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  • Tim Kabel

About Last Night: Yanks Edged by Dodgers

About Last Night: The Yankees Were Edged by the Dodgers 2-1 in 11 Innings

By Tim Kabel

June 8, 2024

***

The Yankees have the best record in Major League Baseball and rode an eight-game winning streak into their marquee series against the Dodgers last night. Yoshinobu Yamamoto pitched against the Yankees and showed why the Yankees wanted to sign him in the first place. The Yankees lost the game in 11 innings but, considering that Juan Soto did not play, I wouldn't go into panic mode over this one. There are some concerns with this team but, this was a very exciting game. Cody Poteet, who was not as ballyhooed as Yamamoto during the off-season, pitched very well. If the next two games of this series are as exciting as this one was, it will be a tremendous series. Hopefully, the Yankees can win the next two games.

 

Quick Stats – 

 

·       The Yankees and the Dodgers have played each other 11 times in the World Series.  That is more than any other two-team combination. The Yankees won eight of those World Series.

 

·       The Yankees have a +117 run differential this season, which is the best in the Majors.

 

·       Last night was the first time this season the Yankees were held scoreless through seven innings since May 3.

 

·       The Yankees’ 8-game winning streak was snapped last night.

 

·       Anthony Rizzo has no hits in his last 33 at-bats.  Yet, Aaron Boone keeps sending him out there every day. 

 

·       Shohei Ohtani was Baseball’s first automatic runner, when the rule went into effect in 2020.

 

·       On June 7. 2007, Joe Torre became the 10th manager in MLB history to reach 2,000 victories as the Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox.

 

·       Yesterday would have been Thurman Munson’s 77th birthday. I think that is the saddest sentence I have ever written for SSTN.

 

Big Story – 

Juan Soto missed the game last night due to inflammation in his forearm. That is the bad news. The good news is that he will most likely avoid an IL stint and is listed as day-to-day. The Yankees can ill afford to lose him for any length of time. Right now, the Yankees are being carried by Judge, Soto, and Anthony Volpe, with some support from Alex Verdugo. They are not getting much from the rest of the lineup. Austin Wells and Jose Trevino are holding up their end but not much is expected out of them right now. 

 

The Yankees lost last night, which happens. The concerning thing is that unless they address the offensive deficit from the middle of their lineup, they will lose more games. I'm afraid they will lose many more games.

 

Player of the Game – 

Cody Poteet was signed by the Yankees for $750,000 this season. He is a fill-in and an emergency starter. He is taking the place of Clarke Schmidt, who is injured. Poteet is holding the place in the rotation for Gerrit Cole until he is ready to return. Last night, Poteet went up against Yoshinobu Yamato, who signed with the Dodgers for over $300 million. Yamamoto was better but, not 300 times better than Poteet. Poteet did a fine job and everything that was asked of him.

 

Notable Performance –

Aaron Judge had two hits and drove in the Yankees’ only run.

 

Better to Forget – 

Ian Hamilton was shaky once again and it seems that the bloom is off the rose as far as he is concerned. I guess you could say that Hamilton lost the duel last night.

 

My Take –  

Last night was a big game from the Yankees. In reality, it wasn't. It was a game in June, and they do have the best record in Baseball. However, because it was a game against the Dodgers, one of their historic rivals and because they are two of the premier teams in the game right now, it became a big game. Therein lies the problem.

 

The bigger the game, the more Aaron Boone’s weaknesses, indecisiveness, and poor managerial skills are exposed. There are a lot of things he could have done differently last night, which may have helped the Yankees win the game. He could have pinch hit for any of his struggling hitters. He could have handled the bullpen differently. He could have left Clay Holmes in for more than 10 pitches. The particular moves don't matter. They are just the manifestation of Boone’s ineptitude. In other words, on another night, in another big game, he could do the exact opposite and have that backfire too. You've heard of the Midas touch, where everything King Midas touched turned to gold? The Boone touch is a bit different. Everything Aaron Boone touches turns into crabgrass. (I was trying to think of something that would be unappealing but at the same time, PG, and that's what I came up with).

 

Last night, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres, and DJ LeMahieu, were a combined 0-17. They created a huge void in the middle of the Yankees lineup. That is something that Boone, as the manager, needs to address. He could have sat one of them. He could have pinch hit for one of them. He didn't. You could say that Boone has no answers in these situations. I prefer to think that he always has answers, they are just the wrong ones. It's as if he puts the answers to his Math test on this French test paper, and the French test answers on the Math test paper.

