You ask yourself how long this will continue. You wonder how long before there is a major shakeup.
The Yankees’ bats remained silent in losing 4-2 to Baltimore on Monday night. They only got four hits.
After 22 games, the team batting average is .203. Imagine if there was no DH. Not that the DH is helping.
Even the Yankees’ announcers are down, David Cone saying the team was boring right now. He’s right. They aren’t hitting, they don’t steal bases, it’s hard to watch.
The team ERA is second in the league. But the Yankees are 9-13 because of the poor batting averages. Five of the starters in last night’s lineup were below the Mendoza line (.200).
The offense is last or next to last in the league in so many categories.
Deivi Garcia made his season debut last night and gave up a HR on the second pitch of the game. There is so much pressure on the pitchers right now because of the poor offense. Garcia wasn’t bad, giving up 2 runs in 4 innings, but the offense is so bad that 2-0 feels like 20-0 right now.
Of the four hits, two were by Gio Urshela, who drove in one run and should have had two RBI. In a controversial play that saw manager Aaron Boone get ejected, Aaron Judge was ruled out at third before D.J. LeMahieu crossed the plate. Replays appear to show differently, and the Yanks lost a run as a result. Murphy’s law. When things go bad, they go bad.
Urshela 2 hits, RBI. His .264 was the highest batting average of all batters in the Yankees’ lineup.
Garcia (L, 0-1) 4 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 W, 4 K. 4.50 gave up a HR. Luetge 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.61 O’Day 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.25 1 HBP, Balked home a run. Wilson 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.00 gave up a HR. Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K 0.68
You hate to harp on the numbers, but you can’t avoid them. When will this offense start hitting?
ESPN Baseball reporter Pedro Gomez has passed away at the age of 58.
Billy Conigliaro, younger brother of Tony Conigliaro, the ill-fated Boston slugger whose career was ruined because of a HBP, has died at the age of 73. Billy played for Boston 1969-1971 (the first two years with his brother), Milwaukee Brewers (1972) and got a WS ring as a member of the 1973 Oakland A’s. Billy hit .271-18-58 in 1970 for Boston, OPS+112. For his career, in 347 games, he hit .256 with 40 HR. OPS+ 104. He was 0 for 7 in postseason play.
Billy was driving his brother Tony to a job interview at Fenway Park in the early 1980s when Tony, hoping to join (and all accounts are that he would have) the Boston broadcasting team, suffered a massive heart attack. A stroke later followed, and Tony spent the next seven to eight years in a coma before dying at the age of 45 in 1990. Billy helped care for his brother and preserve his memory.
Lastly the Yankees yesterday made the signing of Darren O’Day official, and to create roster room, DFA’d Ben Heller.
2020 wiped away a lot from MLB, including the Field of Dreams game, which was originally supposed to be the Yankees vs. the White Sox, then supposed to be the Cardinals/White Sox, then postponed completely.
Let’s hope 2021 sees the virus gone or contained.
The “MLB at Field of Dreams presented by GEICO” event has been tentatively scheduled for Aug. 12, 2021, with the White Sox taking on the Yankees in Dyersville, Iowa, Major League Baseball announced on Monday.
The game, which will be nationally televised on FOX, is contingent on the status of public health next summer, and the feasibility of hosting fans at the event will be evaluated in the coming months. It will mark the first Major League game ever played in the state of Iowa.
MLB was initially set to host the “Field of Dreams” game featuring the same two clubs this past season, having built a temporary ballpark with a potential capacity of 8,000 fans adjacent to the site of the 1989 film, which starred Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones and Amy Madigan.
Jay Johnstone, a long-time OF who was briefly a Yankee and a Yankees broadcaster, died at the age of 74. Johnstone was battling dementia for years and when he picked up the Covid virus, that helped cause his death.
Johnstone played with the Angels (1966-1970), White Sox (1971-1972), A’s (1973), Phillies (1974-1978), Yankees (1978-1979), Padres (1979), Dodgers (1980-1982), Cubs (1982-1984) and finished back with the Dodgers (1985).
Many of those teams made the postseason. The 1973 A’s, although Johnstone was with them for only 23 games and wasn’t with them in the postseason. The 1976-1977 Phillies (Johnstone was 7 for 9 in the 1976 NLCS vs. the Reds), He started 1978 with the Phillies, who made the postseason, but ended it with the 1978 Yankees (with whom Johnstone got a WS ring). He got another WS ring with the 1981 Dodgers (and hit a huge WS PH HR in Game 4), was with the 1984 Cubs (but didn’t play in the postseason) and 1985 Dodgers.
