The Yankees’ four-game losing streak is over. New York beat the Twins 8-4 in the first of three at Minnesota. It’s really too bad that the Twins aren’t in the AL East. The Yankees would never lose the division. Anyway, let’s get to tonight’s takeaways.
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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:
Today seems like a good day to stop the slide. The Yankees have been pretty putrid for the last two games, two ugly losses against the Rays. As many fans–including many of you loyal readers–would tell it, this young season has been at least mildly frustrating to many and down right infuriating to others. For some, that boiled over on Friday night with fans throwing things onto the field.
As I wrote on Twitter Saturday morning, I’m much more frustrated with people who do that than with a struggling baseball team. The latter is to be expected, even with a team as talented as the Yankees. The former is unacceptable and dangerous. Please be better, Yankee fans.
While that’s not a good way to hit a release valve, we all need to at some point. That includes me despite the patience I’ve been preaching online and in real life. So here’s my release valve, my early airing of the grievances, so to speak.
On the micro level, I’m annoyed with Aaron Boone pulling his patented ‘get one more inning out of the starter’ act, which almost never works. He did it yesterday and it helped put the game out of reach. Of course, Jordan Montgomery shouldn’t be throwing five balls in a row, but there was no need for him to be in after the sixth inning.
I’m also frustrated with the team’s handling of Clint Frazier, which Derek detailed already, even before Frazier sat out on Saturday. The entire lineup seems to be slumping, save one or two guys, but only Frazier is the one who’s not allowed to work through his slump in game action. His replacement, veteran Brett Gardner, isn’t exactly lighting things on fire. He’s got two hits and three walks in his last 18 PA. Is this really an improvement?
The offense in general has been frustrating to watch, and Randy summed up why pretty easily yesterday:
When an offense isn’t getting breaks, it’s not too hard to watch. But when an offense is in between, as Randy noted, it’s awful. They seem to miss everything hittable and hit everything missable. That’s no good for anyone. But I still trust this team will hit and hit well.
The non-Gerrit Cole rotation has been disappointing to watch as a whole. Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon haven’t lived up to their upside yet, but I’m willing to give them more time. Montgomery has been fine, but it would be nice to see him find a groove over the next few starts. Maybe not playing Tampa so much will help him and everyone.
Speaking of Cole, he’s the release valve today, right? He’s the guy the Yankees can turn to now after a losing streak and feel confident that he will stop it. With a win today, with a typical Cole outing, he can help us all head into the Yankees’ off day with confidence that things will turn around.
Happy Saturday afternoon, everyone. Sadly, there’s no way to watch the Yankees and Pirates square off today, but the Bombers will be back on TV tomorrow when they host the Phillies (here’s our handy broadcast schedule, for reference).
Now, to the notes from the past couple of days in camp. A few things came up and we weren’t able to provide daily notes yesterday and Thursday, but this should help catch up a bit. Let’s get to it.
The big story: Boone returns
It’s only been three days since Aaron Boone took a medical leave of absence, yet the Yankees’ skipper is back and working as of this morning. He did return to the Yankees’ spring training complex yesterday for COVID-19 intake testing, and apparently, was given the all systems go today. Brian Cashman had previously noted that Boone could return within 48-72 hours of his surgery on Wednesday, so this quick return isn’t a total surprise.
Boone was in Tampa this morning to watch Gerrit Cole and Justin Wilson throw simulated games. He also told the media that he will manage the team’s game in Bradenton vs. the Pirates this afternoon (Bryan Hoch). That’s if the rain holds up, of course. The game is currently delayed.
Getting the feeling Aaron Boone might not get to make his managerial return today. pic.twitter.com/fTRAUCwPwh— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) March 6, 2021
More notes on today’s game after the jump. But first, I just want to say that it’s good to see Boone back and feeling great already. It’s impressive, really. He told the press that he already feels better post-surgery than he did in the months leading up to it (Lindsey Adler). He’s also looking forward to rebuilding his Peloton ranking (ibid). Sheesh. Professional athletes (including former, in Boone’s case) are something else, huh?
The Yankees and Blue Jays are currently underway in Tampa, but unfortunately, the game is nowhere to be seen. The next game on MLB.tv is tomorrow though, and the team returns to YES on Friday. In case you missed it earlier, we have the spring training TV and radio broadcast schedule here for your convenience. I’ll touch on the progress from tonight’s game in a bit, but first, there’s more important news to address.
The big story: Boone’s surgery goes as expected
We found out earlier today that Aaron Boone needed a pacemaker, and as scheduled, he underwent surgery to insert one. The surgery went as expected and he’s currently in recovery, per the Yankees. That’s very good to hear. We all wish him the best as he rests up and recovers.
In between the initial announcement and the surgery, Brian Cashman spoke to the media to address the situation.
Carlos Mendoza will take over as the #Yankees’ interim manager. Brian Cashman said that Aaron Boone could return in as little as 48-72 hours.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 3, 2021
Boone noted in his statement earlier that he expected his leave to be short-term, but I don’t think I anticipated him coming back in as few two or three days. Good for him if he feels up for that, but no one should blame him for needing extra time. It’s the spring training, and the early stages of camp at that, after all. There’s plenty of time to get back to full strength and return to the helm. For the time being, bench coach Carlos Mendoza will handle Boone’s duties.