About Last Night: The Yankees were Crushed by the Red Sox 15-5
By Tim Kabel
June 17, 2023
The Yankees opened a three-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park last night. To quote Joe Jacobs, “They should have stood in bed.”
Last weekend, the Yankees lost two out of three games at home against the Red Sox. They then split the series with the Mets. This was a terrible start to the series. They are trailing the season series to the Red Sox three games to one already. The Yankees are starting to take on water and appear as if they could sink quickly, like a large stone in the ocean. It's not time to panic, but it might be time to pull the manual on panicking out of the closet, just to have it on standby.
Quick Stats -
The 13 runs the Yankees gave up through the fourth inning were the most they surrendered to the Red Sox through the fourth inning of a game since 1933.
After sitting in the bullpen for 12 days, Matt Krook made his Major League debut in the third inning.
Josh Donaldson had his first non-home run hit since Opening Day in the fourth inning, a single. He added a home run in the eighth inning.
When Isiah Kiner-Falefa stole home on Wednesday night, he was the sixth Yankee to do so since 1985. The others were: Claudell Washington, Dave Winfield, Gerald Williams, Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius. That must have been the day Ellsbury was not on the DL.
Anthony Rizzo's 3 RBI last night equaled his total over the previous fifteen games.
During the game, Michael Kay reported that during Wednesday's extra-inning loss to the Mets, Michael King, Wandy Peralta, and Clay Holmes were not available due to fears of over-using them. It is a puzzlement.
After watching Gleyber Torres lob a ball past Anthony Rizzo that was scored a hit, I have to ask, is anything scored an error anymore?
I think all readers will join me in wishing Tanner Houck a speedy recovery after being hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Kyle Higashioka in the 5th inning.
Big Story -
The Yankees are missing their best player, Aaron Judge, as well as Nestor Cortes, Harrison Bader, and several other important players. They need to rely on pitching, timely hitting, and solid defense. Last night, they had none of those things. The pitching was horrid. The offense was barely adequate, and the fielding was sloppy and lackadaisical. If the Yankees continue to play games the way they did last night, they will quickly drop out of the playoff race and into obscurity this year. This was an awful game on every level. I don't want to be too hard on Matt Krook, since he did pitch well enough to get out of the third inning without too much damage but was victimized by poor fielding. He might have a place on this team.
Player of the Game -
Justin Turner had three hits, Including a grand slam and a two-run home run. He tied a career high in RBI in a game with six.
Notable Performances -
Anthony Rizzo had three RBI and may be coming out of his slump.
Better to Forget-
That the Yankees even had a game last night.
My Take -
It is easy to look at a game like last night's and say, “Well, this is just one of those games.” In a way, that is true. Every team has horrible losses during the season. What is more concerning is the sloppy play, lack of hustle, and lack of effort that was visible on the field last night.
In my last article, I noted concerns regarding the Yankees' coaching staff and their inability to diagnose the problems with Anthony Volpe's swing, which he addressed himself, with the aid of one of his minor league teammates. I also discussed the lack of development of younger players, and the resurgence of Aaron Hicks now that he is in Baltimore.
You can certainly look at these issues, sloppy play, lack of effort, weakness in fundamentals, and flaws in coaching and see a pattern. All of these things can be traced to the doorstep of the manager. The manager of the team is the one responsible for all aspects of it.
Gleyber Torres' inconsistencies have been a characteristic of his career. Lately, mental lapses, and lack of effort have become habitual. Those habits need to be broken, one way or another. If they aren't, he needs to go elsewhere. Again, this is the responsibility of the manager.
I was a history major in college, and I used to teach history at the high school level. Although Harry Truman is not among my favorite presidents, I do respect him and admire the attitude symbolized by his quote, “The buck stops here.” If Aaron Boone were to say something like that, there is no telling when he would come out with. Perhaps something like, “Well, you know, the buck. Well, the buck does, you know, its thing.” Last night, after the game, Boone stated “We didn't put enough points on the board.”
I have written before, as have many others, that Aaron Boone appears to be lost, confused, and way over his head. That has not improved. In fact, it may even be worse than when he started. One simple reason for that is that when he first started, there was hope that he would improve. Now we know he won't. This is it. This is the best we are going to get. The Yankees could find themselves at the bottom of the pack in the American League East and out of contention in the wild card race very quickly.
It is obvious that Boone has no answers. I am not just talking about his performance during press conferences or interviews. He does not have a solution to any of his team's shortcomings, either on an individual or a team level. He has proven to be incapable of developing young players, and he is equally weak when it comes to addressing problems with veterans. Generally, he ignores issues until they become so glaring that he has no choice but to do something. An example of that would be benching IKF during the playoffs last year. This could be the year that things get so far out of control so quickly that there will be no return.
Next Up -
Tonight, the Yankees play the second game of a three-game series against the Red Sox at 7:15 PM at Fenway Park, weather permitting. Clarke Schmidt (2-6 4.70 ERA) will face Boston's Brayan Bello (3-4 3.78 ERA).