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Game 65: Make It Stop, Please

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.

Leftovers

  • 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.

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27 Comments

  1. Kansas

    But isn’t Odor playing for free? Not even the minimum? No way Lil Steinie quits him.

  2. The Original Drew

    This is the perfect s**t storm of an imperfect, injury prone roster being hamstrung by a mandate to get under the luxury tax in 2021 by ownership.

    The Yankees need help (in this order):
    1) A starting caliber CF
    2) A Mid-rotation Starting Pitcher
    3) Middle Infield depth that is better than Odor and Wade

    The only way you can probably address any of these needs is to go over the LT since they only have $5 million in wiggle room. There isn’t anyone that is making a lot of money that they can trade away (if you think anyone is taking Hicks or Stanton off the Yankees hands you’re insane) so the Yankees will be inactive for 3 deadlines in a row.

    “Getting Kluber back is better than any trade we can make”
    “I have a lot of confidence in Brett Gardner and the guys we have in that room”
    “I made a lot of calls, but I just didn’t like the prices out there”
    – Brian Cashman on July 31, 2021.

    • dasit

      i think the front office knew they were playing with fire. they needed health from multiple position players with long injury histories, they needed 300 combined innings from kluber and taillon, they needed severino to come back strong, and they needed the rays, red sox, and blue jays to underperform. there’s no chance in hell they will be sellers, so the best we can hope for are miraculous injury recoveries followed by sustained health

    • Wire Fan

      Do they even have 5mil at this point? Every injury cuts into that # even if it is a league minimum player that gets called up.

  3. Look at all those called strikes in the middle of the zone!

  4. H. Avis

    H. Avis

    The Yankees season is effectively over. It’s time to clean house and start fresh with players and management that give a damn.

  5. dasit

    the window that opened in 2017 is about to close
    they should be all-in buyers at the trade deadline but my guess is they’ll stand pat

    • Esteddardban Florial

      Buyers!? The only thing this team should be buying is nitroglycerin to blow the whole thing to smithereens.

      • dasit

        first of all, big fan of your work
        second of all, they didn’t spent a gazillion dollars on cole to go into another rebuild. i usually wince when someone says “if george was alive” but in this case if george was alive he would fire everyone and empty the farm system for ketel marte and a half season of trevor story and for once he’d be right

    • Cuso

      Unfortunately there is no “about to” about it. The 2017 window with this core closed the moment they chose the Stanton trade over pursuing Harper.

  6. Terry from LA

    This falls at the feet of Hal and his stupid Luxury tax obsession.

    • Anthony Perrone

      Money would not help this, its a poorly constructed team

      • Steve

        And it’s constructed that way primarily to satisfy Hal’s LT priority. That’s why you have Taillon, Odor, Wilson, and no Tanaka.

  7. MikeD

    A question that will need to be asked for a while about all pitchers. How were German’s spin rates? While MLB is a week or so off from “cracking down” on substances, it’s possible some players and teams are cutting back earlier. If so, we should see an uptick in offense, and a downtick in pitching. Unfortunately, for today at least, we got no uptick on offense, and a collapse in pitching!

    • Bobby

      They were down about 150 RPM across the board. His max spins today were about his season averages coming into today. I thought about including, but opted not to until another start. Just in case there is any one game variance, unlikely though it may be.

  8. Wire Fan

    2 out if every 5 starts will be King and Taillon for the foreseeable future. That is going to completely over-work the pen. And the only other real option is Deivi, who seems like he could use more development, though he might be an improvement over Taillon at this point.

    With Stanton now a permanent DH (which is absurd for an above average corner OF) and Judge constantly needing days off for nagging issues or time at DH to rest, the roster and lineup are a mess. I wonder how a suddenly red hot Stanton will look after essentially 4 days off because the Yankees are too scared to play him in the OF.

    And the only thing Cashman and the analytics group seem fixated on is finding a left handed batter whose main skill is hitting HRs (other skills appear to be optional). And getting that bat, regardless of quality, into the 3rd spot in the lineup.

    They need 1 or 2 starters and at least 2 hitters. With no room under the self imposed LT restriction I can’t see the Yankees dealing away massive talent to fix all the holes on the roster. Nor should they the way they are currently playing.

  9. REA in MI

    I know the role of a manager nowadays is muddled, but the things that DO reflect on Boone are really, really not good: the endless outs on the bases, shoddy defense, constant inability to win the 3rd game of a 3 game series when up two games to none, regression of younger players like Frazier, Sanchez, Torres… I don’t want to jump on the easy target, but really- what DOES he bring to the table? His calm, cheerful demeanor? Maybe that’s what’s not working.

    • Esteddardban Florial

      Cash wanted him because he’d be a yes man to all the analytics he wanted to shove down our throats. That ain’t working. They also thought Boone would be good with the media but all he does is lie to them. And who cares how the manager is with the media. Get someone that knows baseball like Buck.

  10. Esteddardban Florial

    I thought it was the worst loss of the season, Bobby, and it feels like I’ve been saying that every day for the last 2 months. Cashman, Boone, the entire coaching, medical and training staffs have gotta go tomorrow. George woulda done it weeks ago. We let Girardi go because he was too intense. The Phillies out hustled, out managed, out hit, out pitched and Boone did nothing. That move is turning out to be one of the worst of all time. Toe did nothing but hit, McCutchen did nothing but hit, if Didi were there he would done nothing but hit and Cash let them all go so he could pick up Jay Bruce and Odor. He let Eovaldi and Ottavino go so he could get Taillon. Judge is now hurt again, Sevy is out for the year, Stanton was their hottest hitter and was benched because he’s too feeble to stand in LF for 2 hours. There’s no passion, no accountability, they’re just going through the motions out there. And the reason the pitching has regressed is because Cole had them all cheating with spider tack and now they can’t cheat anymore. It’s time to sell sell sell, get what young building blocks you can and hire a real manager like Buck that can turn this ship around. Until then we need to all become Mets fans. They’re the toast of the town. At least they have a culture of winning, an owner who cares, an offense that can score runs and an ace pitcher that doesn’t need to cheat to win.

    • lee

      <>

      amen!

    • CaptBury

      You hit the nail on the head. And if the Boss were still alive, somebody’d be getting fired tonight for sure.

    • lee

      “hire a real manager like Buck that can turn this ship around”

      amen.

    • Bronto

      It seems like every series they are getting beat by ex-Yankees. Atleast they can have good conversations while their buddies are on base it sure looks like they like having company on the base pads laughing it up every time. Helping them off the ground after they slide in safely. I think the team played better with Voit around because he brought fight and energy to the team. Maybe like didi would do. We have a bunch of low energy guys now thru and thru. Gittens doesn’t even have his first hit yet, what a joke. Maybe his dad should stop watching until he gets one.

  11. Charlie Hirsch

    It’s time to sell. Clear space for free agents next year after the tax is reset. This team is going nowhere. Cash man put it together and Boon needs to be replaced ASAP

    • Steve

      I love how everyone jumps on Cashman without even considering Hal mandated staying under the LT threshold instead of improving the team and winning a championship.

      • The real cash man

        For Christ’s sake Cashman has been here forever. I think it is time to move on… It’s not like Hal is going to sell the team.

        • Steve

          Which is completely irrelevant to the point I was making.

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