He was 10 for 21 in postseason play, a .476 batting average, 1 HR, 5 RBI.
He hit .329 for the 1975 Phillies, and .318 for the Phils in 1976 as a semi-regular. He hit .307 as a part-time player for the 1980 Dodgers.
His 162 game average was .267-9-49, OPS+ 103.
He played in 36 games for the 1978 Yankees (.262-1-6) and in 23 games in 1979 (.208-1-7).
He was briefly a radio broadcaster for the Yankees in 1989 and 1990. He also broadcast for the Phillies in 1992-1993.
The Miami Marlins, a team managed by one Yankees legend (Don Mattingly) and run by another (CEO Derek Jeter) beat the Yanks 4-3 in 10 innings last night. The win ensured the Marlins (the Marlins! One of MLBs worst in recent years) a playoff spot. Their first in 17 years, when they beat the Yanks in the 2003 WS.
For the Yanks, however, it was their fifth loss in their last six games. I don’t know what to think of this team. So inconsistent. From 16-6 to 5-15 to 10-0 to 1-5. That has been their season so far. Which team shows up in the postseason? Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?
Once again, they were sloppy, committing four errors. Once again, an error by Gary Sanchez, another by Gleyber Torres.
With the loss, it is certain that the Yankees will not host a postseason game at Yankee Stadium. They will be the #5 or the #8 seed. At present, they are the #5 seed and would go to #4 Cleveland (who are tied with the White Sox but who own the tiebreaker) for the first round. They still could wind up in Chicago or Minnesota. Even worse, if they continue losing today and tomorrow (and they have two rookies starting in Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt) they could fall to the #8 spot, 3rd in the AL East, behind Toronto. Right now they are only one game ahead of Toronto. At #8 they as of now would head to Tampa Bay, against whom they were 2-8 this season.
We probably won’t know until the last minute.
One thing we do know. The Yankees better snap out of their funk or their postseason will be a short one.
The Marlins got off to a quick 3-0 lead when, after two outs and then two walks, one-time (briefly) Yankee Garrett Cooper hit a 3-run HR off of J.A. Happ in the first inning.
Manager Aaron Boone was tossed in the bottom of the first for arguing a called strike three on Aaron Judge. It was a pathetic call by the home plate umpire. As I wrote many times last year, the umpire has to adjust his strike zone. As Suzyn Waldman said last night, “he can’t help it he’s tall.” Judge’s knees aren’t where a normal person’s knees are. He is 6’7″ . Knee high to a normal person isn’t knee high to Judge. Even worse, on a side view of the pitch crossing the plate, the pitch was just above his ANKLE, far from knee high. Terrible call, and Boone was tossed after the first pitch to Aaron Hicks, called a strike that appeared low as well.
MLB needs to do something about umpires like that. They need to adjust to the hitter’s strike zone, especially if that hitter is tall.
The Yanks got two runs in the third. With two out, D.J. LeMahieu walked and Aaron Judge doubled. A double by Hicks brought home D.J. and Judge.
In the eighth, the Yanks tied the game. Sanchez singled and was PR for by Mike Tauchman. He moved up on an error on a pickoff attempt and with two out, Judge singled him home to tie the game.
To extras, and that “man on second to start the inning” rule (which I hate). A bunt moved the runner to third. Then, a huge error by Kyle Higashioka. With the infield in, a grounder to Gleyber Torres, who ran at the runner on third before throwing home to Higashioka. Rundown. Higashioka ran the runner back towards third but his throw hit the runner, Monte Harrison, with the batter, Starling Marte, advancing all the way to second. No outs on the play. 2nd and 3rd. A SF gave Miami a 4-3 lead.
The anguish didn’t stop there.
The Yanks started the bottom of the tenth with their man on second, Tyler Wade, pinch-running for Gio Urshela. Torres walked. Once again, Higashioka didn’t come through, popping up a bunt. The Yanks have NO sac bunts this year. NONE. Then a double steal, and a walk to Clint Frazier that loaded the bases. So Higashioka’s failure to bunt didn’t seem to hurt, especially with D.J. LeMahieu up.
SF ties the game. A hit most likely wins it.
Instead a GIDP. Game over. Yanks lose, 4-3. Agonizing.
