About Last Night: Rays 3, Yankees 1
The Yankees had 22 innings scoreless innings in a row. No, not from pitching. With the bats. It's long past time to do something new.
Quick Stats -
Winning Pitcher: Jeffrey Springs (5-3, 2.52 ERA)
Losing Pitcher: Nestor Cortes Jr. (9-4, 2.74 ERA)
Save: Jason Adam (7)
Home Runs (New York): None
Home Runs (Seattle): Randy Arozarena (16)
Big Story - Through the first half of August the wheels have completely fallen off. It started off with a bang as the Yankees butchered an otherwise (seemingly) great trade deadline (none the moves have so far not paid off) by trading away one of their proven starting pitchers- Jordan Montgomery- at the last minute to get back an injured outfielder who is still in limbo. It continued going into last nights game as well as the Yankees have won just 3 games in the month while losing 10. They had lost each of their last 4 series (all in the month of August), and after an embarrassing 4-0 loss on Monday night, they were set to lose their 5th straight last night.
Now, I will repeat what we- through our editor-in-chief Dr. Paul Semendinger- had, as a take before anyone else was willing to publish this. It's now time to try something completely new. As we published on August 13th (and what has taken Yankees fans by storm after other repeated it), it's time to bring up all the young guys. If you're interested, the whole article we published can be found here, but in quick summary:
Many people were talking about bringing up Oswald Peraza to replace IKF (we agree!)
While they're at it, bring up Estevan Florial and give him an honest-to-goodness shot (with consistent playing time and reps) to replace Aaron Hicks.
Get Miguel Andujar out of the outfield and see what he can do as a full-time DH. Let the bat play like we've seen in the majors before. Can't be worse than Donaldson.
Fix the bullpen by putting Clay Holmes on the phantom IL, reinstate Aroldis Chapman in the closer role, let Jonathan Loaisgia regain form in Triple-A, and bring back both Clarke Schmidt and Ron Marinaccio to cover the bullpen as we see what happens.
Ultimately, none of those moves have been made yet. None of those moves were made prior to last nights game.
Needless to say, it didn't go well.
Player(s) of the Game - Technically, there were two...
Nestor Cortes Jr.: 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, Quality Start but a Loss
Andrew Benintendi: 2-3, Triple, Run Scored (the first in 22 innings)
"Notable" (This is a low bar today) Performances - The Yankees had just 2 other hits so...
Albert Abreu: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
We'll get to the two other "notable" players later
Better to Forget - Many more names than we'd like to see...
Aaron Judge: 0-4, 2 K's
Anthony Rizzo: 0-4, 1 K
Jose Trevino: 0-4, 1 K
Miguel Andujar: 0-3, 2 K's
Marwin Gonzalez: 0-3, 1 K
J.O.S.H. - Just Out Swinging Hastily:
G.L.E.Y.B.E.R. - Genuinely Lazy Effort, Yet Boy Eludes Responsibility:
Josh Donaldson: 1-4, fielding error
Gleyber Torres: 1-4, causing a misplaced error onto Trevino
We're going to get to my take on the game as a whole in a minute, and I'll give each of these two players some praise. Outside of Benintendi, they were the only two to collect a hit. Each a single in the 7th and 8th respectively. Okay, now with that out of the way let's get into it.
Josh Donaldson made an error. It happens. He just couldn't get the ball in the glove. Again, it happens. HOWEVER. Josh Donaldson- after last nights game- is now hitting to (an improved upon) .223 batting average. While he's technically been valuable due to his defense, these are the types of plays that should never be errors. Especially when he is batting to a OPS of just .689! He was able to avoid a lot of the ire of Yankees fans when Joey "batting under .160" Gallo was on the team. With Gallo gone, tonight- and over the past two weeks- I've been hearing a lot of boos for Donaldson throughout the game. Add in the some other drama from this year and the feelings of JD are not that positive. If you make $25 Million and hit worse than Eric Hosmer (who the Padres ate $20 Million in 2022- and up to another $39 Million if he doesn't opt-out- to trade AWAY), you deserve the boos.
