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  • Tim Kabel

About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Fell to the Padres 5-2

About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Fell to the Padres 5-2

By Tim Kabel

May 27, 2024

***

The Yankees won the series against the Padres but, lost the chance to sweep it with a sloppy, poorly played game. As we all know, you can't win every game but, this had the feel of a game the Yankees could and should have won. However, shoddy fielding, base running blunders, and ineffective relief pitching combined to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. It is just one game, and the Yankees are still 19 games over .500 and have the best record in the American League. However, the thing about the games that are “just one game” is that eventually they may add up to a lot of games.

 

Quick Stats – 

 

·       Prior to yesterday's game, Aaron Judge became the only player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 home runs and 12 doubles over a 20-game stretch.

 

·       Anthony Volpe has a 19-game hitting streak, the longest since Derek Jeter’s 19- game streak in 2012. Volpe joins Joe DiMaggio as the only Yankees’ hitters with streaks of at least 19 games at age 23 or younger.

 

·       The starting rotation’s steak of scoreless innings ended at 30 1/3.

 

·       The Yankees’ 4-game winning streak was snapped.

 

·       Gleyber Torres made his team-leading seventh error of the season. 

 

·       On May 26. 2006, Derek Jeter became just the 8th player in Yankees’ history to record 2000 hits.

 

The Big Story – 

The Yankees may very likely have at least forty wins by the end of the month. They are winning at a tremendous pace. However, they are only two games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. I don't think the Orioles are going anywhere. They will be on the Yankees’ heels or possibly ahead of them throughout the season. The Yankees cannot afford to lose games due to sloppy play, poor fielding, and mental mistakes. The cracks in the bullpen are becoming more evident. All these areas can be addressed and need to be. Despite these flaws, the Yankees are still in first place and have the best record in the American League. However, as my mother always used to say when she looked at my report card, there is always room for improvement. One year, I proudly handed her a report card with straight A's. She looked at it, peered over her glasses at me and asked, “They don't give out an A+ anymore?”

 

Player of the Game – 

Juan Soto continued his hot hitting with an RBI double in the 6th inning, temporarily giving the Yankees the lead.

 

Notable Performance –

Clarke Schmidt was not spectacular but, left the game after pitching five innings with a 1-0 lead. Poor defense and shoddy relief pitching cost him the win.

 

Better to Forget – 

Victor Gonzalez, Dennis Santana, and Caleb Ferguson were shaky in relief.

 

My Take –  

The Yankees are in first place and did win this series against the Padres. However, there are some concerns. The team has flaws.

 

Gleyber Torres continues to be shaky and unfocused on defense. He does not exhibit great instincts for the game. He was picked off first base in the second inning after getting a hit. His seventh error of the season in the 6th inning opened the floodgates for the Padres and led to the loss. He has improved somewhat offensively lately but, he is still batting slightly above .220 and has fewer than 20 RBI.  He has essentially stamped his ticket out of town at the end of the season and may well be gone before then. He is approaching the point where removing him may become addition by subtraction. The Yankees probably could not get much for him in a trade but at this point, it might be best for all concerned for him to go elsewhere. The Yankees may decide to bring up Oswald Peraza or even Caleb Durbin, once he returns from the IL to take over at second base.

 

The bullpen is beginning to show its weaknesses. Again, when your only strategy is to acquire cast-offs and reclamation projects, that is not a recipe for success. It is fine to do it in moderation and as part of an overall plan but when that becomes your only plan, it is a problem. Yoendrys Gomez could play a role if the Yankees keep him around. I would rather see him in the bullpen than Michael Tonkin, Victor Gonzalez, or even Dennis Santana. I think he would be an upgrade over any of those three. That's how you improve the bullpen, one step at a time. However, I will not be surprised to see Gomez shuttled back to Scranton when Ian Hamilton returns from the COVID IL.

 

As I have stated multiple times, along with many others, Aaron Boone has a propensity to make the wrong move at the wrong time. It's sort of like Murphy's Law. “Whatever move Boone makes in a close game, will be the wrong one.” When the team is flying high and winning by six runs, his moves don't really matter. But in games like yesterday's, they do.

