About Last Night: Angels Sweep the Yankees
About Last Night: Angels Sweep the Yankees: Win 7-3
by Paul Semendinger
July 20, 2023
About Last Night:
The Angels came out swinging. They scored runs in the first, second, and third innings. The Yankees got some runs back, but in the end, it wasn't enough.
The Angels swept the Yankees in this three game series.
You know all the talk about how the Angels should be sellers because they're out of the race? The 2023 Yankees are 50-47.
The 2023 Angels are 49-48.
The Yankees are just one game better than the Angels this year.
(And for all the talk about Aaron Judge being injured and out of the lineup... so too was Mike Trout of the Angels.)
Not So Quick Stats (Prior to the Game):
Heading into last night's game, please note the following stats as an overview:
A) 29 games played, 92 at bats: .217 batting average, .333 on-base percentage
B) 29 games played, 109 at bats: .174 batting average, .216 on-base percentage
C) 23 games played, 76 at bats: .265 batting average, .342 on-base percentage
D) 15 games played, 56 at bats: .196 batting average, .237 on-base percentage
Which of the above is the outlier? It is obviously "C."
Those stats are Anthony Volpe's 2023 season by month.
A) is March/April
B) is May
C) is June
D) is July (before last night)
Now, I know there is a narrative that Volpe is coming around. It isn't really true. At all. Volpe had an eight-game stretch in June where he did remarkably well. I'll get to that in a moment. Before that hot streak, Volpe's June also wasn't good. From June 1 to June 24, Anthony Volpe batted .189.
All of the positive vibes about Volpe's 2023 season comes from an eight-game hot streak, from June 25 through July 3, when he went a remarkable 15-for-30. It looked like he was "back" or he had turned it around, or something...
Prior to that eight games, these were his season stats:
77 games, 254 at bats: .193 batting average, .275 on-base percentage
Since those eight games, Volpe has performed at these rates:
12 games, 45 at bats: 088 batting average, .148 on-base percentage (updated from last night's game)
I know. The Chicken Parm story was just so fun and so so so good. It wasn't real. Like so many of the narratives with the Yankees, for a long time now, it's just pretend. It's grasping at straws. It's hoping that the windmills are something they aren't. Anthony Volpe had an eight game hot streak where he was remarkable. It was nothing more than a small sample-size blip. The kid is overmatched.
As a point of reference...
In 1972, the Yankees had a rookie, who, from July 8 to July 15, an eight game span, batted .438 (14-for-32). He had people wondering if he was for real.... he wasn't. His name was Celerino Sanchez. His career was over by the end of the next season.
Anthony Volpe shouldn't be Celerino Sanchez, but we also shouldn't take an eight-game sample and assume it means anything more than it was - eight games.
If we take away that 30 at bat stretch, Anthony Volpe is batting just .177 on the season. This is the Yankees' Crown Jewel. This is the player they should be supporting, helping, growing, and nurturing... The Yankees are (supposedly) the experts. They're the ones who should know all of this - and yet, out of desperation, negligence, or whatever, they move this kid all around the lineup. They send mixed messages to the player they should be most supporting.
One only has to look at Volpe's stolen base totals to also see how the Yankees haven't been consistent. This was supposed to be part of Volpe's game that was going to electrify the team:
March/April - 8 stolen bases in 8 attempts
May - 5 stolen bases in 5 attempts
June - 3 stolen bases in 4 attempts
July - 0 stolen bases in one attempt
"Hey kid, you seem to be great at stealing bases... how about you stop doing that, ok?"
The way the Yankees have handled Anthony Volpe has been terrible. They have done a bad job with him. As I have written before, if Volpe doesn't make it, he'll be forgotten, quickly. Everyone will say, "The kid just didn't have it." If that happens, I'll always wonder how a different organization would have supported their young would-be star. I sense that Volpe could be thriving (or at least growing into becoming a solid big leaguer) in a different environment.
I have to ask, if this is the way the Yankees support their best young player if the current decision makers, from the top down, should be the ones overseeing the youth coming through the system today. It doesn't seem so.
