About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Drubbed the A's 10-4
by Tim Kabel
June 30, 2023
The Yankees wrapped up a three-game series against Oakland in impressive fashion, beating the A's 10-4, and winning the series. This was a game and a series they had to win. Ideally, they should have swept the series against Oakland, which has only won 21 games all year. But things happen. At least, they won the series.
The Yankees are now 45-36 for the season; that works out to exactly 90 wins over a full year. Unfortunately, they won't be playing Oakland for the entire season. After Wednesday's perfect game by Domingo German, this could have been a game in which the Yankees let down their guard and lost. Thankfully, it was not. They need to carry that momentum into this weekend's series against the Cardinals. The Cardinals are not a great team this year. but they are better than the Oakland A's. Then again, the SSTN All-Stars are better than the Oakland A's.
Quick Stats -
Clarke Schmidt spoiled any chance of back-to-back perfect games by giving up a lead off hit to Tony Kemp.
The Yankees scored 21 runs and had 24 hits in the last two games against Oakland. That equaled their output for about the previous six weeks.
The starting pitcher for Oakland was named Hogan Harris. Apparently, his parents were big Richard Dawson and Bob Crane fans. Normally, I would work in a remark comparing Aaron Boone to Sergeant Schultz, but the Yankees won, so I will let it go.
Anthony Volpe had multi-hit games in all three games against Oakland. He really seems to be turning things around.
During the game, the YES network showed a fan dressed as a giant “A”. Apparently, he is a man of letters.
Jose Trevino was the only starter not to have a hit. It looks like he won't be a repeat All-Star this season.
On June 29th, 1905, Moonlight Graham made his Major League debut for the New York Giants, playing the outfield but never getting to bat. He never played in the Majors again after that. Someone should make a movie about that.
The Big Story -
In boxing, champions or up and coming fighters often pad their records and position themselves for big fights by beating up on lesser opponents or journeymen, who are just kicking around, trying to make a living. These fighters are generally referred to as “tomato cans”.
On March 24th, 1975, Muhammad Ali faced Chuck Wepner, a former nightclub bouncer who was considered to be a washed-up contender with a mediocre record. His nickname was “The Bayonne Bleeder”. Muhammad Ali was "The Greatest" and had just reclaimed the heavyweight championship from George Foreman and was looking for an easy fight.
Instead of an easy fight, Ali had a long night on his hands. Wepner actually had a controversial knock down of Ali in the ninth round. The fight did not end until Ali scored a TKO in the final seconds of the 15th round. This fight actually inspired the first of the 87 Rocky films.
The Oakland A's were supposed to be the tomato can for the Yankees in this series. Unfortunately, after Oakland won 2-1 on Tuesday night, this series was beginning to look like the Ali-Wepner fight. Thankfully, the Yankees overpowered Oakland over the next two games, by a combined score of 21-4. This is what they need to do for the rest of the season, and especially until Aaron Judge returns.
Player of the Day -
Isiah Kiner-Falefa had two hits, including a home run and drove in three runs.
Notable Performances -
Harrison Bader was 3-4. Gleyber Torres and Anthony Volpe had two hits each.
Better to Forget-
That they were playing Oakland. Let's just take it for what it was and move on.
My Take -
Normally, I would write something about the Yankees' victory yesterday afternoon, especially one that was so lopsided. However, I would like to address the perfect game pitched by Domingo German on Wednesday night. There have been only 24 perfect games in Major League Baseball history. There have been 4four pitched by men wearing the New York Yankees' uniform.
Under different circumstances, the feat accomplished by German would receive universal accolades. That was not the case on Wednesday night and afterward. In 2019, German was suspended for 81 games for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy. For many fans, this makes rooting for German impossible.
It would be easy not to write about this. However, the issue exists and needs to be addressed. In my day job, I have actually interviewed both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence many times over the past 30 years. It is something that needs to be taken very seriously. I know that firsthand, having been in a position to address this issue professionally for many years.
Domingo German committed a horrible act four years ago. He was suspended and he addressed his issue in treatment. His victim at the time was his girlfriend. They subsequently married and have three children. His wife has obviously forgiven him and there have been no known reports of a recurrence of the issue.
I believe in a zero-tolerance approach to the issue of domestic violence. However, I also believe in rehabilitation. There are innumerable programs and agencies designed to work with both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. If we as a society don't believe in rehabilitation and forgiveness, why do these programs exist? Why would Major League Baseball have suspensions as opposed to lifetime bans?
You can only make peace with your enemies, and you can only forgive those who made mistakes. If no mistakes were made, there would be no need for forgiveness. I also don't believe that the issue should be forgotten or ignored. Domingo German was, is, and always will be a perpetrator of domestic violence. Although he was never criminally charged, he committed the act in front of witnesses. You can't change the facts. He is clearly flawed. Who among us is not?
Domingo German served his suspension and has seemingly rehabilitated himself. I believe we can view him as a a flawed man who made a terrible mistake but has moved forward from it. He has bettered himself as far as any of us know. We can view him as both a perpetrator of domestic violence and a man who pitched a perfect game, something only 23 other people have done. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.To ignore or minimize either one of those facts does German, his family, and all of us a disservice. Domingo German deserves all the accolades that would accompany a perfect game, just as he deserved all the scorn that would accompany an episode of domestic violence. He is an imperfect man who pitched a perfect game.
Next Up -
Tonight, the Yankees open a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at 8:15 PM at Busch Stadium. Luis Severino (1-2 5.25 ERA) will face the Cardinal's Liberatore (1-2 5.60 ERA). I wonder if Liberatore gives up many free passes?