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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

About Last Night: Yanks Lose, Back To .500

By Paul Semendinger

September 21, 2023


There are only ten games remaining in the 2023 Yankees season. I'll begin this article by writing something some readers might view as unacceptable for a Yankees fan to say:

I hope the Yankees finish under .500 for the season. Wins at this point mean nothing. They don't take away the previous months of this long and bad season. The 2023 Yankees are a bad team that has played badly. They've had no heart. They were built poorly. They have had no answers. There have been bad decisions from the start and right up through last night. If the Yankees somehow finish at, or above, .500, there are fans who will say, "You know what, in spite of it all, they won more than they lost." Worse, the Yankees will consider the season, somehow, a success at some level And, the truth is... it just wasn't a success. It was a miserable season. It was horrible. It was one of the worst seasons I have ever been through as a fan. I don't want there to be any way that anyone can say there were aspects of this season that were successful. There weren't. At all. The Yankees have a lot of work to do this winter. I believe they need to see the reality of what they built in order to get down to the serious business of fixing this franchise.

Last night, the Blue Jays scored a run, a fluke run at that, in the third inning (see the Player of the Game below) and from that point the score remained 1-0 until the Yankees' bullpen (Tommy Kahnle and Ian Hamilton) gave up a bunch more (two in the eighth, three in the ninth) to put the game out of reach.

The Yankees scored in the ninth inning when Austin Wells clubbed his first big league homer.

Final Score: Blue Jays 6, Yankees 1

The Yankees managed only 5 hits, two of them coming in the ninth inning. The Yankees, going back to the previous game, went 17 innings of play without scoring a run. In the game last night, the Yankees struck out 14 more times.

Quick Stats:

  • Michael King: 7 ip, 5 hits, 0 walks, 13 strikeouts, 1 run

  • Ian Hamilton: 1 inning, 4 hits, 2 walks, 3 runs

  • Tommy Kahnle: 2 outs recorded, 4 walks allowed

  • Giancarlo Stanton: 0-for-4. He is batting .188 on the season.

  • Austin Wells and Oswaldo Cabrera each had two hits

  • Anthony Volpe went 0-for-4 and is batting just .208 on the season. (Shouldn't he have come around a bit more by now? His batting average in September is .136. If there is any September statistic that is concerning - that is it. By now, Anthony Volpe should have shown improvement. Instead in the season's final weeks, he regressed.)

Player of the Game:

Michael King pitched great. The only run that scored off him came on a ball he knocked down but couldn't get to with a runner on third who scored since the play came with two outs. (Both runners reached base with two out singles before the run scoring play.) King has shown that he can be a very effective starter. He need not show it again. If I ran the Yankees, his season would be over. He threw 101 pitches in the game. There is nothing more for Michael King to prove in 2023. It's time to look to 2024 and not risk anything. Why would I like to see him shut down? Here are Michael King's recent MLB seasons by games and innings pitched:

  • 2021: 22 games, 63.1 innings

  • 2022: 34 games, 51.0 innings

  • 2023: 47 games, 94.1 innings

Why push him any further? There is no point, at all. Let him rest the ol' arm and come back next year as a favorite to win a spot in the starting rotation. With the Yankees' injury problems, and the bad way so many have been handled, it makes no sense to push him any further. Shut him down.

Better To Forget:

Tommy Kahnle came in and walked four batters, threw two wild pitches, and gave up a run in just 2/3 of an inning. Then Ian Hamilton came in and walked a guy, and that brought in another run (charged to Kahnle). Hamilton pitched even worse in the ninth inning.

Other Notes:

Former Yankee Chad Green pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the Jays.

Austin Wells needs just 713 more home runs to catch Babe Ruth's career total.

My Take:

This game was on Amazon or Apple or something; I have no clue which one. Many fans couldn't see it, and I am certain they are all very very glad. Maybe the Yankees should simply take away the pain from the fans and put all the games behind a paywall for the rest of the season. They obviously don't wish to be accessible to all their fans. Bluntly, the product they've provided isn't watchable anyway. I listened to this one on the radio and John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman were incredulous at how poorly the Yankees were doing from their inability to hit or score runs to the five walks they allowed in the eighth inning. It's ugly.

Aaron Boone got tossed again for yelling at the umpires. What a tired and boring act. Wow. Look at him. Aaron Boone can say the F-word. Good for him. Let's go on-line and watch him swear again and again. Tomorrow Boone can say he's embarrassed when asked about it. Is he really embarrassed? I doubt it. We have seen this act before. But, then again, yelling at umpires seems to be his only notable skill. The only thing the Yankees lead the league in is manager ejections. What a season.

Up Next:

Gerrit Cole pitches tonight to close out this home series with the Blue Jays. The game will begin at 7:05 and will be on the YES Network.



CAsHMORON is the boss. Until he's gone nothing changes. Cosmetic changes at best. Hal is a wimp. Sorry George but your son doesn't know which end of the bat to use. No streaming for me. 2024 potential disaster.



Paul all these terrific prospects who were untouchable at the trade line for years are not capable to hit ML pitching. Their batting averages are terrible and fielding is average

Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger

And more!!! But, again, that group was supposed to be part of the great era we're supposed to be living in. All praised Cashman for his brilliance in getting those guys. It didn't work. It's been a long long time since it worked...



Paul: The thing that concerns me the most is Volpe batting .136 in September. I agree that by now he should be showing improvement, not regression. One good to come out of the game was King's performance. And I agree he should have pitched his last game this year. Rest him up for 2024.



14 strike outs, 5 hits. Not much more to say.


Alan B.
Alan B.

Over the last several years, it is clear MLB is singling the Yankees out for yelling at the umpires. I've watched and listened to other teams fo it, but they have more of a rope. Remember, it was revealed that the edict was handed down to shut the Yankees up. Maybe it has something to do with the Aaron Judge strike zone? Remember, the umpires are bad, but they all get to keep their jobs, not have their jobs on the line.

I still don't see a a new approach to hitting from the athletics. Still swinging hard, taking too many pitches when they have a 2 stroke count in them then incredulous when they rarely swing and get rung…

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman

Oh for crying out loud, as one might say, it's not a simplistic dichotomy between being able to bunt and being able to swing away successfully.

Moreover, that a bunt would be a bad play a majority of the time does not alter the fact that it's a good play a minority of the time, whether it's leading off an inning against a shift or moving a runner in a tie or one-run game. There is literally no excuse for anyone who isn't Aaron Judge to not practice bunting, and every single day until they become proficient at it.

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