It's time for a complete organizational change.
Noting all of the above, the Yankees batted Anthony Volpe fifth last night. Fifth! He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Quick Stats (From the Game):
Carlos Rodon (0-3): 4.1 innings, 4 hits, 5 walks, 6 runs
The Yankees pitchers allowed 11 walks.
Franchy Cordero: 3-for-4, double, homer, one rbi
In total, the Yankees struck out 16 times.
On this west coast trip to begin the second half, the Yankees went 1-5.
In July, the Yankees are 5-11.
Since June 1, the Yankees are 16-23.
The Big Story:
The Yankees gave this game away early. It went as follows:
Three Yankees struck out in the first inning. One batter (Gleyber Torres) had a single.
The Angels scored two runs in the first inning.
The Yankees had a double and a base running blunder, but no strikeouts, in the second inning.
The Angels scored two runs more in the second inning.
The Yankees got two walks, and only one batter struck out in the third inning.
The Angels scored two runs (again!) in the third inning.
The Yankees struck out three times in the fourth inning.
In the top of sixth, the Yankees showed life! Giancarlo Stanton homered. (Did that enhance his trade value?) Then, after two more strikeouts, Franchy Cordero singled, Harrison Bader was hit by a pitch, and Kyle Higashioka singled home the team's second run. After an Oswaldo Cabrera walk to lead the bases... Oswald Peraza struck out to end the threat.
Bader left the game with a left posterior rib contusion.
The Yankees scored another run on a Franchy Cordero solo to open the eighth inning. Unfortunately for the Yankees, the next three batters struck out.
The Angels scored a run in the bottom of the eighth just in case the Yankees thought they'd have a chance.
Player of the Game:
Shohei Ohtani walked four times.
Better to Forget:
The Yankees struck out 44 times in the three game series against the Angels. That set a franchise record for the Angels.
I was just thinking... if people doing commentary meet what the Yankees feel are the needs for a big league coach... are bloggers next? Aaron Boone was hired out of the TV booth. He's yet to deliver a World Series and now he has a last place team. If that's the new standard, it would be difficult for any of us to do worse. No?
Or, why didn't Mel Allen, Red Barber, or Vin Scully, among many others, ever manage or coach a team? They did well on TV.
Along the same lines, if talking about a situation on TV (or in the media) makes one an expert (rather than any actual experience as a coach) shouldn't Walter Cronkite have been the highest ranking general in the US Army during Vietnam? Maybe Edward R. Murrow could have led the USA through World War II and Horace Greely in the Civil War. I can imagine the debate in the spring of 1864:
Grant: "We're moving south. I'm taking this war right to Robert E. Lee"
Greely: "Go west, young man."
I also never thought I would write this, but it is possible, maybe even probable, that the New York Jets will be in the playoffs before the Yankees are.
Just a simple question, in whatever industry anyone works in... would you hire (or would you be pleased if your boss hired) as a leader a person with no experience in that role of any sort?
I don't think so.
This, though, is how the Yankees do their hiring for their manager and numerous of their coaches.
For all the talk about how Harrison Bader was going to be an important cog in the Yankees' offense, he is batting .243 on the season. His on-base percentage is .276. (As a Cardinal he batted .246 with a .320 OBP. Yes, he's getting on base less as a Yankee.)
Bader is extremely talented, but he has not been what the Yankees had hoped. He is batting .176 in July. He should be traded now. The Yankees should not even consider giving him a new contract at the end of the year.
It is time for the Yankees to sell. I have been saying this for a while. This iteration of the Yankees is done. It's over. If the Yankees don't make wholesale changes now, and they go into 2024 with the same framework, they will see similar results. As the Yankees mire themselves in mediocrity (or worse), they are also wasting the prime years of the careers of Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole. By the time the next core is ready (if they ever are), the Yankees' biggest stars will be past their prime.
The Yankees have a day off today They'll return home tomorrow to begin a three game series against the Kansas City Royals.