Gleyber Torres is another player who is starting to overstay his time in New York. I wanted him to be great. Coming up after the 2016 Aroldis Chapman trade I was pumped about him. Then, he finally made it to the MLB in 2018 after needing TJS which took away 2017. The Yankees had their future star, and he hit like it too in his first two years. But since then, he's been a mess. He couldn't handle shortstop in 2020 or 2021, and is now slowly playing his way out of New York. Watch his "attempt" at a swipe tag (which put an error on Trevino's hands) from last nights game.
My Take - This is going to seem harsh, but I'm not done with talking about the above clip. First, I want you to look at Trevino's face at the end of the 11-second clip. It perfectly describes how we should all feel about Gleyber. It's a face of disappointment. It's the face you give a teammate when you have nothing left to say.
And, I won't blame just Gleyber here. The next inning, Gleyber finished the inning by throwing out Yandy Diaz on a groundout with his typical "I'm too cool for this" style. I have no other way to describe it, but you can watch the play, here. Gleyber gets this way during the season, especially when he's slumping, and even more especially when the Yankees are losing. The inning before he made no attempt to prevent a ball from going into the outfield. The next inning he acts too cool for the sport itself.
And yet, there is no accountability that you see from the team. None of the players go up to him and tell him to knock it off. None of the manager or coaches or other personnel tell him to play harder. You don't get any "Manny Machado yells at Fernando Tatis Jr." to shape up vibes. You don't get any "CC Sabathia yells at his teammates to cut the nonsense" energy. The Yankees just let it happen. They're like that annoying family you always get placed next to when you go out to eat. The kids are jumping all over the place, the iPad's are blasting some TV show I've never heard of, and the parents are just turning a blind eye to it all because it's just not worth it to them to make any change.
This upcoming Sunday, August 21st, is (appropriately enough) the day that the Yankees will retire Paul O'Neill's number 21. I'm not the biggest Paulie fan. Truthfully, hearing him call a game with Michael Kay drives me nuts. However, whenever I watch footage of Paul O'Neill play I can assure you one thing: the man was giving it everything he had. The infamous gatorade fight was not about getting on anyone else's nerve but his own because he expected more of himself. You wouldn't see Paul O'Neill made a lackadaisical throw to first base like that. It's clear Gleyber isn't this type of player.
Therefore, the Yankees need someone to add some spark to the clubhouse. It's clear that the remaining 25 players aren't doing so. It's clear the coaching staff won't. Based on the moves (or lack thereof) that the front office is (not) making, it's clear they won't either.
Brett Gardner became known for his "Let Brett Bang" attitude at the end of his career. CC Sabathia, as his time was winding down, purposefully threw at opposing players to send a message (and he nearly lost a ton of money doing so). Paul O'Neill would punch and kick and scream his way to lighting up himself, and by doing so, the team around him.
Name me a player who has that energy on the Yankees right now.
It's not Aaron Judge. It's not Anthony Rizzo. It's not Gerrit Cole. It's not Aaron Boone. It's not Gleyber Torres. It's not Brian Cashman. It's not Nestor Cortes Jr. It's not Hal Steinbrenner.
Maybe, just maybe, there are some guys who will add that spark.
Guys like Estevan Florial. Oswald Peraza. Tyler Wade. Clarke Schmidt. Ron Marinaccio.
Guys who are playing for everything. Guys who are playing for their future in the sport. To stick around. To make a name for themselves. To play the sport, hard. Every step of the way.
In last night's game the Yankees lost the game after 4 batters. When Randy Arozarena hit his 3-run home run in the 1st inning we all knew the game was over. It was clear and obvious that the team wasn't going to mount a comeback. It took them 22 innings to score a run.
It's time to do something new. They've lost 5 series in a row now. They've gone 3-11 in August. It can't get much worse.
Next Up - The Yankees have one final game against the Tampa Bay Rays, tonight at 7:05 PM (EDT). The Tampa Bay Rays will be starting former-Yankee, Corey Kluber (7-7, 4.40 ERA)- who got knocked around in his last start for 7 runs against the Orioles- as the Yankees will be testing Domingo German (1-2, 4.18 ERA)- who will be pitching his 6th game of the 2022 season.