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About Last Night: The Yankees Beat the Reds 6-2

By Tim Kabel

May 20, 2023


The Yankees opened a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark last night. One of the most vivid memories from my youth was watching the Yankees play the Reds in the 1976 World Series. Although the Yankees were swept, it set the stage for their two World Series victories in 1977 and 1978. Besides, my favorite player, Thurman Munson, had an amazing World Series. The current Reds team could hardly be confused with the Big Red Machine of the 70’s. That is like expecting to see Clifford, the Big Red Dog and instead being greeted by a little pink chihuahua. Yet, you have to play whichever team is on the schedule. As the old saying goes, “On any given night, any team can win, and any team can lose.” I believe the official expression is: “That's baseball, Suzyn.”

This is the type of game the Yankees need to win regularly if they are going to make it to the World Series this year. They played the Rays tough last weekend and then won a series against the Blue Jays. They could not afford to take it easy against the Reds last night. They won the game by a convincing final score of 6-2 but, it was much closer until the 9th inning. However, a win is a win, and the Yankees are continuing to head in the right direction

Quick Stats:

  • Despite a stint on the IL, Aaron Judge is tied for the American League lead in home runs with 13. He has seven home runs in seven games.

  • Cincinnati’s starting pitcher made it into the sixth inning, giving up only two earned runs and striking out eight in his first start in the Majors since 2018. Ben’s pitches were quite Lively last night.

  • Anthony Rizzo hit his 23rd home run at the Great American Ballpark last night. That is third among all visiting players.

  • The Yankees used small ball to get two of their fast, young players on second and third in the top of the seventh inning. Yet, they could not capitalize on the situation. That needs to improve.

  • Although he played football and not baseball, he was one of the all-time greats and a man of principle. Besides, he made a movie with Raquel Welch. Rest in Peace, Jim Brown.

The Big Story:

Earlier this week, Domingo German was suspended for ten days after he was ejected from a game against the Rays for having a sticky substance on his hands. It was not the first time he was scrutinized regarding this issue this season. It happened last month in a game against the Twins. Last night, in the bottom of the fifth inning, Clarke Schmidt had his hands examined by the umpires, and they made him wash his hands. The Yankees can ill afford to have another pitcher suspended because they cannot replace that pitcher on the roster. For the ten games that German is suspended, the Yankees are a player, and more importantly, a pitcher short. German is not the only pitcher to whom this happened this season. It seems like this could be something we see fairly often.

When I was a kid, my father used to cut hay in all the fields in our part of town. We had a tractor. My father would frequently spend hours tinkering on that tractor or various other pieces of equipment associated with it. I remember that he kept a little paint can filled with what we called grease. Although he had a brush to apply it, by the end of the day, his hands were usually coated with the substance. It was greasy, sticky, and virtually impossible to remove.

Well, when my father came in the house at night, he would head straight for the sink, and he would pick up a bar of Lava soap. For those of you unfamiliar with this product, it was a green, gritty bar of soap that could essentially rip the scales off an alligator. In short order, my father's hands were always clean and shiny. They may not have had much feeling in them for a few minutes but, they were clean.

I am sensing an endorsement deal here deal here. Before each half inning, as the pitcher heads to the mound, he could stop at a little portable sink positioned just outside the dugout. There could be a pitcher of warm water, a bar of Lava soap, and some towels. Much like each stadium employs bat boys and girls and ball boys and girls, there could be a “soap granny” or “soap grandpa”. A stern, no-nonsense, mature woman or man could supervise the washing process. Rita Marino, Helen Mirren and Sophia Loren, Bob Newhart, Clint Eastwood, and James Earl Jones would be perfect choices. The late Bea Arthur and John Houseman would have been the all-time greatest.

Players of the Game:

Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo had big home runs.

Notable Performance:

Clarke Schmidt had a solid outing and left the game without giving up any runs.

Better to Forget:

There was really nothing to complain about.

My Take:

The Yankees are starting to move in the right direction. They are now 27-20 and are in third place in the division. They have moved past the Red Sox and the Blue Jays, and now trail only the Rays and the Orioles. Yes, you read that correctly. The Orioles. The Orioles could be a force in the division, especially if they believe they can be. l think the Yankees are a better team when all is said and done but, they need to remind the Orioles of that, beginning when they play them next week.

Luis Severino will rejoin the team on Sunday and will pitch the “crack of dawn” game to wrap up the series against the Reds. Domingo German will complete his suspension by the end of the month, and in theory should replace Jhony Brito in the starting rotation. Giancarlo Stanton and Tommy Kahnle will soon begin rehab games. There are rumors that Josh Donaldson will do the same but, will any of us be heartbroken if he does not? It might be fair to say that he is contributing more to the team this year through his absence than he did last year through his presence.

I suspect that Oswald Peraza will be on the Major League roster before and probably instead of Josh Donaldson. It is possible they will keep him in the minors, but I think it's more likely he will be in the Bronx. Anthony Volpe is playing well. Oswaldo Caberra, Clark Schmidt, and Ron Marinaccio are improving and becoming key parts of this team. We all knew what Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, and DJ LeMahieu could do but, a lot of the younger players as well as newer members of the team, like Harrison Bader, are stepping up.

I know that Aaron Hicks had three hits the other night but, sometimes mirages do appear in a desert. I'm just concerned that this mirage may be enough to delude people into believing that he is a quality Major League ballplayer. He is not. It's okay if a few fans think that way. However, if Aaron Boone is convinced that Hicks is an integral part of the team, that is a problem.

There are people who can find statistics to justify and prove anything. When I used to coach track on the high school level, I was very good at teaching the kids how to get off to a fast start. I was faster than almost all of them over the first 15 to 20 feet. Unfortunately, that is not an official distance in a race. Yet, I could have found someone hunkered over a computer, eating a sardine and sauerkraut sandwich, who would have said that I was faster than all those runners. I wasn't. They passed me and left me in the dust every time. However, I did help several of them learn how to make quicker starts, which was my goal. My point is that the Yankees are starting to move in the right direction and there are a lot of positive signs. However, if Aaron Boone becomes convinced that Hicks, Donaldson, and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa are anything more than fringe, role players, that will be a problem.

Let's focus on the good things that are happening and enjoy the fact that the team is playing a lot better lately and is much more competitive. They need to remain that way and they need to build with their young talent around their established stars. That is the recipe for success.

Next Up:

This afternoon, the Yankees will play the second game of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at 4:10 PM at the Great American Ballpark. An unnamed starter will face Cincinnati's Luke Weaver (1-2 6,26 ERA).

5 comentarios

20 may 2023

if Aaron Boone is convinced that Hicks is an integral part of the team, that is a problem.

it's not really up to Boone as to whether Hicks is part of the team. that's really up to Cashman and the owner.

Boone, to my mind, has made clear that he plays the cards that are dealt to him.

Boone has also made clear that he no longer regards Hicks as any great asset.

seems to me that Boone prefers not only Bader and Bauers, but also Cabrera and even IKF as outfielders.

the Yanks just (re)acquired Greg Allen. some light might be shed. some body certainly will

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20 may 2023
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you're a gent

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