The Yanks don’t seem to like Buffalo too much. Buffalo is the COVID-19 induced “home” of the Toronto Blue Jays this year, and in the games played there this year, the Yanks haven’t fared too well.
Last night the Yankees (31-23) lost 11-5, dropping them 1 1/2 games behind the Twins for that #4 playoff seed. There are only six games left. The Twins at 33-22 have five games left. If things stay like this, the Yanks will not have a home playoff game. All three games in the first round would be in Minnesota and if the Yanks advance, they then head to the “bubble” in California for the ALDS and ALCS. The WS will be at another neutral bubble in Texas. The Yanks are 21-7 at Yankee Stadium this year, 10-16 on the road.
The lack of a minor league season has really hurt Michael King. Hopefully he can learn from his MLB experience this year but it is becoming apparent he needed more minor league time to develop–minor league time not available during this COVID dominated year. Sending someone to the alternate site isn’t the same as sending them down for AAA games.
King, 25, had 15 games at AA (6-3, 3.14) and 10 games at AAA (7-1, 2.30) so 25 games equals basically a full season of AA or higher experience. Nice records but the majors are different. He’s 1-2, 7.76 in the majors this season. More minor league experience would have helped, but it just isn’t there this year.
The Yanks scored first, getting a run in the top of the second. With one out, Gleyber Torres walked. Aaron Hicks walked, and Gio Urshela singled in Torres.
King gave up five runs in the bottom of the third, the last two coming in when Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a double allowing two inherited runners to score.
Loaisiga, good this year until last night, then gave up four runs in the bottom of the fourth. 9-1.
Nick Nelson, a pitcher in the same boat as King, gave up a HR in the bottom of the sixth. 10-1 Toronto.
The Yanks got a run in the top of the seventh. Torres led off with a walk, moved to third on a double by Hicks and scored on a groundout by Urshela. 10-2.
Chad Green gave up a HR in the bottom of the seventh. 11-2.
The Yanks got three in the top of the ninth. With one out, Urshela singled. With two out, both Brett Gardner and Tyler Wade walked. With the bases loaded, Mike Tauchman doubled all three runners home.
I haven’t cared too much for C Gary Sanchez’ pitch selection at times this year (in addition to Sanchez’ low batting average), and in reading a recent article, it seems manager Aaron Boone was questioning Sanchez the other day about it too. It will be interesting to see if Kyle Higashioka catches Gerrit Cole again tonight. Has Higgy become Cole’s personal catcher? Will we see that in the postseason? Tonight will be Cole’s last start before the postseason, Game 1 of the first round vs. (it appears to be) the Twins.
Let’s face it. It’s been hard and depressing to watch, read or write about.
From 16-6 to 21-21. Five losses in a row. Seven in the last eight games. 15 losses in the last 20 games. All in a 60 game season.
The Yanks haven’t had a losing season since 1992. There are only 18 games left. What are the odds of that streak ending?
The Yankees are clinging to the eighth and final playoff seed by 1/2 a game over…. Baltimore. Unfathomable. Even if they hold on, guess who the Yanks would play in the first round? Tampa Bay, against whom they went 2-8 this season.
And if not for the expanded CCP playoffs of this year, fuhgeddaboutit.
GM Brian Cashman had a pregame meeting with the team, but the Yanks still went out and lost to Toronto, 2-1.
J.A. Happ did his job, making just one mistake in giving up a 2-run HR. I question pitch selection again here. Gameday suggests five straight fastballs with the fifth one being the HR. Mix it up a little? The same with the game before where Chad Green threw nine or ten straight fastballs. It makes me scratch my head.
The YES network, on the postgame show, is criticizing players for mental mistakes. Maybe some of it is pressing, like swinging at the first pitch after the pitcher has thrown X many balls in a row.
That two-run HR given up by Happ came in the second inning and was all the Blue Jays needed. The Yanks only got five hits in the game, two by Miguel Andujar.
With two out in the first inning, the Yanks loaded the bases on three straight walks but Mike Tauchman flied out.
They had first and second, one out in the second and didn’t score. Second and third with two out, same inning.
Two on, two out in the fourth, couldn’t score. The chances were there.
The only run came in the fifth. Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks singled, Clint Frazier walked. Bases loaded, no out. No advance on a flyout by Gleyber Torres. Mike Tauchman hit a SF. But only one run out of it.
The Yanks were 0 for 7 w/RISP and left 10 on.
