The Yankees can’t forget what could have – should have been – for the first half of the 2021 season. But there’s always tomorrow in baseball.
This happens as a writer occasionally, but I’m not deleting what I wrote because it accents what the Yankees, together with losses by both Boston and Tampa Bay, lost today. Pick up the story later…
The Yankees, as the overwhelming favorite to face the Dodgers in this year’s World Series, can and should kick themselves in the butt for what should have been, it isn’t the picture we see in the AL East standings today.
In theory, as the Yankees embarked on a road trip that would take them to Seattle and Houston before the All-Star break, the 2021 season could have been sealed in a casket.
Instead, though, the Yankees enter the break at 5-1 on the road trip, complete with an Aaron Judge imitation of Jose Altuve‘s “don’t touch my shirt” mimicking to answer the cheating Houston Astros with a three-game sweep in their home ballpark.
The win barely changes anything in the standings, but it does mark the return of the Yankees to a five-over .500 mark.
As we’ve stressed throughout the week, small things lead to big things.
For the Yankees, the only way to look at the hole they’ve dug for themselves is to take care of business while not worrying about the standings and what other teams are doing – or not doing.
Take that five-over and make it ten over, then fifteen over – and everything else will take care of itself.
Easier said than done, of course, and when you look at the Yankees schedule after the All-Star break, you begin to realize why.
Eleven games with the Red Sox and Rays in both home and away series, with the Joe Girardi and the Phillies in-between, all of these games loom as a decided challenge for the Yankees if the season is destined to have any meaning at all.
Yankees Continued: Crawling From The Wreckage
Remarkably, everything still stands after today’s devasting loss. The status quo says the Yankees must come out of the gate hot in the second half against teams they’ve had a tough time beating this year.
It’s not five over, it’s four over, and as the Yankee disperse across the country for the All-Star break, there’s still an abundance of soul-searching that will (and should) take place.
The difference after today may or may not affect Brian Cashman as he determines whether the Yankees will be buyers or sellers at the deadline.
Surely, his decision would have been much easier if he was comforted by a three-game sweep over the Astros, but apparently, Cashman will need to dig deep himself to find a way for the Yankees to come out on top at the June 30 trade deadline.
Yankees: Picking Up The Pieces
For the Yankees, they have no choice but to play each game on their schedule as though it was the one-game shootout as the last Wild Card team in this year’s playoffs, a standing they can only strive for, but with no guarantees.
Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga are both excellent relievers. Still, they are not Aroldis Chapman, and the Yankees have to figure out what the hell is wrong with their well-paid closer in the next four days – or Aaron Boone will always be facing the possibility of a bomb going off as it did today.
As with many Yankees fans, I suppose this is a time to lick our wounds and move on.
What could have been isn’t. Our only hope, of course, is we won’t be saying the same thing in October…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Gregory Rush boone still needs to go. does not know how to use the bull pen
Bill Gibbs Why was there no postgame on yes? I wanted to hear Boone’s explanation for that one!
Harry Maiolo Another embarrassment. They were trying to show up the Astros instead of just playing the game, all the while forgetting where they are in the standings. When you’re 8 games back in your division, you don’t try to show up anyone, let alone a team that leads their division. They looked like fools at the end. Losing fools.
Roger Doss Something going on that the fans just don’t know in the organization