 

Replacing Torres and upgrading the bullpen are relatively easy moves to make. Boone-proofing is a bit more problematic. The only acceptable formula seems to be to build up large enough leads in individual games and in the standings to create a buffer for the blunders that Boone will inevitably make. I know there are folks out there who believe that Boone is not the one making the decisions and that he has no responsibility for any of the miscues that he makes. Well, there are still people who believe that the earth is flat as well. Aaron Boone repeatedly says that he is the manager and that he makes the decisions. Short of hooking him up to a polygraph, there is really no way to dispute what he is saying. He is not a good manager. He never was. He never will be. It may be possible for the team to win a World Series with him at the helm but, it is extremely unlikely. The Yankees need to win in spite of him, not because of him. That is the whole point and basis of the theory of Boone-proofing.

 

Next Up – 

On Tuesday, the Yankees open a three-game series against the LA Angels at 9:38 PM at Angel Stadium. Nestor Cortes, (3-4, 3.29 ERA) will face the Angels’ Griffin Canning, (2-4, 5.05 ERA). Griffin Canning?  That’s where my mother worked during World War II.

21 Comments


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
May 28

Just read some great news: Angel Hernandez is retiring immediately. MLB umpiring will be somewhat less disgraceful starting tomorrow.

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jeff
May 28
Replying to

This is the first good call Angel Hernandez has made as an umpire.

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Len
Len
May 27

Yanks could tolerate Torres, if he could hit like his second year. With 38 home runs, the team could afford his defense. Those days are gone, and he is now an anchor, dragging the team down. Beside the errors, there are too many plays he should make, which he doesn't. If they can't trade him NOW, I'd sit him and find someone else. It shouldn't be difficult to find someone better. He simply doesn't have good baseball instincts.

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
May 27
Replying to

Gleyber Torres has played the most innings at second base this year, 472.1. He is -3 in Defensive Runs Saved. Among the 23 players with 300 or more innings at second base this year, that puts him as tied for 5th worst with Nico Hoerner and Luis Garcia, ahead of only Jeff McNeil, Ozzie Albies and Jonathan India (-4), and Thairo Estrada (-5). Of Torres and his five defensive "peers," their OPS+ are: Garcia 119, Hoerner 110, Albies 103, Estrada 98, McNeil 94, India 83, Torres 79. So there you have it: Among the six worst defensive second basemen in baseball, Gleyber Torres is the worst hitter. Imagine how bad he'd be if he weren't playing for a contract.

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Alan B.
Alan B.
May 27

How can you change things up, when the GM constructs the roster, tells the manager either directly or indirectly, simply because of who's on the roster for the manager to use? Can you really bench a player, when there really is no true backup for him on the bench? GMs today would rather have a 7th and 8th reliever than a 5th or even 6th player on the bench? Who can really a manager use when the positional backup available to him is really a utility player, or a pitcher who really has no business being on a 40 man roster in AAA, forget about on a major league roster? Really, what are guys like Clayton Andrews or Jake Cou…

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Alan B.
Alan B.
May 27
Replying to

The extra arms are not for the best. Unable to pinch run, pinch hit, or sit a slumping player for a few days. Remember how hot Didi was in April 2018, culminating with his HR @Angels on that Friday night? Well he went something 9-84, but had to keep playing because there was no one behind him. The extra arms, are not extra the way the geeks have re-designed, they need to pitch in real, game deciding moments, and those guys usually have options so they ride to MLB/AAA shuttle all season long.

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fuster
May 27

it's a game such as this that insure that the Yankees hardly ever have an undefeated season

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yankeesblog
May 27

If Schmidt doesn't want his wins blown by "shoddy relief pitching" he can pitch deeper into games. He has to learn to be more efficient and not use > 90 pitches to get through 5 innings.

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jeff
May 27
Replying to

With Gil and Cortes, it makes a lot of sense that they would pitch better with Jose Trevino. I think it helps a lot with communication between pitcher and catcher when they can communicate easily with one another in their native language, in their case, Spanish. While Cortes and Trevino also speak fluent English, being able to communicate in their natural Spanish language has to help a lot.

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