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.
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.
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.
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.
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.