The Yankees could only glance across the field at the Red Sox dugout last night to see what a real team looks like. How the mighty have fallen.
The Yankees’ current state was (unknowingly perhaps) summed up best by Jameson Taillon following his so-so start Saturday night when he said, “I feel like we’re close, and it’s still a long year. You can’t really dwell on it too much”.
Yes, you can, every minute of every day, every time you put on the pinstripes, and every time you fail to come through for your team. The way the Yankees are playing should hurt and hurt deep.
It should hurt all Yankees players as they watched the Red Sox manufacture two runs on one hit in the top of the 10th inning last night as though they were barely trying, just executing fundamental baseball…
Grind out a walk, move the runners up with a perfect sacrifice, and let your MVP and Yankees antagonist Xavier Bogaerts do the rest, leading Boston to its league-leading 20th come-from-behind victory.
Yankees: How Deep Is The Abyss
The Yankees have now dropped ten of their last thirteen games, and their run differential has shrunk below the Mendoza Live of zero to a -2, well behind Toronto (+36), Boston (+52), and Tampa Bay (+75).
When the Yankees woke up this morning to enjoy a rare day off, did they “dwell on” the fact they are now 6.5 games removed from the top of the AL East and 2.5 games behind the leaders in the Wild Card race? Or were they making calls to set up tee times?
Did DJ LeMahieu, whose average has slid to .253 after going 0-5 last night, send a text to the Yankee’s videographer asking for the tape of those at-bats to be sent to him as homework?
Or, how about Lucas Luetge? Is he still wondering how and why he threw that pitch to Marwin Gonzalez, the one taking the air out of the Yankees when it went for a home run tying the game in the seventh inning?
Or maybe it’s Aaron Boone driving the kids to a soccer game and wondering if he can dream up another way of describing the Yankees taking “good swings” and having “good at-bats”, in the face of his team going 3-12 with runners in scoring position (RISP) while leaving thirteen runners on?
A team that is built to live or die by the home run is dying. In their last thirteen games, the Yankees are batting .215, with 27 extra-base hits in 468 tries, only 11 of which were home runs.
Situational hitting is a foreign language for this Yankees team, and regardless of all those sleepless nights hitting coach Marcus Thames is having, he can’t hit for the Yankees.
Can The Yankees Turn The Page
One can hope that maybe the fresh air in Minnesota, where the Yankees open a road trip that will also take them to Toronto/Buffalo and Philadelphia, will have a positive effect, but one can only hope…
Jordan Montgomery (3-1 3.92) gets the ball Tuesday night, and he’ll be facing former Yankee Michael Pineda (3-3, 3.40), with Gerrit Cole (6-3, 2.26) in the middle game and with the final game of the series listed as TBD by the Yankees.
If this is what hell looks like, then I sure as hell don’t want to be there, and it’s about time the Yankees start thinking the same way and playing with a bit of fire under their butts…
Postscript: 12:30 PM ET 6/7/2021
Along those lines, here’s a thought to leave you with. Watch this call that sent the game into extra innings – not to ascertain if the pitch was a strike or not because it was a foot outside – but to see the stoic and almost disinterested look on the face of Aaron Boone in the aftermath, staring down at what – his pile of analytics?
Even the announcers in the ESPN booth went berserk, asking for a replay to verify the injustice.
Not from Boone, not from Yankees in the dugout, it took third-base coach Phil Nevin‘s explosion to call attention to the bad call, for which he was promptly ejected, only to be followed by bench coach Carlos Mendoza a few pitches into the tenth inning.
Nevin, who suffers from asthma, still has an IV port in his left arm and is getting treatment for a staph infection in his blood after a long battle with the virus. That didn’t stop him, though, from expressing himself.
Meanwhile, all Boone could muster was, “Obviously, I was a little worried about him right there,” Boone said. “I was concerned for him. You guys all know Phil and how fiery he is.”
Yeah, we know Aaron – he comes to play – and win…
The umpire called strike three on this pitch to send Red Sox-Yankees to extra innings. pic.twitter.com/gNxVp4aixn
— ESPN (@espn) June 7, 2021