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Game 160: Boone’s bullpen woes delay playoff celebration

With a wild card berth in sight, Aaron Boone and the Yankees’ offense once again made it hard on themselves by managing their way into a 4-3 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays. A ninth inning rally fell short, and their magic number remains at two with two games remaining. To the takeaways:

Game 98: Déjà Vu

Fun fact: Olivia Rodrigo’s hit song Déjà Vu is actually about the 2021 New York Yankees. Today, the Yankees replayed their biggest hit in a 5-4 loss to the Red Sox: a gut-wrenching bullpen meltdown.

The Yankees were in total control through seven-and-a-half innings today. They led 4-0 and Domingo Germán was working on a no-hitter. Then, it all came crashing down like it has so many times before this season. To the takeaways we go:

Game 61: Thank you, Minnesota

The perfect gif for the occasion.

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.

Game 60: No offense or urgency lead to sweep

Embed from Getty Images

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:

Hitting a Release Valve

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.

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