For a baseball team that was an absolute joy to watch in the 2019 season, it is remarkable to consider what an unfun, slog of a team the Yankees have become over the last two years. It’s insane. It’s largely the same collection of players – but with the addition of bonafide ace Gerrit Cole. I have a hard time even understanding it, but here we are. Check this out:
Today’s absolutely embarrassing display against the Phillies, in which the Yankees fell 7-0, brings their record to 33-32 after 65 games. They’re 66-59 (.528), or an 86-pace over a full season, since opening Day in 2020. It feels a lot worse than that, too, considering the expectations. Projections are not everything, but the Yankees are as likely to miss the playoffs as they are to make them now.
Well, with that gross thought in mind, let’s get to today’s takeaways.
1. The Pitching is Regressing to the Mean: I was confident in the Yankees pitching coming into the season, just as everyone here at Views was. Still, even we didn’t expect them to be as dominant as they were for the first two months of the season. Well, it seems like the reckoning is coming – at least a little bit. I think they’ll still be fine, but this doesn’t lie:
Granted, Taillon’s atrocious start last night plays a role in this, but things haven’t been as rosy for the Yankees’ starters lately. They sure weren’t today for Domingo Germán today, either. He’d been so good this season that one of these was inevitable at some point. He lasted 4.1 innings and gave up 10 hits in that time frame with just 2 strikeouts and a walk. He was tagged for 7 runs. (The final 2 came via Wandy Peralta in the 5th.)
He had almost nothing from the jump. Phillies batters whiffed just 5 times against him, and this is where he put the ball:
Either an obvious ball or a hanging pitch right down the center of the plate. It is not what you want, right there. Germán allowed a run in the first, 3 in the 2nd, and 3 more in the 5th. I can’t be too mad at him. It’s been a hell of a season for Germán so far, and you can’t expect him to have his electric stuff every day. It just was not the start the Yankees needed after yesterday’s 0.1 innings of work from Taillon. Oh well.
2. I’ve Had Enough of Rougned Odor: Have I said that I have had enough of Roudned Odor yet? I tried to convince myself the trade was decent at the time, and his early April “heroics” were appreciated while they were here. They are not here anymore though. Since returning to the lineup on May 18, he’s hitting .230/.277/.410 (89 wRC+), which is inflated by his 4-hit game against Detroit. Without that game, he’s hitting just .179. He also has a 35% strikeout rate and never walks.
So, of course, the Yankees hit him 3rd today. Why wouldn’t they? Aaron Judge, as we know, is out with back spasms. So instead of hitting the red-hot Gary Sánchez 3rd, or even god forbid playing Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield one (1) time, they hit Rougned Odor – who was too bad to play for the literal Texas Rangers – third. I don’t mean to pick on Odor personally. He seems like a nice guy. What annoys me is the fact that the Yankees are obsessed iwth hitting him in the middle of the odor. It’s inexplicable.
He did get a hit, almost to shut me up. That was nice, at least. The Yankees didn’t have many of those today. So what did he do while standing on second base? Well, he did what the Yankees always do – tried to advance on a grounder hit in front of him, got caught in a rundown, and was easily thrown out. It was the 31st out on the bases of the season for the Yankees. It’s awful and is no small part of the 2021 frustration.
3. A Lifeless Offense: I picked on Odor before, but the frustration lies with the entire offense. Today was an absolute disgrace yet again. DJ LeMahieu, god bless him, looks like he’s turning it around. He had two hits and hit a scorcher to first in the 9th. It was a nice day for him. Odor and Torres both doubled, which was nice. Here is how the rest of the lineup did: 0-18 with a walk and 7 strikeouts. Nice! Good work, guys.
To their credit, the Phillies deployed the 2021 strategy against the Yankees to devastating effect: they threw the ball literally right down the middle. Check it out:
Astounding stuff, there. It really is. Not much more to say about this game. Bad pitching, worse hitting, and an easy loss.
- Luke Voit cannot get back here fast enough. He might mean the end of Odor, which is nice. But the Yankees also desperately need his bat.
- Nice job from the bullpen today, again. They didn’t allow a run in 3.2 innings, even though Peralta allowed his inherited runners to score.
- The Yankees are wasting the rise of Jonathan Loaisiga and it is making me sad.
The Yankees are off tomorrow. Mercy. They’ll play the Blue Jays in Buffalo on Tuesday at 7:07 pm. The Jays are destroying the Red Sox, so they’ll have to content with a red hot offense in Buffalo. Enjoy your day, everyone.