About Last Night: The Yankees Lost to the Cardinals 4-3
by Tim Kabel
August 6, 2022
The Yankees have been struggling for a while. They are an inconsistent team right now. They no longer resemble the efficient juggernaut they were earlier in the year. The virus of inconsistency has spread to all facets of the team: pitching, offense, and defense. The base running has been sloppy too. The managerial decisions have become questionable again. The way the team has been performing lately is eerily reminiscent of last year. The only difference is they built up a seemingly insurmountable lead this year. Unfortunately, the playoffs start off with a clean slate. If the Yankees go into the postseason playing the way they have been for the last month, they won’t go far.
Not game related, but very important to note - I have been working in my current job for 29 years. It seems like a long time. Imagine having the same job for 67 years and being one of the best of all time. Well, that was Vin Scully’s life. He is the standard bearer for continued excellence as a broadcaster. He passed away on August 2, which seems to be when baseball legends die. It was 43 years ago on that date when we lost Thurman Munson.
The Yankees entered last night’s game 6-8 since the All-Star break. Now they've lost another.
Aaron Hicks came into the game in a 0-26 slump. He went 0-3 last night. They should have traded him for Mickey Rivers on Old Timers’ Day.
This was the first time this season that Clay Holmes gave up runs in back-to-back games.
Before last night’s game, Paul DeJong was batting .140. Although he is six- year veteran, he was demoted to the minors earlier this year.
The Big Story:
The Yankees should have won this game. The crack in the armor is getting bigger. They are 12-16 in their last 28 games. That is basically a month. That isn’t just a bad streak or a phase. It is a problem that could become a major problem.
Player of the Game:
Josh Donaldson had two hits and two RBIs.
Aaron Judge and Matt Carpenter each had two hits.
Better to Forget:
Aaron Boone’s questionable decisions.
The Yankees are virtually locked into a post-season berth. Unless something goes drastically wrong, they will make the playoffs. However, they are starting to fade. It is not just a slight fade either, like you have when your 80% done with cutting the lawn on a really hot day. I would not go so far as to say the wheels are coming off but, they are wobbling. There are concerns with the pitching, including both the starters and the relievers, the offense, and the defense.
For one, the bottom of the lineup doesn't scare anybody (except possibly Yankees’ fans). I realize Aaron Hicks was not supposed to be in the starting lineup, and only came in because of Anthony Rizzo's back pain. However, Hicks is almost as bad as Joey Gallo was. Hopefully, Rizzo's bothersome back is just a temporary thing, and Giancarlo Stanton will return to the lineup soon. Many articles reported that the new center fielder, Harrison Bader, is not a great hitter. Well, his batting average is 30 points higher than Aaron Hicks’.
A larger concern, perhaps the largest concern, is Aaron Boone’s dubious decision making. I realize Nestor Cortes walked four batters. However, he had only given up one hit and thrown 83 pitches when he was removed from the game. Boone certainly could have left Nestor in a little bit longer. Nestor has proven to be a real battler as a Yankee. Also, if he had to be removed, why did it have to be Albert Abreu who came in? I understand the Yankees are trying to build Albert Abreu into an important part of the bullpen but, he is not there yet. This season, Boone reminds me of someone who made a New Year's resolution to diet and lose weight. He got off to a fast start; it's as if the pounds were just falling off. However, eventually, he resumed snacking, drinking soda, and skipping exercise sessions. In other words, he reverted to form.
In the beginning of the season, Boone could do no wrong. Or at least the wrongs that he committed did not cause any major damage. Now, he is the same old Boone. He frequently leaves Gerrit Cole in too long but, takes Nestor Cortes out too early. It's as if he is overthinking things and making moves simply to make moves. I don't know that Boone really has a feel for the game. He pulls a pitcher because it was the time to pull the pitcher not because Boone saw that he was tired or struggling. It's almost like Boone is following a script rather than adjusting to what happens in the game. We have seen this for years.
At the beginning of this season, the Yankees were winning practically every day, so it didn't matter. Well, it matters now. This mess could very quickly get out of hand. If this team ever collapsed and didn't win a championship, or at least make it to the World Series, it would be the worst job by a skipper since the Exxon Valdez.
Next Up -
Today, the Yankees continue the three-game series against the Cardinals in St. Louis at 7:15 PM. The Cardinals’ Jordan Montgomery (3-3 3.69 ERA) will face Domingo German (1-1 6.40 ERA). Yes, you read that correctly, the Cardinals’ Jordan Montgomery.