About Last Night: NYY 8, BAL 3
By Ethan Semendinger
July 30th, 2023
Is the offense switch 'on' or 'off'? It's hard to tell and day-to-day it seems nobody quite knows what's coming.
Quick Stats -
Winning Pitcher: Clarke Schimdt (7-6, 4.39 ERA)
Losing Pitcher: Tyler Wells (7-6, 3.80 ERA)
Home Runs (New York): None
Home Runs (Baltimore): None
Big Story - I'm going to go on record here and say that (to the surprise of likely nobody) I'm not in favor of the move to bring Aaron Judge off of the IL if he is still dealing with pain.
The Yankees offense has been a black hole since his exit in early June, and baseball fans and students of game inherently know that one player alone, no matter how good they are, cannot carry a baseball team anywhere.
Mike Trout was the greatest player of the mid-to-late-2010's. He won 3 MVP awards, finished 2nd in 3 other MVP awards, and finished at worst 4th in just one year from 2014-2019. How many playoff games did he play during this time?
Three. In 2014. As his team got swept in the ALDS by the Kansas City Royals.
Shohei Ohtani is the current greatest baseball player. He partnered with the (former) greatest player in baseball on the Angels.
Since his inaugural season in 2018, how many playoff games does Ohtani have?
One superstar player cannot carry an incompetent team to victory.
Two superstar players cannot carry an incompetent team to victory.
Aaron Judge (and Gerrit Cole) are not going to bring this team anywhere beyond a vacation by my birthday on October 11th.
So, I don't think bringing back a 6'8", 285 pound giant of a right fielder with an unhealed broken toe is a good idea. Nevermind the overwhelming amount of other great players who were big and tall in the sport getting into their 30's and falling apart, but well acclaimed and respected doctors have gone on the record stating how serious and detrimental a toe injury could be to Judge's career.
It's not worth the risk this season.
Maybe in a different season where the Yankees are competing for the best record in the AL. Maybe then it's worth the potential long-term health and side effects.
But not now.
Judge went 0-1 with 3 walks in his first game back on Friday. That's very good.
That's also exactly how I would pitch to him.
Walk, walk, walk.
The rest of the line-up behind him can't do much of anything. So why even risk it by pitching to Judge?
Judge at 75% is a better hitter than anyone else on the Yankees. By far.
Rizzo is a double-play machine. He's been prone to groundballs and he isn't quick.
Giancarlo Stanton was batting under .200 before the game.
The Yankees don't trust anyone else in the number three spot.
Walk, walk, walk.
Judge will have an amazing OBP by seasons end if I was an opposing team, manager, and pitcher. But, that super high OBP would likely result in less runs than if I would've even tried to pitch to him.
For last nights game, the Yankees put Judge in right field.
Somebody please get a doctor to talk to Hal and Cashman.
This was the line-up:
Player(s) of the Game - A few players get this honor tonight
Aaron Judge: 3-5, 2 Runs, Home Run, 2 RBI's
Giancarlo Stanton: 2-5, 2 Runs, Home Run, 1 RBI
Kyle Higashioka: 3-4, 2 Runs, Home Run, 1 RBI
IKF: 1-3, 1 Run, Double, 3 RBI's
Notable Performances - The pitching
Clarke Schmidt: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K's
Ian Hamilton: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB's, 3 K's
Nick Ramirez: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB's, 1 K
Better to Forget -
Anthony Volpe: 0-4, BB
Gleyber Torres: 0-4, RBI
My Take - I have to be honest: I didn't watch last night's game. I did keep up with it via notifications from the MLB app, but I didn't watch the game.
To be even more honest, I'm not even watching the highlights before writing this. I know what happened. I've seen this show before.
The Yankees got a group of home runs, the offense looked good, and now everybody is going to celebrate that things are back on track for a postseason and World Series run.
"It's not going to happen" says the pessimist inside of me.
"It's not likely to happen" says the optimist inside of me.
"The deadline is quickly approaching with no moves yet" says the realist in me.
That lack of moves- while the likes of Lucas Giolito, Max Scherzer, David Robertson, and more- have been moved is telling. It says a lot about what the Yankees front office thinks of the team and the current state of affairs. If they truly believed (like they pretend to do), then they would've made some sort of move by now.
Instead, they are going to wait (foolishly) until the last minute to see what scraps remain for them to get their pickings.
I didn't watch the game last night because I had family in town and we attended the Nationals-Mets game at Citi Field.
What a wonderful ballpark.
It's built to be an experience. It's built with so many fun quirks and points of interest and places to keep busy and we needed to keep busy with a 4-year-old in tow and an hour and a half rain delay before the game started. At Yankee Stadium, we would've been miserable. There's nothing to do.
In Citi Field, we were having a great time.
It's the true ballpark experience, and I love it when I go.
They don't have an annoying tune that plays after every strikeout to make me think of a corporate jingle.
They don't have an annoying sound that plays for every 2-strike count that makes me wonder where the marine biologists of New York City are to take care of the dying whale who washed up the Harlem River.
They don't constantly blast music to every crevice and corner of the stadium, interrupting your every conversation, breath, and thought.
Instead, the game itself is the noise.
The fans are the noise.
The stadium has a real feel to it.
Yes, it's corporate. Heck, it's named after a bank and there's probably just as many advertisements all over the place. But where they are is done well. They're part of the atmosphere of the ballpark. You don't notice them. They don't stand out and bother you.
At Yankee Stadium the corporate atmosphere is a mish-mashed collage that looks unplanned and sloppy. The stadium is just concrete slabs poured one after another. The stadium is bleak and bland and unpleasant to be in and the advertisements have no sense of order. They just give the Yankees their money and are given free reign to do with as they please.
It's terrible and frankly, upsetting.
Citi Field is a joy. Citi Field is fun. Citi Field has energy and a personality.
Yankee Stadium is just another suit and tie, attempting to look in place even though their shirt wasn't ironed well, the pants are just a little too short, their tie is crooked and the knot is poorly done. Their jacket is a bit too tight and their undershirt bleeds through while their belt is already showing age even though it's relatively new. The shoes are good and the cufflinks (though one is missing) and tie bar are nice accessories, but don't change anything. The suit knows how to be fancy and show off, and while the ensemble at a distance looks fine, up close is an absolute disaster.
I'm envious of Mets fans.
(And it was the Wilpons (!) who built the stadium. The WILPONS! They were the worst. Mets fans DISPISED them. But even they could see that a stadium should be built right.)
Next Up - The Yankees finish up a weekend series in Baltimore with a 7:10 PM game that will be nationally broadcast on ESPN. The Yankees will send Luis Severino (2-4, 6.46 ERA) to the mound against Dean Kremer (10-4, 4.94 ERA) to see who will take the series to keep the Orioles in 1st or avoid the Yankees staying at the bottom of the AL East.