Andujar 2 hits
Happ (L, 1-2; 4.31) 6 1/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 W, 10 K. Gave up 1 HR. King 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 6.14 Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.77
Happ is pitching much better after a terrible start to the season. But is it too late?
Gene Budig, the last AL president before the NL and AL offices were consolidated under the Commissioner in the late 1990’s, has passed away, age 81.
Lately, it seems like every move Aaron Boone is making is backfiring on him.
Especially when it comes to the bullpen.
Right now, Brian Cashman is with the team, and after last night’s 12-7 loss, I wouldn’t be surprised if heads roll after this season.
Watching part of the YES postgame show, it seemed like ex-Yankee and current YES broadcaster John Flaherty had a couple of criticisms, and was more critical than normal.
In the line of fire would be pitching coach Matt Blake, bullpen coach Mike Harkey and even manager Boone himself.
Blake had no coaching experience before getting the pitching coach job this year and was a bit of a surprise choice to replace the fired Larry Rothschild (now with SD).
You may argue that maybe going with David Cone, who interviewed for the job, may have been a better choice.
I wonder if the Yankees need to take a good, hard look at how their pitching philosophy has or hasn’t worked lately. One reason they have been coming up short has been their rotation. Just getting Cole may be like putting a band-aid on what seems to be a bigger problem.
When you lose 14 of 19, and have free-falled your way into clinging to the 8th and last playoff spot (and that spot is only there because of the virus of 2020), you can expect fans not to be happy on Twitter. And, it appears, there isn’t much happiness on the YES postgame show or in the front office. I would guess Hal isn’t too happy either.
Injuries are one thing, but bad play is another.
If ever there is a time for a good ripping into a team to wake them up, now is the time.
The Yanks (21-20) took a 6-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth, only to see Chad Green and Adam Ottavino give up 10 runs in what turned out to be a 12-7 loss.
Flaherty, on the postgame show, wondered why Boone stayed with Ottavino (who didn’t record an out, all six batters scoring) so long. He also criticized Boone’s body language during the inning. Just an observation, but Flaherty’s words sounded like someone angling for Boone’s job. They were quite critical, and you may add, harsh.
But this was really bad. It’s one thing to lose 14 of 19 in a 162 game season, but in a 60 game season? We’re talking 1/3 of the season here.
The Yanks got back-to-back HR from Luke Voit (14) and Aaron Hicks (4) in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead.
But as has been their wont lately, the Yankees’ pitchers, Jordan Montgomery in this instance, gave runs right back, and Montgomery joined the cast of Yankees’ starters not giving any length, thus putting more pressure on a failing bullpen.
Montgomery gave up a run in the first, another in the second, and the game was tied.
The Yanks got a run in the fourth when Miguel Andujar hit his first HR of the season. 3-2 Yanks.
In the fifth, with one out, D.J. LeMahieu and Luke Voit both singled, and with two out, Clint Frazier’s double scored two runs. 5-2, Yanks.
A bases-loaded walk to Hicks in the top of the sixth made it 6-2.
Then the roof fell in, as Green and Ottavino gave up ten runs in the bottom of the sixth. The final indignity came when Ottavino gave up a grand slam. The bottom of the sixth lasted 43 minutes and took up 67 pitches.
I have wondered about pitch selection a lot lately. In checking out the game on MLB’s gameday, I had to shake my head when, during a 9 or 10 pitch at bat (which resulted in Luke Voit making an error), Green threw nothing but fastballs. Really? Eventually the batter will time the fastball, especially after seeing nine or ten in a row.
There is a difference between pitching and throwing. Yes, there was criticism of that in Twitterworld, and I think, on the YES postgame show as well (I’m not too sure about YES, but YES was a bit critical last evening, and rightfully so).
The Yankees’ defense, suspect lately, made two more errors. Nothing is going right.
The Yanks got a run in the top of the ninth on an RBI groundout by Andujar.
But this game signified “just when you think things can’t get worse…”
Something’s gonna happen. It has to. This can’t continue.
Because the Yanks are close to missing out on the playoffs entirely.
Voit 2 hits, solo HR (14) Hicks solo HR (4), 2 RBI Frazier 2 hits, 2 RBI Andujar solo HR (1), 2 RBI
Montgomery 3 1/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 W, 1 K. 5.72 Holder 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.25 Green 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 4.26 Ottavino (L, 2-3; BS, 3; 7.82) 0 IP, 6 R, 4 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up grand slam. Cessa 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.81 Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 7.71