? They are 31-29, expected is 29-31. Yikes.

    I’ve given up hope that they can turn it around, the hitting is just too bad, they are 28th in runs scored per game. 28th! I don’t know if it’s bad luck, the lack of sign-stealing or if they’re simply this bad but it’s a fact that they’re one of the very worst hitting teams in the league and I have a hard time believing that this can be fixed during the season.

    Nobody should be untouchable at the deadline, see what you might be able to get in return. They have some great trade chips.

  5. BillyMartinVanBuren Boys

    Absolutely horrific inexcusable call there in the ninth. I honestly don’t think the human element of umpiring would be as big of a deal if the public knew there was some sort of discipline for missing calls like this. But everything operates behind closed doors so clandestinely and umpires are never interviewed post game about this stuff. If umpires had to own up to their mistakes and maybe if there were known consequences for egregious misses like tonight (like not being behind the plate for a week or something) then I think the fervor behind wanting robot umps would be less than it is. But instead these umps are protected from media and public scrutiny and are given opportunity after opportunity to make the same mistakes again and against. See exhibit A- Angel Hernandez.

  6. DZB

    I’ll keep banging on the same drum – a lot of this failure is down to a very rich team not spending money. Ottavino has been good and would be an upgrade over the end of the bullpen, and he was given away with a prospect for salary relief. Odor is manning 2B because he counts as a zero against the luxury tax. They did not pursue players like Lynn and Darvish because of cost. This current roster has too many holes to go anywhere. I think the first change is probably on the coaching staff side, perhaps the hitting coach (as much as I hate to say it), and I could see Boone fired (though I am not sure who replaces him to actually call it an upgrade – maybe Beltran can come in and we can let bygones be bygones).

  7. KMC

    I can’t imagine a more miserable, humiliating thing than being a Yankee fan in 2021. How does it feel to be the laughingstock of New England, New York, and all of baseball? The funnest part is that you all still root for Aaron Boone. It takes a certain kind of person to support a team like this. Don’t worry though, when we win the World Series (again), I’ll make sure to think of all of you.

  8. Terry from LA

    The Yankees as we knew them are done. 1 ring in 21 years???? As long as Hal is running the show we are toast. This team is a disaster. 4th place at BEST. A real shame, but obviously they and WE totally overestimated the talent. We must all admit we were wrong to demand they resign DJ. Frazier is a quad A guy at best. The dead ball doesn’t help, but this team is going nowhere. Reminds me of 2013,14,15 and of course 90, 91,92. Sad.

  9. Zach

    If you’re neutral New Yorker, why watch this garbage when the Mets, a fun, young, well-run team, are in first place? Ticket sales will suffer eventually, and that’s the only thing that Hal cares about. In that sense, losing is the only way out of this catastrophe. If he can’t sell enough chicken buckets, Boone will be fired in 2023 and Cashman will “retire” a few years later. But by then, the Yankees will be totally irrelevant in New York, a laughingstock just like the Jets. A disgrace in every way.

  10. North Queen Jack

    Hard to watch this group. I really want Cashman to make some moves and shake things up. We’re not that far back. But the fact is, he’s so constrained by salary limitations and an empty farm system that this is basically what we’ve got to work with for the rest of the year.

    Pro tip for the GM, sell off and get some prospects.

    • Zach

      Selling is obviously the right move. But the excuses people make for Cashman are ridiculous. The game has passed him by, and he has no clue how to assemble a roster. One example of this is how many “irrelevant” former Yankees are succeeding, not just with any teams, but with their biggest rivals. Red Sox? Whitlock and Ottavino are two of the best relievers in baseball. The red-hot Mets? McKinney, Mason Williams, and Drury would all be massive upgrades. Rays? Choi and Feyereisen were both unwanted by Cashman. Only one of those players was traded because of salary, (Ottavino) and in his place Cashman signed Justin Wilson. The others supposedly had no value when they left the Yankees. There are dozens of examples with other teams, but there’s nothing more embarrassing than this.

      • Steve

        lol… “McKinney, Mason Williams, and Drury would all be massive upgrades”.

  11. Dan Gibbons

    This Yankees might just miss the playoffs

    • Zach

      Yes, but how many chicken buckets will Hal sell? Keep your priorities straight here.

    • Terry from LA

      Might????

    • Ramez hanna

      The pitching is great,judge is very good,Frazier and andujar are getting better,dj is way underperforming,the Yankees are getting more hits but not the big blow,need a centerfielder, voit back ,better game management from boone

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