About Last Night
Updated: Sep 29
About Last Night
The Yankees entered last night’s game with five games remaining, and the owner of an 80-77 record. Just one victory and they can avoid what would be their first losing season since 1992.
1992, what a year. It really doesn’t seem that long ago. Buck Showalter’s first season as Yankee manager, the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, John Gotti was sentenced to life in prison, Ross Perot announced he will run as an independent in the upcoming presidential race, Bosnia Herzegovina declared independence, Hurricane Andrew crushed South Florida, the 27th Amendment to the US constitution was ratified, Eric Clapton released Tears in Heaven, A League of their own was released in Theaters, the Chicago Bulls won the NBA championship for the second year in a row and the Yankees drafted a young skinny shortstop out of Kalamazoo Michigan, who would later become the standard by which many would be measured.
During the course of the following 31 years, this franchise would experience incredible success and even heartbreak. During the first 20 of those 31 years, Jeter led the way and the team to 5 championships, and very few games that did not matter. There was a culture in place. A way to play, a way to win and a way to even lose.
And then, it would seem, a reset transpired. A new look at how to play the game. What stats actually matter, and what stats are now considered Passé. Forget the past and all of the success that made this franchise the most recognizable team on the planet. We know better, and we are going to show all of you how smart we are!
Well, that hasn’t exactly worked out for the powers that be at 1 E 161 Street in the Bronx. Since The Capitan retired and the game was “improved” they have done the following.
2015- Lost 1 game wildcard playoff.
2016- Missed the playoffs
2017- Lost ALCS
2018 - Lost Division Series
2019 - Lost ALCS
2020 - Lost AL Division Series
2021 - Lost AL Wildcard Series
2022 - Lost ALCS
2023 - Missed the playoffs
Some may see that as some level of success. I do not.
The Capitan may not have single handedly changed all of the above, but I can tell you one thing with 100% certainty. They would not have been so acquiescent to losing, and they would have come into the following spring training with a clear and concise mission. Win or get out of our way.
So, the 2023 Yankees limped into September as a spoiler; a Team not invited to this expanded playoff system because they simply were not good enough, were not hungry enough, and were not tough enough, notwithstanding the $280,000,000 + payroll. This may sound cold to some, but in sports you can either do it, or you’re gone like yesterday’s news.
The 2023 Yankees are gone.
All that is left is to showcase young player’s abilities while attempting to keep the integrity of the game intact by playing hard against teams that still have a chance to advance to the playoffs.
And of course, avoiding the indignity of replacing the 1992 Yankees as the last Yankee losing team.
On this night, we saw 2023 Cy Young favorite Gerrit Cole and his 14-4 record square off against underachieving and over paid Blue Jay Jose Berrios, brought to you by my all-time favorite medium, AmazonPV. Which means, a lot of you reading this probably did not see the game.
The gift that keeps on giving. That, and we get the A1 Padel Championship. Thanks Hal!!
Player of the Game
Under normal circumstances, the easy choice would be Aaron Judge who launched 2 home runs on this night. But, this wasn’t normal circumstances.
Gerrit Cole while making his 300th career start and having to stay on top of his game to remain the 2023 Cy Young Award front runner, put all of that aside and dominated the playoff hopeful Blue Jays.
Cole was not dominant as in striking out double digit Blue Jays, as he only struck out 5. Instead, he used excellent command and his knuckle curve to face only 29 Jays in a complete game 2 hit shutout. It seemed that every time the Blue Jays made decent contact, the Yankee defense made the play.
In his five September starts, Cole has given up only four runs over 35 innings pitched, while walking only 3 hitters. That is getting it done!
Cole’s strong night ended his best season as a Yankee with a 15-4 record and a 2.63 ERA. In my opinion Cole might have added 4 or 5 wins to his record this season, but his team’s offense, or lack thereof, did not support his efforts in many of his starts.
My second star of the game clearly goes to Aaron Judge, who has impacted more games than I can count.
To the dismay of the 31,923 Blue Jay fans in attendance hoping to see their team move an inch closer to the playoffs, Judge hit his 36th and 37th home runs of the season, silencing the crowd.
Judge made his presence known to the fans as he led the Yankee offense hitting a two-run home run off José Berríos in the fourth inning, and then hit a long 2 run home run off of Trevor Richards in the seventh inning.
Of note, Estevan Florial had nice game in the field and at the plate. He tracked down everything hit his way and went 2 for 4 at the plate.
Better to Forget…
Watching two of the League’s best players, Cole and Judge, dominate a late September game as they did, I wish I could forget that the Yankees will not be playing in the playoffs. There is something special about cool autumn air and the Yankees playing. It will be weird not having any October Baseball in New York.
We still do not know who or what Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, Austin Wells, Estevan Florial and Everson Periera are actually. Volpe, had some bright spots, but let’s be honest, he entered tonight’s game hitting .207. That simply is not good enough.
Wells has shown glimpses of who he might be, and I think he should close out the season behind the plate.
The Jake Bauers, Isiah Kiner-Falefa(s) and Estevan Florial(s) of the world could use some extra time on the field as they're inevitably headed for free agency. You might as well gift Franchy Cordero a few at bats as a thank you for some pretty cool April moments. Randy Vasquez and Jhony Brito could absolutely benefit from more innings, which would make Boone’s life easier so he could shut down Michael King and Clarke Schmidt’s 2023 seasons with little fanfare, and no injuries!
After that, get your DVR ready for the annual, somber pressers from Steinbrenner, Cashman, and Boone. Or, just replay any of the last 4 or so pressers, it won’t matter. The same rhetorical nonsense will dominate the answers to the “softballs” lobbed at them by the NY Media, headlined by YES’ own Meredith Marakovitz and/or Bob Lorenz.
Should be riveting!
Looking to Today
The Yankees finish their trip north of the border with a nightcap against the Blue Jays. Luke Weaver will square off against Chris Bassitt (the one the Mets should have kept). You can tune in to YES to see this match up.
At the end of the day, 1992 still owns that dubious distinction!
RIP Brooks Robinson