About Last Night: The Yankees Were Blanked by the Cubs 3-0
About Last Night: The Yankees Were Blanked by the Cubs 3-0
By Tim Kabel
July 8, 2023
The Yankees opened a three-game series against the Cubs to close out the nominal first half of the season last night. They are now 48-41 on the season after being shut out by the Cubs last night. Jameson Taillon was having an awful season until he faced the Yankees' lineup. The Yankees are now in fourth place in the American League East and are also in fourth place in the wildcard race. Right now, they are on the outside, looking in, as far as postseason play is concerned. At this point, their offensive production is essentially nonexistent. They are completely punchless. As Kyle Higashioka pointed out after the game, “It is virtually impossible to win a game when you don't score any runs." He certainly has a grasp for the obvious. I will add to his thesis. It will be virtually impossible for the Yankees to make the playoffs if they don't win many more games.
Quick Stats -
The Yankees only managed two hits in the game, setting a new season low.
The Yankees did not have a runner advance to second base all night.
Yesterday, the Yankees recalled Franchy Cordero. Other than having him around for Bastille Day, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Giancarlo Stanton is batting .151 with 2 home runs over his last 25 games.
Carlos Rodon had a strong debut but was pulled after 5.1 innings and 69 pitches. As Yul Brynner said in The King and I, “Is a puzzlement".
Anthony Rizzo is batting .167 with 0 home runs in his last 27 games.
On July 7th, 1991, Bernie Williams made his MLB debut. Bern, Baby, Bern.
Big Story -
The Yankees looked like they were getting ready to go on a run when they won the first two games of the series against the Orioles. They had a chance to move up in the standings and make a statement. Instead, they lost the last two games against the Orioles, including a humiliating 14-1 loss on Thursday night. They are now 3-5 in the month of July and are starting to fade fast. The lineup is full of old, listless, uninspiring players. Anthony Rizzo has not hit for power since he was injured in the game against the Padres. Giancarlo Stanton has looked lost for the most part at the plate since he returned from the IL. DJ LeMahieu is a shadow of his former self. Josh Donaldson is attempting to mask the fact that he is finished with his occasional home runs. The Yankees' problems go far deeper than simply missing Aaron Judge. This is not a team that will make the playoffs.
Player of the Day -
Carlos Rodon pitched a solid game in his Yankees' debut, which under normal circumstances should have been a winnable game for the Yankees.
Notable Performance -
Tommy Kahnle pitched another scoreless inning. He has not allowed a run since returning from the IL.
Better to Forget-
The woeful offense. These days, the most exciting part of the YES broadcast are those dreadful commercials with Dr. Ozua and "The Balance."
My Take -
When you own a house, one of the most important parts of that is upkeep. Every house requires repairs, upgrades, or changes. Unless you are independently wealthy or some type of disaster occurs that results in an insurance windfall, you have to space these modifications out over time. Essentially, you have to perform triage, and decide which upgrades are the most essential, and which ones can wait. In that regard, a baseball team is a lot like a house.
The Yankees have to decide what to fix now and how to fix it. Do they need a total overhaul, or can they get by with just a few repairs. They have played more than half the season and are currently out of the playoffs. Until Aaron Judge returns, the Yankees have major question marks at catcher, third base, leftfield, rightfield, and designated hitter.
Anthony Rizzo is in a major power drought but has a decent average and has been more productive lately. There is reason to be optimistic regarding him.
Josh Donaldson can occasionally run into a ball and drive it out of the park but otherwise he is almost an automatic out. He is 37 years old, and the Yankees will not exercise the option to bring him back next year. His career with the Yankees is winding down. There is no need to keep him on the team. If he can bring anything back in a trade, he should be sent to another team tomorrow. If not, it would be better to simply cut him and bring up Oswald Peraza and have him play third base. The Yankees do not have any other clear options for the position moving forward. It would be better to see what Peraza can do now that he is back from an injury.
Bringing up Franchy Cordero was somewhat pointless. Estevan Florial now has 21 home runs in Scranton. He has never been given a legitimate chance to play regularly for the Yankees. However, Franchy Cordero, Willie Calhoun, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Bill McKinney, and Jake Bauers have been given extended looks. Florial should be up here, playing every day in leftfield unless the team is facing a very tough left-hander. If they don't do that, then they absolutely need to trade him by the end of the month.
DJ LeMahieu is spiraling downward offensively. He claims that there is nothing wrong with him physically, which is even more concerning than an injury. That means that he is less likely to improve over time. At this point, he cannot play regularly in the same lineup with Stanton and Donaldson.
Anthony Volpe has demonstrated that he should be able to hit and perform well at this level. He is in the process of improving on a regular basis. Sadly, as has been noted multiple times, his improvement has virtually nothing to do with the Yankees' manager or coaching staff. That is a major concern. If the coaching staff was not able to help Volpe, is it a surprise that they also have not been able to help Oswaldo Cabrera? Every time he seems to be coming out of his offensive funk, he is benched for three days. That is not how you develop a young player.
The Yankees need to commit to some of their young players as opposed to sticking with veterans who are not producing.
It is a major concern that IKF has now pitched in four games.
I know there are many people proposing that the Yankees make some big trades. Bringing in players for a quick fix is not the answer this year. They have too many holes for that. I would not be opposed to them trading for Cody Bellinger of the Cubs, if the price is not too high. He is hitting for a high average, is an excellent fielder, bats left-handed, and is only going to be 28 years old. If the Yankees could extend him for a couple of years, as opposed to 10 years, that might not be a bad move. Otherwise, they don't need to repeat the Montas trade from last year.
As I noted, they need to try something different as far as who is playing on the field. However, until they replace the manager, those moves will simply not happen. I think the Yankees should come out of the All-Star break with a new manager in the dugout. It is highly unlikely that they will do that, but I think that would be the right move to make. That move would lead to some of the others I mentioned. Otherwise, we are in for a long, unhappy summer.
Next Up -
This afternoon, the Yankees play the second game of the three-game series against the Cubs at 1:05 PM at Yankee Stadium. Gerrit Cole (8-2 2.79 ERA) will face the Cubs' Drew Smyly (7-5 4.10] ERA). Hopefully, the Yankees' fans are the ones with smiley faces at the end of the day.