About Last Night: The Yankees were dominated by the Astros 7-3
About Last Night: The Yankees were dominated by the Astros 7-3
By Tim Kabel
August 5, 2023
The last-place Yankees played the second game of a four-game series against the second-place Astros last night. the Yankees had won two games in a row heading into last night, and excitement was beginning to build. Well, that didn't last long. The Yankees were in a hole early and lost the game in convincing fashion to the Astros.
The Yankees are once again just four games over .500 and remain in last place. They are in sole possession of sixth place in the Wild Card race but only lead the Angels by one game. Every time it looks like the Yankees are starting to roll, we realize they are just spinning their wheels in the mud.
This game was on Apple TV, so I had to listen to it on the radio like I used to do when I was a kid playing in the backyard 50 years ago. I think John Sterling was in his 20th year with the Yankees at that time. Last night, I had the opportunity to listen to a testy exchange between John and Suzyn. Suzyn was commenting that Houston was not using their high leverage relievers. John replied, "Dusty knows the score, Suzyn." I would have paid $500 to hear Suzyn reply, "Unlike you, John." Sadly, that would have been the most exciting part of the game.
Quick Stats -
After Luis Severino's last start, he described himself as "the worst pitcher in baseball." The statistics prove him correct. Among other things, he ranks 97th in ERA.
Jake Bauers hit his 10th home run last night. He should be playing first base every game unless there is a tough left-handed pitcher going for the other team that night.
Aaron Judge was on the bench again last night. It seems as if this will be a regular occurrence as he works his way back from the IL.
The Yankees' entire offense was three solo home runs. When you combine that with shaky starting pitching, it's hard to win games.
Giancarlo Stanton has ten home runs and 22 RBI in his last 21 games.
Aaron Boone replaced a struggling Luis Severino with Albert Abreu, who was equally inefficient. At that point, the game was not completely out of reach. The Yankees are struggling to score runs in most games. So, they really needed to keep things close. Why did Boone bring in Abreu? After the game, Nick Ramirez, who pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings, was sent to the minor leagues while Albert Abreu stayed on the roster. Why? As Yul Brynner said in The King and I, “Is a puzzlement."
After the game, a reporter began a question to Aaron Boone with "Were you perplexed...." I have to think that was a trick question.
On August 4th, 1948, Ernie Harwell called his first major league game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was filling in for Red Barber, who was recovering from a bleeding ulcer. To obtain Harwell, Branch Rickey traded minor league catcher Cliff Draper to the Atlanta Crackers. What do you think we could get for John Sterling? Maybe a box of crackers?
On a personal note, I would like to wish my youngest child, Oliver, a happy birthday. He turned 18 yesterday and will soon be headed off to the University of Connecticut. I am incredibly proud of him and consider myself fortunate to be his father.
The Big Story -
The Yankees are a mediocre team at this point in the season. They are in last place in the American League East. They have a slim chance of making the playoffs as the last Wild Card team. However, Domingo German is gone for the season, Luis Severino is consistently ineffective, and there are other holes. When will Anthony Rizzo be back? It will be very hard for this team to put together a lengthy winning streak. The offense is sputtering and there are only a few bright spots on the roster. There are less than two months left in the season. What was once a promising season has now faded into a journey to nowhere.
On another note, the end of Domingo German's season and his current situation are both very sad. Clearly, the man needs help and hopefully he will get it. I certainly don't believe in kicking someone while they are down, or at all, really. However, I was appalled when I read that Aaron Boone described German as, "A sweetheart of a guy." When you are describing someone who committed an act of what is now called "intimate partner violence", as a sweetheart, you are really tone deaf and missing the point.
Player of the Day -
Jake Bauers had two hits, including a home run.
isiah Kiner-Falefa and Giancarlo Stanton added solo home runs. Stanton is really on a roll now. Hopefully he stays hot and more importantly, healthy. i forgot how absurd John Sterling's home run call for Stanton was until I heard it again last night. It was also the first time I heard,
"Jake Bauers, the man of the hour." I wish I hadn't.
Better to Forget-
Luis Severino fell behind very early last night, and the Yankees could never catch up. I believe we are seeing the end of Severino's career as a Yankee. There is no way they should re-sign him for next year. I wish him luck, but he needs to go elsewhere.
My Take -
When I was a kid, there was a show on TV on Saturday mornings called Land of the Lost. I wasn't a big fan of it, but I watched it once in a while. It was about people, including a scientist I believe, who stumbled into a world inhabited by dinosaurs and other strange creatures.
As I watch the Yankees right now, I am reminded of Land of the Lost. No, not because of the dinosaurs. Just the title. Land of the Lost would be the perfect title for this Yankees' season.
The Yankees are racking up losses regularly. The season itself is essentially lost, as there is virtually no chance they will go into the playoffs. They have lost their direction. The trading deadline was a lost opportunity. They are not taking the chance to play their younger players and are losing ground for the future.
Domingo German, who earlier this year pitched a perfect game, ended his season and possibly his Yankees' career in a very sad and unfortunate way. Luis Severino, who was once the ace of the staff, is now the self-proclaimed worst pitcher in baseball. Anthony Rizzo's injury, or at least his prolonged malaise after the collision with Fernando Tatis, was mishandled by the Yankees. Many people observed that Rizzo had not been the same since that incident but, it took the Yankees three months to figure it out. It is possible that Rizzo is lost for the season. Jose Trevino is definitely lost for the season because of another injury that was mishandled by the Yankees.
The Yankees came up empty at the trade deadline in an embarrassing fashion. They essentially did nothing. They acquired a middle relief pitcher and a minor league middle relief pitcher who has never lived up to his promise. I'm not going to go into all the players they could have acquired or those they could have jettisoned. The point is the Yankees didn't do anything.
The Yankees could have added proven major leaguers to the roster. They didn't. That would not have been my first choice, anyway. I would have preferred for them to trade away their players on expiring contracts and maybe some others and build for the future. Look at what the Mets did. As my friend Brian said, "The Mets claimed more farm hands than a hay baler." The Yankees didn't do that. That was another lost opportunity.
The trading deadline has passed. There is nothing that can be done about that. However, why are Oswald Peraza and Everson Pereira still in the minor leagues. Why is Greg Allen on the roster? This would be the perfect opportunity to bring up the young players who are doing well in Scranton and give them an opportunity to play in the Majors. Once again, the Yankees are failing.
After the game, Aaron Boone waxed poetic about hits the team strung together that never amounted to anything. As usual, he talked about building on at-bats. Unfortunately if you're building a house and the house falls down, that's not a good thing. I have long criticized Aaron Boone, and will continue to do so. I do not think he is a good manager and I do not think the Yankees will ever win with him in that role
Up until now, I have been willing to cut Brian Cashman a lot of slack. Those days are over.You can lay all of the failures that I have outlined, including the retention of a mediocre manager, at Cashman's door. He always likes to present himself as the smartest guy in the room. I think these days that may only be true if he's alone. When you start to believe that you are right all the time, mistakes can be ignored, swept under the rug or denied. That is what is happening with Brian Cashman right now. When you are "In it to win it", you shouldn't lose.
Cashman's decisions and blueprints have resulted in what will be a lost season for the Yankees. Even worse, his inactivity leading up to, during, and after trading deadline may have potentially lost future seasons for the team as well. That is inexcusable, and Cashman needs to go, along with Boone.
Next Up -
Today, the Yankees play the third game of the four-game series against the Houston Astros at 1:05 PM at Yankee Stadium. Nestor Cortes (5-2 5.16 ERA) will return from the IL to face Houston's Justin Verlander (6-5 3.15 ERA), who is returning from the NL.