 

I don't understand the whole business of having Juan Soto lurk in the dugout as if he were about to be used as a pinch hitter. If Boone was going to use him, he should have used him. If he wasn't going to use Soto because of the problem with his forearm, he should have left him on the bench. It was farcical. It reminded me of when Boone went through that whole charade of having Deivi Garcia start a playoff game against the Rays a few years ago, just so he could bring someone else in and mess up the Rays. That didn't work either. When Boone tries to outsmart people and get cute, it's like watching Don Knotts try to get tough with someone. It doesn't work.

 

Aaron Judge and Juan Soto are having MVP caliber seasons. Alex Verdugo has been very good, and Anthony Volpe is developing into an excellent player. Unfortunately, the lineup has nine spots in it, not four. The Yankees need contributions from everyone in the lineup. If they don't get those contributions, they will not win consistently. Yes, I know they have the best record in Baseball but, when the games get more important, they will lose because of managerial ineptitude and holes in the lineup. They cannot win with Rizzo, Stanton, Torres, and LeMahieu clogging up the middle of the lineup like a hunk of cholesterol clogging up an artery.  I'm not saying they have to jettison all of them but, they can't keep all of them either. 

 

The Yankees need to make some moves. Until they get new players in, Boone needs to figure out a better way to use the people who are here. Sitting Rizzo might not be the worst idea ever. It seems that his concussion last year may have affected him more seriously than we thought. He is not the player he once was. He is no longer an effective hitter, and his defense has suffered. I know the Yankees promoted Ben Rice to AAA but, they need to do something now. It's not just Rizzo. The other batters I mentioned are no better. However, we have seen this from Boone before. He will trot out his players no matter what. He did it with IKF and he's doing it again.

 

It's great to sweep the Twins in May and June but, they don't let you ride on a float into the Canyon of Heroes for that. The Yankees need to find a way to win the big games. That is going to require them to make changes. They need to change some of the players and how they're used, and they may very well need to change the manager. I doubt they will do that. So, they will most likely be watching the World Series on television just like all of us.

 

Next Up – 

Tonight, the Yankees play the second game of the three-game series against the Dodgers at 7:35 PM at Yankee Stadium. Nestor Cortes (3-4, 3.47 ERA) will face the Dodger’s Gavin Stone, (6-2, 2.90 ERA). Let’s hope Gavin sinks like a Stone.

13 Comments


Melfman1
Melfman1
5 days ago

This team can’t keep trotting out Stanton & Rizzo as protection behind Judge (in the 4th/5th spots in the lineup). Stanton is batting .175 over his last 15 games and Rizzo is .123 over that period (not counting tonight’s game). At least Stanton had 4 homers in that period, Rizzo has 2 homers over 30 games and a .191 average. Abysmal!

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
5 days ago

ESPN.com reports that Boone said Soto was unavailable last night and dodged a question about whether he was a decoy in the dugout.

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jjw49
5 days ago

Middle of lineup....0-17 and that ladies and gentlemen was where this game was lost! Manager didn't help but still the Yankees had chances to win this game.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
5 days ago

Hey, if you're in Northern New Jersey - Come to the Passaic County Book Festival in Clifton.


I'll be there. Stop by and say hello! :)

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
5 days ago

Regarding Grisham and bunting...


Wasn't Boone's big takeaway from 2023 that the Yankees needed to bunt more? Wasn't that what Hal Steinbrenner said in a big press conference last fall?


"We're going to get better at bunting." The Yankees seemed all proud that Boonie thought of that.


And then, the worst hitter on the team, the one guy of them all who should have worked on bunting, the manager's great idea, the brilliant new strategy, didn't know how to bunt.


Doesn't that say volumes about how the Yankees operate?


They say things, "BUNT!" but it seems they don't mean them - or work on them or whatever.


The Yankees seem to be a club that has great talent, some of…


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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
5 days ago
Replying to

What's particularly weird is that Grisham had 7 sacrifices in 2022, and 4 last year, so he is capable of bunting. Why he popped two attempts foul is mystifying. Great, unbuntable pitches? Lack of practice? Deterioration of basic skills? Time to dust off The King and I quote.

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