About Last Night: WSH 1, NYY 9
By Ethan Semendinger
August 24th, 2023
A win is a win and that makes me happy. But, I'm also saddened about what this win symbolizes when looking back at the last 5 years.
Quick Stats -
Winning Pitcher: Luis Severino (3-8, 7.26 ERA)
Losing Pitcher: MacKenzie Gore (6-10, 4.38 ERA)
Home Runs (New York): Aaron Judge (25, 26, 27)
Home Runs (Chicago): Dominic Smith (6)
Big Story - The last game summary I wrote was about the August 9th loss against the Chicago White Sox. Since then, the Yankees went 1-9 with a 9 game losing streak. It's been said before, but that streak was the longest for the Yankees since 1982. Only two players who played in the MLB this year- Rich Hill and Adam Wainwright- were alive when that losing streak happened.
Going into last night's game, the Yankees had the chance to extend that losing streak to 10 games. If that happened it would've been the first time since 1913 that they lost 10 in a row. That year was the first year that this franchise was known as the New York Yankees. That would be historically bad.
And the man entrusted by the Yankees to take the mound and secure them a win necessary to avoid becoming a statistic over 110 years in the making was their ace...from 2017 and 2018. A player with a 7.98 ERA coming into the game, and had won a total of 10 total games since the beginning of the 2021 season.
And behind him, this is the line-up that the Yankees put forward:
Player(s) of the Game - Two deserving players
Aaron Judge: 3-4, 3 Home Runs, 3 Runs, 6 RBI's
Luis Severino: 6.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB's, 2 K's
Notable Performances - "Notable" in quotation marks
Harrison Bader: 2-3, Double, 2 Runs, BB
Ian Hamilton: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB's, 3 K's
Wandy Peralta: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB's, 3 K's
Better to Forget -
Giancarlo Stanton: 0-4, 2 K's
Everson Pereira: 0-4, Run, RBI, 2 K's
Kyle Higashioka: 0-4, Run, K
Oswald Peraza: 0-3, Run, BB, 2 K's
My Take - This was a game straight out of the 2017 season. Aaron Judge was a dominant force with the bat as Luis Severino was shutting down opponents from the mound. Last night's game was something that the Yankees had displayed as the future 5 years ago. Last night's game was...saddening.
I promise that I'm not trying to bring down everybody's spirits after a fantastic win. But I can't help but feel a bit let down that two of the faces of the "Baby Bombers" were on display last night...and that happening is such a rarity for this team. What should've been a constant between seeing Severino hold strong defensively on the mound with Judge his offensive commander as a constant over the years, is nothing more than a small win in a skirmish far away from the main battlefield. It's a win that the Yankees desperately needed, but still showcases their last 10 games as a net 1-9 record.
Those "Baby Bombers" have not succeeded. Luis Severino had a fantastic game last night and showed what we used to all believe to heavily in, but this was just his 4th quality start (6+ IP, <3 ER) this year. Over 15 starts, a 26% chance of getting a quality start is not good enough. Especially when the alternative (giving up 4+ earned runs in fewer than 6 innings) has double the odds of happening (8 times, or 53% of the time).
Gleyber Torres has been a fine player, even if he didn't show up last night. He's a solid bat that balances out his okay defense. On a team with a good foundation, he's a great piece to have as a support who can carry at times. On a team with holes, his game will be overmatched and fail to live up to the expectations. With the Yankees he was in a Catch-22. He was too important to let go for a run at the playoffs, but his value is better suited for a trade. Now he'll only get more expensive and harder to justify keeping and trading.
What about the likes of Miguel Andujar or Clint Frazier? Andujar made it just 13 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. He's been in the minors since mid-May. Clint Frazier made it 33 games with the Chicago White Sox. He's been in the minors since July 4th.
Speaking of the minors, Gary Sanchez has bounced around the league from the Twins to Mets to Padres. He now wears the number 99? Strange. I'm not buying into his 61 game sample of a resurgence in San Diego. His OPS+ is still below his 2019 season. Another "Baby Bomber" who's no longer a baby or a bomber.
Of the "Baby Bombers", only Aaron Judge truly made it. We'll look back in years time at Torres' career as a net positive (yet be underwhelmed), for Severino's it'll be about what could've been, for Sanchez through rose colored glasses, and for Andujar and Frazier as they continue to get one more shot in their mid-30's.
Aaron Judge had his first 3 Home Run game in his career last night. That's incredible! And immediately I started to hear the excuses. "Think about what the Yankees could've done if Judge didn't get hurt." Well, since he came back on July 28th, the Yankees are now 7-17. It is unreasonable to believe a healthy Judge would've kept the Yankees from falling below a .500 record. The fall was inevitable.
The Yankees haven't had direction since that 2017 season. It was in that year that they said "we're going in on the young guys" and went for it. And, they were rewarded in the short term. Since the team has been in a flux of buying big names and standing pat as others (often better players) go on by. Instead of continuously building forward, they march...then retreat...then march...then retreat.
In a vacuum, last night was an exciting win.
In 2017 it would've been another step in the right direction.
In 2023, it's a sign that the map was lost years ago.
Next Up - The Yankees finish their 3 game series against the Washington Nationals (and 6 game homestand) with an afternoon game at 1:05. The game will be broadcast on the YES Network and will feature Michael King (3-5, 3.26 ERA) take the starting bump against Patrick Corbin (8-11, 4.71 ERA). Not much else to say about two teams battling it out as they each sit 5th in their divisions.