Sunday Thoughts

Wow. Still flying pretty damn high after that thrilling win last night. Listening to the NESN call is even better than listening to the YES call. What a homer from Giancarlo Stanton! Even a friend who’s not a regular baseball watcher texted me after it to appreciate the dinger. The Yankees are now in good position; now it’s time to sweep and move on to Toronto. Before we see them attempt to do so, here are some assorted thoughts.

The Joys of Sev

It’s only been four innings, but after a layoff of more than 700 days, how fantastic is it to see Luis Severino out there again? First, it’s just great that he’s healthy enough to throw…and throw hard. Seeing him in the upper-90’s inspires a lot of confidence in his health and reaffirms a lot of confidence in his talent. Whatever comes the rest of the year, I hope he can ride into 2022 and regain his Cy Young contender form back in the rotation. For now, though…

The Playoff Bullpen?

While the bullpen has been the weak link for the 2021 Yankees at times, I think we can see it rounding into shape. Clay Holmes, Severino, and Mike King can handle the RHP duties, with the latter two able to go multiple innings, which is valuable in the playoffs when starters have shorter leashes. Wandy Peralta and Lucas Luetge can handle situational lefties, and Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman can handle the back end. That should be good enough and doesn’t even include any rotation castoffs. Severino, given trust to handle a high leverage spot in just his second game last night, seems in good position to pitch late innings, too, which can alleviate Green a bit, something he sorely needs.

The Playoff Rotation

Both these thoughts might be getting ahead of themselves, but let’s be optimistic and assume the Yankees make the ALDS. Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery are obvious locks, though when Cole pitches won’t be game one. The next spot probably has to go to….Nestor Cortes, no? Jameson Taillon has pitched admirably this year for many reasons, but I think he’s at his limit. Corey Kluber is a great vet, but with how much time he’s missed, I’m not sure he’s able to be relied upon. So I think I’d go with Cole, Montgomery, Cortes, and, assuming the need for a fourth, Taillon.

The Playoff Lineup

While we’ve spent a lot of time clamoring for a different lineup, a supposedly optimal lineup, the Yankees just haven’t done it and it’s clear they’re not really going to. With that in mind, let’s imagine a playoff lineup based on what the Yankees have done so far.

  1. Gardner, CF
  2. Judge, RF
  3. Rizzo, 1B
  4. Stanton, DH
  5. Gallo, LF
  6. Torres, 2B
  7. LeMahieu, 3B
  8. Sanchez, C
  9. Urshela, SS

That works, no? Maybe you swap LeMahieu and Gardner if you don’t want four RHB in a row at the bottom, but…I’d be happy with that lineup, given how Gardner has played in the second half. If the Yankees aren’t going to play Luke Voit, this is the way to go.

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8 Comments

  1. Boone made the absolute worst pitching switch in Yankee history by taking out Holmes after he K’d the side in the 6th because of a lefty pinch hitter being announced.

    For crying out loud, what page of the new, expanded version of the Yankee binder does that appear, right after the ‘use the Casey Stengel bring in Choo Choo Coleman play because he’s a good low ball catcher when all else fails’?

    Tonight, for almost the 1st time in my life, I muted the audio on the ESPN feed when David Ortiz was in the booth and he and Arod were talking about everything other than the game.

    • Wire Fan

      That was a borderline fireable offfense. The Yankees obsession with getting the platoon advantage is going to be exploited like this in big games. There are so many lefties in the pen, Boone and the Yankees “analytics” group seem compelled to use them whenever a lefty comes up.

      And if they were bringing in a lefty, how is it not Luetge or Peralta? Rodriguez was an absurd choice.

      And what the heck was Wade doing in the 8th inning? I have no problem with the SB attempt (though running on 3-1 is somewhat questionable), nut how do you forget to slide? He had the bag easy if he slides.

      Thank goodness Judge(with an assist from.Cowboy Joe) and Stanton bailed out the stupid going on

  2. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    There’s the Boone we know and don’t love! Outsmarted by the cheater Cora to take Holmes out of the game because of the legend Travis Shaw. Dumbest manager I ever saw.

  3. Steve

    I think I saw Voit’s photo on a carton of milk. Who did he tick off?

    • I don’t get the worship of Voit at all-he’s a streaky all or nothing hitter (sound familiar?) who is awful defensively so needs to be the DH, putting Stanton in the outfield.

      Stanton is a pretty good right fielder but, on Saturday, his presence out there would have cost the Yankees at least 3 runs and the game because of the two outstanding plays by Judge that Stanton would not have reached.

      Meanwhile, although I’ve never been a big Gardner fan he is still really good defensively and is doing some good things at the plate on a nightly basis. He had a key double on Saturday and basehit on Sunday that were in the middle of rallies while constantly having competitive ABs

      I think the Yankees see the same things so have relegated Voit to the bench and he’s likely gone during the off season.

  4. dasit

    this team is so mercurial that my expectations are all over the map. i’m not surprised they won the last 2 games but i also wouldn’t have been surprised if they got blown out twice. they could go 7-0, 6-1 or 1-6 and i would equally unsurprised

  5. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    I love Gardy in the lead off spot, Matt. He at least works counts, sees pitches and battles. DJ does none of those things anymore. We need base runners ahead of Jusgr and Stanton. Yesterday doesn’t happen without Gardy getting on base. DJ woulda just hit a little dribbler to 3rd.

    I love Sevy. So glad to see him again. He gives us some emotion and energy out there. With Holmes, Sevy, King and the return of Loisaga we’ll have four reliable relievers that can go multiple innings. And Peralta and Joeley for lefties. And it lets Green get plenty of rest so he’s not running on fumes. Seems like Green’s fastball thrives with more rest. If they had to do a bullpen game in the postseason they could.

    I’d start Nestor as the 4th starter if we make the LDS. Tallion is running on fumes and we dont even know if he’ll return healthy. Nestor has proven all year that he can give us a quality start and as I mentioned above there are plenty of relievers to come in early if needed.

    • Anthony Rizzeddardo

      And you’re wrong about Kluber, Matt. He’ll be the #2 starter. We want that guy out there in big ballgames, not Tallion.

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