top of page
file.jpg
  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

About Last Night: NY 6 PGH 3

by Paul Semendinger

September 17, 2023

***

It is official, the Yankees are hot. They just keep winning games. Over their last seven games, the once mighty... ummmm, the once terrible Yankees are now 6-1.


Last night the Yankees scored three times in the first inning (Austin Wells doubled home a run and Estevan Florial drove home two more). In the third inning, the Yankees scored a run on a Giancarlo Stanton homer. In the sixth inning, the Yankees scored a run on a wild pitch, and in the ninth inning Oswaldo Cabrera homered.


Quick Stats:

  • Luke Weaver started for the Yankees: 4 ip, 4 hits, 2 walks, 3 runs, 7 strikeouts

  • Jhony Brito: 3 ip, 0 base runners, 3 strikeouts - He earned the win

  • Clay Holmes pitched a perfect 9th inning to ear the save

  • Gleyber Torres had two hits

  • Every Yankees had a hit, except for Aaron Judge who walked three times

  • Giancarlo Stanton is batting .195 on the season

  • The Yankees were only 2-for 11 with runners in scoring position


Player of the Game:

Jhony Brito (8-7 on the season) pitched three perfect innings to get the win

My Take:

The Yankees are now 76-73. They have 13 games remaining this year. The Yankees only need to go 5-8 now to finish the season at .500. A sixth win guarantees them a better than .500 record. The Yankees will finish the season with three games against the lowly Royals, and, as such, they have all but clinched another better than .500 season. This will be their 32nd consecutive year of finishing better than .500. That is an amazing and very impressive streak. Of course, this is also the franchise that once went 39 years without having a losing record (from 1926 through 1964).


It's been a long and very frustrating year to be a Yankees fan. I have to be honest, it's been many long and frustrating years. While it'll be nice to see the Yankees end the season with a winning record, I don't think anyone cares. At all.


At all.


Fans look back on the 1980s today and consider that a failed decade for the Yankees. The Yankees were over .500 in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1988. No one cares. In 1980, they lost in the A.L. Championship Series. In 1981, the lost in the World Series. From 1983 through 1986 (four seasons), the Yankees finished in second or third place every season. Again, no one cares or cared. They didn't win the World Series. Sometimes fans need to be reminded that no team in all of baseball won as many games as the Yankees in the 1980s. Fans need to be reminded of that because the Yankees did not win a World Series in that decade. The reached the World Series once (1981), but it's considered a failed decade. Ask any fan if the 1980s were good for the Yankees and they'll respond, "No. They didn't win a World Series." That's what matters. Period. Professional sports are a results based industry. The result that matters is a championship. Period. No fan celebrated the 1980s as a successful decade.


The only decade since Babe Ruth joined the team where the Yankees went without a World Series appearance was the one we recently lived through - the 2010s. The 2020s has now started with four more failed seasons. That's just a fact. This cannot be spun. "But they had a better than .500 record" excites absolutely no one. Nor should it.


Ask any old Red Sox fan if the period from 1967 through 1982 was a great time for the Sox. They'd respond, "No, not really." The Red Sox were over .500 in every one of those seasons. The also reached the World Series twice (1967 and 1975 - losing both times in seven games). Why were they considered long suffering Red Sox fans in that time? Because they didn't win a World Series. The long-suffering only ended when they won.


Did you know that the White Sox once went from 1951 through 1967 without a losing season? No one knows that because no one cares.


People talk about the "Horace Clarke" years for the Yankees. That was a down time. The Yankees went 12 years without a World Series appearance in that period (from 1964 through 1975). This iteration of the Yankees has not been to the World Series for longer.


After their 1981 World Series loss, the Yankees went 14 years before they reached the World Series again in 1996. That was also considered a bad period, as discussed above. Those were 14 long years.


The 2023 season will now be the 14th year in a row that the Yankees failed to reach the World Series. No one cares that they failed by being over .500. The Yankees are matching their longest period without a World Series appearance. A .500 record doesn't make that fact go away. At all. This will be remembered in the future as a period of failure, just as the Horace Clarke years were and just as the 1980s were.


The Yankees sell t-shirts, hats, and even jackets celebrating their World Series victories wins. We hear a lot about the 27 World Championships.


I have never seen a t-shirt, hat, or jacket that says, "THE YANKEES - .500 OR BETTER FOR OVER THREE DECADES!" If the Yankees made such an item, no one would buy it. It wouldn't get sold, or even made, because no one cares. At all.


Sometimes people say, "It's so much more difficult today to get to the World Series. A team has to win multiple short series." I don't buy it. I think it was more difficult before 1969 when the team had to be the best team in the whole league over 154 or 162 games to reach the World Series. When the only way to get to the World Series was to be the best over a long season, then it was, by definition, more difficult years ago. A fluke team couldn't get there. It was virtually impossible. But the Yankees did - a lot. That's something they no longer do.


