About The Doubleheader Split
by Paul Semendinger
September 15, 2023
About Yesterday's Doubleheader:
In the first game, the Red Sox won 5-0. This was a game that saw Michael King pitch well enough, and saw the Yankees completely fail offensively. The Yankees went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Aaron Judge, Austin Wells, Anthony Volpe, Jake Bauers, and Everson Pereira all went hitless in that game. Matt Bowman gave up three runs in just one inning of work (a Trevor Story three run blast) as the game got out of hand in the bottom of the eighth.
In the second game, some uninspired play by the Yankees led to the Red Sox taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but in the second inning, the Yankees roared back highlighted by a grand slam homer from Aaron Judge. It was Judge's first homer in 10 games. The Red Sox came back, bit by bit, to tie it at 5-5. Then, in the top of the eighth, D.J. LeMahieu, with two outs, drove home the Yankees' sixth run. In the top of the ninth, Oswald Peraza hit a loud homer to put the game away.
The Yankees are now 74-73 on the season.
Since entering the lineup after coming off the disabled list, Aaron Judge is batting
The Red Sox walked Aaron Judge three times in the second game.
Judge has 32 home runs on the season.
Anthony Volpe made two throwing errors in the second game.
As a team, the Yankees were batting just .215 heading into the double header since Sean Casey took over as the hitting coach.
Michael King (Game 1): 4.2 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 8 strikeouts
Clarke Schmidt (Game 2): 5.1 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
The Big Stories:
In my opinion, the big story took place before the first game. At that time, the Red Sox announced that they fired their head of baseball operations Chaim Bloom. It seems that some teams feel that finishing in last or close to last isn't acceptable. Now, to be fair, the Red Sox haven't been good in a few years, but, going back to mid-2022, neither have the Yankees.
For years, not just this year, the Yankees have had a flawed approach to offense. They have been far too right handed, they have too many big swingers, they look to crush the ball with every swing (this is a little hyperbolic, but not much), they don't have a two-strike approach, they mostly care about exit velocity and launch angle and score only when they hit home runs (again a little, but not too much, hyperbole). For years this approach has been criticized here, and simply put, that criticism has been proven fair and very accurate. Even in the win, the big blasts came via the long ball - the Yankees had trouble scoring otherwise. When Brian Cashman claims that no one saw this disaster of a season coming, he is wrong. Many saw it coming. Hal Steinbrenner once said (i believe) that he doesn't read about the Yankees or listen to talk radio. Maybe he should start reading and listening. It's one thing to be clueless. It's another thing to be purposefully ignorant. Being informed doesn't mean that you take everything you hear as the truth, it means keeping an open mind and listening to all perspectives, not just the ones from the people in your own organization. It's been a long year for the Yankees. A lot of the problems they've faced have been clearly on the horizon for years.
In the first inning, we saw that Giancarlo Stanton can't throw. There was a single to left field (in Fenway Park!) and Stanton, playing left, had no throw to the plate. Remember, before the season, when the Yankees actually tried to convince the fans that Giancarlo Stanton could be an outfielder? It's sad, but the man has nothing left. He can't run. He can't throw. He doesn't hit. So many looked at the (very) limited Statcast or Fangraph numbers and tried to make an argument that Stanton was still a good fielder. The eye test knew better. He isn't. If the Yankees thought he was, they were delusional. If they still think he is, there is really no hope for this team going forward.
Jasson Dominguez will have Tommy John surgery next Wednesday. I believe too many people (almost everybody) are being too cavalier about this. "He'll be back by July," they say. They also say, "He'll be fine." All of that is easy to say. It's also not their body that the surgeon is cutting into. Every surgery is not a success. I hope Dominguez comes back. I hope he's fine, but this is serious, much more serious than most are making it out to be.
Player(s) of the Games:
Game 1: Michael King (he did well enough as he slowly transitions to being a starter), Gleyber Torres 2-for-4 (2 doubles)
Game 2: Aaron Judge. His grand slam was the difference, even if the Red Sox did tie the game up.
Zach McAllister is my new favorite Yankee. The man toiled in the minors for a lifetime. He was there forever. He hadn't pitched in the big leagues since 2018, yet he persevered. The smile on his face the other night as he made it all the way back to the Major Leagues was priceless.
My Take and Up Next:
It has not been a fun season, but when baseball ends, I am always sad. The Yankees begin a three game series with the Pirates (in Pittsburgh) tomorrow. Gerrit Cole will pitch and hopefully help his case for the A.L. Cy Young Award.
There are only 15 games left in the 2024 season.
As we begin to think about the off-season, it is my hope that the outside organization the Yankees might hire works quickly and addresses the many problems with this team. Most notably should be the fact that the baseball people themselves can't see the problems. Isn't that a red flag? Doesn't that say volumes? The people in charge have to hire other people to tell them what they're doing wrong. Isn't that an inditement of the baseball people who make the decisions in the first place? Shouldn't they know what went wrong?
Experts: "You need left-handed power."
Cashman: "Really. Wow. We never thought of that."
Experts: "When a guy has head trauma you don't play him for nine weeks."
Boone: "My goodness. Man, you guys are good. I never knew that."
Experts: "If you try to win with a bunch of left fielders, none of whom are good, you won't. Since you have big money tied up in big contracts, you can't think that you can fix that by not getting a left fielder. Sometimes you need to spend even more."
Steinbrenner: "The things you learn. I'm glad we hired you."
The fact that the Yankees need to hire experts to try to fix this says that the people in charge don't know how to fix it. That means the people in charge need to go. Isn't that obvious on its face?
However it plays out, I hope the experts can help the Yankees fix the problems so that 2024 will be a much more enjoyable season. The Yankees wasted Aaron Judge's best season in 2022. In 2023, they wasted Gerrit Cole's. The window when these two players are at the top of their games is closing. If the Yankees expect Judge and Cole to be big parts of a championship team, they'll need to build that team for 2024. I just don't see how they can right now without major changes that will be very expensive.