Game 96: What Can You Say?

It’s almost like, when you have a chance to beat your rival in a big game, you shouldn’t blow it. Who knows what tomorrow will bring – even if tomorrow brings Gerrit Cole? That’s right. I’m still cranky about last night. Anyway, the Yanks fell 6-2 to the Red Sox despite starting Gerrit Cole, and now they can only hope to salvage a split, at best, in the biggest series of the season.

Begrudgingly, let’s get right to the takeaways.

1. Gerrit Cole is Still Gerrit Cole, But It’s Not Enough: When Gerrit Cole is on the mound, you expect to win, and honestly? The Yankees pretty much need to win every single one of his games from here on out – especially against teams ahead of the Yankees in the standings. That didn’t happen tonight, even though Cole was firing off pitches that looked like this early on in the game:

As Rob notes there, not sure you can throw a more perfect pitch in any spot. And, as usual, Cole was generating a ton of swings and misses. Check this out:

  • Four-Seam Fastball: 7 whiffs on 21 swings (33%)
  • Slider: 5 whiffs on 12 swings (42%)
  • Curveball: 2 whiffs on 9 swings (22%)
  • Changeup: 2 whiffs on 5 swings (40%)
  • Total: 16 whiffs on 47 swings (34%)

Everyone spends a lot of time wondering what the post-crackdown Cole is going to be like, but I’m not all that worried. He still looks, to me at least, to be a very similar pitcher. He did rack up 8 Ks in 5 innings, after all. But, of course, that wasn’t all – Cole was also hit hard by the end of his appearance. As Lindsey noted, he was not sharp and Boston was all over him:

That all adds up to a fine, if underwhelming, performance. The Yanks’ ace went 5 innings, allowed 3 runs, walked 2, and struck out 8 in all. It’s a pretty good floor, to be honest, and it’s about as bad as Cole ever gets. The bad news is that the Yankees needed the ceiling from Gerrit Cole tonight, and they didn’t get it. Alas.

2. The RailRiders are Fun and All, but Come On: Speaking of, the Yankees need an ace-like performance from the ace in every situation because their offense is a joke. It just is. They really miss Aaron Judge. The entire lineup feels shorter without his steadying presence in the two-hole, to say nothing of Gio Urshela. So, while the RailRiders did enough to beat the Red Sox last weekend and handle the Phillies earlier this week, it was obvious to anyone that the other shoe was going to drop at some point.

We don’t need to get into specifics, because if you’ve seen any other Yankee game this year, you’ve seen this one. They went 1-9 with runners-in-scoring-position, and they left 11 on base total. Of their six hits, just two were extra-base hits (both doubles). They blew an opportunity early in the game to put pressure on the Red Sox and give Gerrit Cole more than one run to play with. They didn’t put up a fight once they were punched. And on and on and on. You know the drill.

I do want to note one thing, aside from the fact that Rafael Devers utterly owned the Yanks tonight. That is that the Yankees miss Judge in more ways than one. Look at how the Red Sox scored their first run of the night:

The Greg Allen Show has been great and all, but I don’t think the Sox score there if it’s Judge patrolling the outfield. I really don’t. Get well soon, big man. The Yankees need you.

Leftovers

  • Gary Sánchez left the game with back spasms. Nothing is going right for the Yanks in 2021. It would almost be funny if it wasn’t so depressing. I hope he’ll be okay soon, because the Yankees cannot afford Rob Brantley to be their everyday catcher right now.
  • Welcome back, Nestor Cortes Jr. It was a welcome sight to see the odd-throwing reliever back in action. We’ve missed him over the last week or so. Of course, he promptly gave up a 3-run homer to Devers, so it wasn’t a truly welcome sight. But you catch my drift.
  • On a positive note, at least the Yanks managed to save some arms in the pen today. Aside from Cole and Cortes, the Yanks just used Justin Wilson. Hooray. (It’s also a good reminder to the team that they really need to loosen up the restrictions on the 3-day in a row rule from the bullpen right now.)

The Yanks and Sox will do this again tomorrow. Can’t wait! Jameson Taillon (5-4, 4.60 ERA) will try to keep his personal hot streak going against Nathan Eovaldi (9-5, 3.57 ERA). That game will take place at 4:05 pm. Enjoy the rest of your night, everyone.

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9 Comments

  1. Larry

    Hal has no real interest or passion in Yankee baseball, that would be the reason his dad’s original idea was to leave the running of the team to his former son in law. I think Hal was born on 3rd. base and thinks he hit a triple, as the saying goes. God forbid that the Yankees go over the luxury tax.

  2. this Yankee team is probably the worst team I ever remember watching. They are fundamentally flawed, with no situational hitting, and the worst base running in the history of baseball. Boone does not do a good job of managing this team. I know the players are trying, but it just looks like they are going thru the motions. there is no spark. When you start the year off with an over the hill outfielder playing first base (bruce), you knew the season was going to be a long one. This is not a playoff team and they need to get players that can put the ball in play. Stanton is a waste, and I don’t think I’ve seen any player watch so many pitches go by that are right down the middle of the plate, as he does. And now they want to put him in the outfield (at Fenway of all places) so they can have his bat for the NL games. Why? He doesn’t hit when he’s in the lineup anyway. Very frustrating to watch, which for me is less and less as the season goes on.

    • Mikey

      Big agree. Stanton isn’t the worst, he’s having on okay year and he’s gotten some clutch hits but I’ve never seen someone look somewhat competitive half the time and blindfolded the other half. Some of his at bats are so miserable.

    • Paul

      I couldn’t agree with you more. This team is awful. The manager is awful. Why is Brett Gardner batting second. He’s hitting .190. Stanton is a waste of space. He looks like he could care less. His stance in the batters box is so wrong. I don’t understand all the injuries. Boone makes the worst pitching changes. As a lifelong Yankee fan I can’t watch this team. I could go on and on but no point. I’m going to start rooting for the Mets.

  3. James Kelly

    Boone has to start managing with some urgency like his job is on the Line. I think all the players should watch ” 61 ” to see how real players Tape it up and strap it up to play through all their Boo Boo’s. I can’t stand watching the Yankees’ anymore.

  4. madrugador

    I am surprised the offense has been as bad as it has been this year but I guess age and regression caught up with some players. The starting pitching was built to be high risk, high reward. Well, the risk is what they got. Agree, this is not their year. Hope they develop some talent DoTF. I am starting to think the front office needs more of a culture change then do the players.

  5. H. Avis

    The Yankees season is essentially over.

  6. Terry from LA

    Wait till next year.

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