About Last Night: Blue Jays Win 6-1
About Last Night: The Yankees Were Overpowered by the Blue Jays 6-1
By Tim Kabel
April 22, 2023
The Yankees looked very ordinary last night. They were outclassed by the Blue Jays in every element of the game. This was the same team that beat the Angels 9-3 on Thursday. The lack of consistency is concerning. Although the Yankees have not lost a series, they also have not put together a winning streak. They need to be careful because if they look ordinary too often, that is exactly what they will be, an ordinary team.
Quick Stats -
Before the game, the Yankees stated that Josh Donaldson has a Grade 1-plus strain of his right hamstring. He will be out for “multiple weeks.” September would fall into the multiple weeks category, wouldn’t it?
The Yankees only managed five hits and just one run. It is difficult to win when you do that.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a home run in Yankee Stadium for the 11th time in his career. He is only 24. I believe he has hit more home runs in the Bronx than Aaron Hicks.
After getting off to a torrid start, Gleyber Torres has only two hits since April 11th.
The Yankees have 12 wins this season. Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes have 7 of them.
Big Story -
The Yankees are 12-8 so far this season. That is pretty good; it isn't great. It isn't championship level. Tampa Bay never seems to lose at all. I realize it's very early but, the Yankee appear to just be plodding along, winning more than they lose but not a lot more than they lose. They have not looked spectacular yet.
In games pitched by anybody other than Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, they are 5-8. Eventually, Luis Severino and Carlos Rodon will return, and the team will most likely win more consistently. However, Toronto is becoming a very strong rival and there seems to be animosity between the teams. It is important that the Yankees play better over the next two days so Toronto does not start to believe that they can beat the Yankees whenever they choose to.
Player of the Game -
Oswaldo Cabrera hit his first home run of the season and drove in the Yankees’ only run.
Notable Performance -
No one really stood out.
Better to Forget -
Gleyber Torres was 0-3 and has 2 hits in his last 28 at bats. That is a .071 batting average. His disappearing act has started a lot earlier this season.
My Take -
I recently watched one of my favorite movies, Hoosiers. I had not seen it in quite a while, and I found it to be just as uplifting and enjoyable as ever. Watching the Yankees right now reminds me a little bit of that movie.
At the beginning of the movie, the basketball team is struggling; they are not winning games consistently. However, a few people, including the star player who has not yet joined the team, and the soon to be assistant coach played by Dennis Hopper, realize that Coach Norman Dale, played by Gene Hackman, is building something.
It didn't happen overnight. A lot of the townspeople were very frustrated by the lack of immediate success. They wanted the team to win from the beginning of the season. Ultimately, the team went on to win the state championship against tremendous odds. If you remember, Hickory High School had an enrollment of 64, as compared to their opponent from South Bend that had an enrollment of 2,800.
When I look at the Yankees right now, I see that Josh Donaldson is out, and will be out for several more weeks. Who knows when, or even if, he will return. Aaron Hicks, who was initially playing against left-handers, has been essentially replaced by Isiah Kiner-Falefa. It is quite likely that Hicks will be released when Harrison Bader returns. Hicks is essentially a placeholder on the roster right now.
What is interesting, and somewhat exciting, is the fact that for the past two days, the Yankees’ lineup featured all three of their young players, Oswaldo Cabrera, Anthony Volpe, and Oswald Peraza. None of them have set the world on fire so far this season. However, they all seem to do something positive, either offensively or defensively, almost every time they are playing. They are learning and developing. They are all more or less rookies. I realize that Cabrera is not technically a rookie but, he's close enough.
Let me make this perfectly clear, I am not comparing Aaron Boone to the coach from Hoosiers. If Boone had his druthers, he would still be trotting Donaldson, IKF, and potentially, Hicks out there on a regular basis. However, Donaldson is hurt. IKF is playing but not at the expense of any of the youngsters. And Hicks has been so dreadful that there is no possible justification for putting him in the lineup. He is below IKF, Willie Calhoun, and Franchy Cordero on the depth chart. Circumstances have forced Boone into the position of playing the three young players. I think that is a very good thing.
Again, none of the three young players have been outstanding yet. However, they have each done a few outstanding things and show signs of improvement and tremendous potential. Much like the team in Hoosiers, they need to be left alone so they can mature and learn how to play at a consistently high level. It is the perfect time for this to happen. It is very early in the season; the team is playing well enough and there are several key players who will soon be returning. In the meantime, we should just let the kids play and develop. It worked for Gene Hackman; why can't it work for the Yankees?
Next Up -
This afternoon, the Yankees will play the second game of a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 PM at Yankee Stadium. Gerrit Cole (4-0, 0.95 ERA) will face Toronto's Alek Manoah (1-1, 6.98 ERA).