About Last Night: NYM 1, NYY 3
By Ethan Semendinger
July 27th, 2023
Back-to-back game recaps for me, but not back-to-back wins for the Mets (or loses for the Yankees).
Quick Stats -
Winning Pitcher: Carlos Rodon (1-3, 5.75 ERA)
Losing Pitcher: Jose Quintana (0-2, 3.27 ERA)
Save: Clay Holmes (14)
Home Runs (New York): None
Home Runs (New York): None
Big Story - The media storm of people flipping their scripts to have the Yankees as sellers was incredible after the Tuesday night loss against the New York Mets.
For me, I've been a fervent supporter of motion for the Yankees to sell. You may disagree with that as I lot of my most recent articles have been about the Yankees potentially buying (i.e. my five articles last week about them making a big "win-now" trade with the Cardinals; yesterday's article on trade evaluations), which is fair. However, in those articles I've been taking an approach as if to say that if the Yankees aren't going to sell, they may as well go for it and go after getting the best pieces they can to fix the team.
Yesterday in my recap I addressed the recent report in the New York Post about Hal Steinbrenner's optimism from the teams performance against the Royals. When I woke up yesterday I saw this interesting stat:
The Yankees are 8-1 against the Royals and Athletics this year. (The two worst teams in baseball). The Yankees are 45-47 against everyone else.
The Yankees have a +41 run differential against the Royals and Athletics this year.
The Yankees have a -32 run differential against everyone else.
The Yankees are an average-at-best team against teams that aren't actively playing baseball at an under .300 winning percentage.
How do they honestly expect to compete with honest to goodness teams if the season's "winning ways" have mostly been a fluke and heavily inflated due to a routing of teams that are purposefully tanking.
Before yesterday's game started, it was announced by some beat writers, implied by others, and suggested by Aaron Boone himself that Aaron Judge could be making his comeback against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.
Aaron Judge is certainly going to be playing hurt. Aaron Judge is rushing back, purposefully, to help a team that is in reality a sub-.500 ballclub.
This is a player the Yankees have $40 Million annually invested into for the next 8 seasons after this one, and the Yankees- and Judge- are being overly risky on a season where doing so isn't worth it.
If the Yankees were on pace to win 100 games, easily take the AL East, and could use Judge as a great final piece to cement them as a favorite, I could see the allure of the idea. Truthfully, I'd probably be supporting it.
Aaron Judge would make this team better in the same way that getting new bowling balls would make any bowling alley better. The problem is that this bowling alley has broken TV's, uneven gutters, a pin machine that doesn't work most of the time, and lanes made out of splintering wood. The new bowling balls are nice, but they aren't going to fix anything.
This was the line-up for the rubber-game of the 2 game series against the Mets:
Player(s) of the Game - Bader had his A-game and Rodon fought through 5.2 innings.
Harrison Bader: 3-4, Double, 2 Runs
Carlos Rodon: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB's, 4 K's
Notable Performances - Good bullpen work, Okay offense
Wandy Peralta: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB's, 2 K's
Tommy Kahnle: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB's, 1 K
Clay Holmes: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB's, 1 K
IKF: 1-2, RBI, BB
DJ LeMahieu: 0-1, R, 3 BB's, K
Anthony Volpe: 1-2, RBI, BB
Better to Forget -
Giancarlo Stanton: 0-4, K
Anthony Rizzo: 0-4
Kyle Higashioka: 0-3, 2 K's
Oswald Peraza: 0-3, RBI, 1 K
My Take - The Yankees came away with a win last night, but it wasn't pretty and it should've been much better. Any team with an average offense would've scored at least 6 runs given the opportunities.
This is how the offense played:
Runners on 1st and 3rd, 0 outs = 0 runs
(Stanton strikeout, Rizzo double play)
Bases Loaded, 0 outs = 2 runs
(1 run thanks to a poor defensive play by the Mets and 1 from a sac fly)
3 up, 3 down = 0 runs
(Stanton flyout, Rizzo line-out, DJ strikeout)
Lead-off single, throwing error to 2nd, follow-up single = 1 run
(No complaints with this inning)
3 up, 3 down = 0 runs
(Gleyber HR robbery out, Stanton ground out, Rizzo flyout)
Runners on 1st and 2nd, 0 outs = 0 runs
(Volpe groundout, Higashioka strikeout, DJ out in run-down between 3rd/home)
Runner on first, 1 out = 0 runs
(IKF walk followed by a Gleyber double play)
Runner on first, 2 outs = 0 runs
(DJ walk followed by a Bader pop out)
Most of those innings will happen in a baseball game. You can't expect teams to avoid any 3-up, 3 down innings. You also can't expect teams to score every runner who gets on base.
However, the 1st, 2nd, and 6th inning all should've netted more runs and a better team would've capitalized.
The offense needs a lot of help. An injured and rehab-stint-less Judge is not an answer.
Carlos Rodon looked decent. I know I gave him a "player of the game" honor above, but that's because he battled through what was a really tough game. It felt like all game the Mets were collecting 2-out hits of him (and the bullpen), yet every time the Yankees were able to escape with little to no damage done.
Rodon ultimately got lucky. Sometimes that will win player of the game honors. Other times it'll come back super negatively and those 2-out hits will be lead-off hits and scoreless innings turn into multiple-score innings.
My personal jury is still out on Rodon. Through four starts he's not yet shown an impressive start, but battling last night was a decent enough sign.
Between him, the Yankees pitching staff, Jose Quintana, and the Mets pitching staff I've also never seen so many pitch violations in a game. Both starting pitchers have pitched less than five games since the new rules, so there is an excuse, but that must stop after yesterday moving forward. Fundamental mistakes will cost big time in big moments.
Pitching was good to fine.
Offense was just fine.
Defense was adequate.
Baserunning needs work. (Lots of players lacking hustle out of the box- Rizzo, Stanton, DJ, Torres- across the game.)
A better team would've scored more, though a win is a win.
But don't let this change the mentality. This team isn't going to win anything.
Even with a win they're still 46-47 against teams not called the Royals or Athletics this season.
They're still- realistically- a sub-.500 team.
Next Up - The Yankees are off tonight as they prepare for a weekend series against the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles. Wow. What an odd thing to say. This series could prove crucial to the Yankees front office cause of not selling if they do well. (My hopes aren't as high, though.)