The fact that the Yankees are now tied for the longest period in their storied history (since the arrival of Babe Ruth_ without a World Series appearance makes this whole period, .500 records or not, one of the worst in the team's long and rich history.


And yet, because they did it again, because they'll finish over .500, if just barely, the Yankees owner, general manager, and manager are going to congratulate themselves for a job well done. The Yankees will claim that "in spite of it all" they were a winning team in 2023. This will be used as a reason to keep Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone in their current roles.


In their hearts, the Yankees decision-makers know they failed, and have been failing, for a very long time, but now they'll have their talking point. They did it again.


.500!


The only reason the .500 record is a big deal is because it'll give the Yankees justification for maintaining the failed status quo. And for that reason, this hot streak, rather than being a thing to celebrate, is actually one of the worst things that could have happened. It all but guarantees that 2024 will be much like 2023.


And that is a shame.


Next Up:

The Yankees conclude their series with the Pirates this afternoon at 1:35 p.m. Carlos Rodon gets the start.

18 comments

18 comentarios


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
17 sept 2023

I agree you can't overvalue September "garbage time" performance, but it is also true that one of Bill James's predictive factors for the next season is how the team finished. (OTOH, right now the Yankees are 3 games ahead of their Pythagorean Expected Wins, so if that holds up, then there is regression to the mean as a countervailing factor.)

Me gusta
yankeesblog
17 sept 2023
Contestando a

Fair point

Me gusta

Mike Whiteman
17 sept 2023

Wins > Losses


Anytime

Me gusta
Mike Whiteman
17 sept 2023
Contestando a

I count about six times Billy took over a team and they improved significantly, so the temptation to hire (or re-hire) was real, darned the long term consequences.

Me gusta

yankeesblog
17 sept 2023

I'm not really impressed by the recent wins. They're meaningless and coming against weak competition (Astros series excepted). Last weekend's series with the Brewers said more about this team than taking 3 of 4 from the Red Sox to climb out of last place and winning or sweeping a series against the Pirates. Yes there's some reason to be optimistic about the young players but late season success doesn't necessarily continue into the next season. I remember Rusty Torres going on a tear after being called up in September 1971 (.385/.385/.731/1.115) which is leaps and bounds beyond anything any of the Yankees' call ups have done this month. Know what he did in 1972? .211/.280/.291/.571.

Me gusta
Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
17 sept 2023
Contestando a

I agree, and as I was writing, as the thoughts were going through my head, I was going to cite some players who did well at the end of some seasons are were not true every day big leaguers, but as I wrote, I forgot that point. Thanks for picking up on that.


It's long been standard thinking that one cannot read too much into September results - especially for a team playing out the string.


It's great the kids are getting at bats and playing time - that can only help (if they're for real).


I think Jasson Dominguez has shown something. Oswald Peraza as well.


But the wins, to me, obviously, mean nothing at this point.


Me gusta

yankeesblog
17 sept 2023

Minor correction - the Red Sox did not reach the WS in 1976 - the Yankees did. The Sox reached the WS in 1975.

Me gusta
Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
17 sept 2023
Contestando a

Typo! :) Thank you!

Me gusta

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
17 sept 2023

I am now officially a Brito Fandito.

Me gusta
Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
17 sept 2023
Contestando a

With King headed to the rotation, I see Brito as someone who can fill his role.

Me gusta
dr sem.png

Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)

blog+image+2.jpeg

Have a question for the Weekly Mailbag?

Click below or e-mail:

SSTNReaderMail@gmail.com

SSTN is proudly affiliated with Wilson Sporting Goods! Check out our press release here, and support us by using the affiliate links below:

587611.jpg
583250.jpg
Scattering the Ashes.jpeg

"Scattering The Ashes has all the feels. Paul Russell Semendinger's debut novel taps into every emotion. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll reexamine those relationships that give your life meaning." — Don Burke, writer at The New York Post

The Least Among Them.png

"This charming and meticulously researched book will remind you of baseball’s power to change and enrich lives far beyond the diamond."

—Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Luckiest Man, Opening Day, and Ali: A Life

From Compton to the Bronx.jpg

"A young man from Compton rises to the highest levels of baseball greatness.

Considered one of the classiest baseball players ever, this is Roy White's story, but it's also the story of a unique period in baseball history when the Yankees fell from grace and regained glory and the country dealt with societal changes in many ways."

foco-yankees.png

We are excited to announce our new sponsorship with FOCO for all officially licensed goods!

FOCO Featured:
carlos rodon bobblehead foco.jpg
bottom of page