About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Lost in 11 Innings
About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Were Ambushed by the Rockies 8-7 in 11 Innings
By Tim Kabel
July 17, 2023
The Yankees concluded a three-game series against the Rockies to commence the nominal second half of the season yesterday with quite possibly their most demoralizing loss of the season. The Rockies are the worst team in the National League and are in last place. Oh, wait a minute, the Yankees are in last place too. They are officially the last-place Yankees. I know Aaron Boone likes to say that they are better than that but, they are not. I don't know what statistics he is using to come to that conclusion. He's probably using the same logic that Ied him to play Josh Donaldson on a regular basis prior to his injury. The Yankees are a gray cloud without a silver lining. The only potential silver lining would be the opportunity to play their young prospects but Aaron Boone is about as welcoming of them as Ebenezer Scrooge was of Christmas carolers. This was a dreadful game that the Yankees should not have lost. They are six games over .500 again. If by some miracle they made the playoffs, they would be gone in a blink of an eye.
The Yankees offense yesterday sounded like the title of a bad reality show: Nine Singles in the Rockies.
The Yankees are 4-5 against the Rockies, A's and Cardinals this season.
Gerrit Cole struck out 11 batters yesterday, passing Ron Guidry for the most games with 10 or more strikeouts in franchise history.
Anthony Rizzo has gone 40 games without a home run. Aaron Boone 's explanation for this the other day was: " Baseball is hard." That makes my hair hurt.
When Harrison Bader was thrown out at third base in the 10th inning, Aaron Boone began waving frantically at the umpire to review the play. Unfortunately, he was too late. He missed the cut off point to have the play reviewed. How could that happen? As Yul Brynner said in The King and I, “is a puzzlement."
The Yankees lost for the first time in franchise history when they had multiple leads of two or more runs in the eighth inning or later.
On July 16th, 1853, The New York Clipper published what is believed to be the first tabulated box score of a baseball game. The next day, my friend Roger sent them a corrected version.
The Yankees are a mediocre team at this point. They are losing to bad teams regularly, and in fact, have become a bad team themselves. I feel almost blasphemous by writing this, but it might be better for the Yankees to lose as many games as possible so that they truly fall out of the playoff race. I think it would be far worse if they barely made the playoffs and then simply lost in the first round in a humiliating fashion. This team needs to make changes. Replacing the hitting coach was a good first step but the manager and perhaps even the general manager need to go as well. There are several players who should be traded or released. They need to finally commit to more youngsters than just Anthony Volpe. They need to give several of their younger players an opportunity. If they get to the point where they have nothing to lose, they might just do that.
Player of the Day:
Oswaldo Cabrera was 2-3 with an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base. He was on base four out of five times. Now, he won't play for three days.
Gerrit Cole pitched six solid innings and left while winning the game. (It didn't last.)
Better to Forget:
Tommy Kahnle, Clay Holmes, Nick Ramirez. and Ron Marinaccio were all totally ineffective in relief.
I work in a job where the employees toil under a great amount of stress on a daily basis. The greatest compliment I ever received was when one of the young men I supervised told me that whenever he was in the middle of a crisis, all he had to do was look at me and he felt better. He knew that I would come up with a solution. That comment has helped me make it through many a day in my thirty years there.
I don't know if any of the Yankees' players would say something similar about Aaron Boone. If the game is getting out of hand and they look to him, they will find him staring off into space, spitting, blowing bubbles, or demanding that the umpires review a play that is either unreviewable, or for which the window to review it has closed.
Aaron Boone was a dubious choice to be the Yankees' manager in the first place. The hope was that he would grow into the job. He has not grown; he has shrunk. He is certainly not part of the solution. Rather, he is a major part of the problem.
The team is struggling and could certainly benefit from some young blood. In yesterday's game, Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza provided sparks. Yet, I am fairly certain that one or both of them will be riding the bench tonight in favor of Billy McKinney, Franchy Cordero, DJ LeMahieu or IKF. Boone continues to trot out the same tired, worn-out veterans or reclamation projects. He claims that he makes the lineup decisions. So, we will have to go with that. He is choosing poorly.
The Yankees do not need to trade more prospects for marginal major leaguers in the hopes of squeaking into the playoffs. They should only acquire players who are potential long-term contributors. They should take long, hard looks at their own younger players to see what they have.
Josh Donaldson should not play another game for the New York Yankees. It is likely that he will be on the IL for quite some time. He should finish the season there. They should not simply plug DJ LeMahieu into his spot. It makes no sense to bring up Oswald Peraza to make him a bench player. He made an excellent defensive play yesterday. He can handle third base. He should play the majority of the games there for the rest of the year.
The Yankees should bring up Estevan Florial or Everson Pereira and play one of them in the outfield regularly. They should play Oswaldo Cabrera in right field until Aaron Judge returns.
Albert Abreu, Nick Ramirez, and Franchy Cordero should be released. If the Yankees can trade DJ LeMahieu, either of their catchers, Wandy Peralta, and possibly Giancarlo Stanton, they should do so. They need to turn the roster over. If they are bowled over with offers for Harrison Bader, he could be traded as well and then re-signed as a free agent in the offseason. At this point, they should only trade Gleyber Torres if they could acquire someone to play either third base or second base, with the knowledge that Oswald Peraza would fill the other position.
The Yankees are not in a position where they need to totally rebuild the team. Aaron Judge will return. Nestor Cortes will return. They need to evaluate their own young players and rid the team of fading players who are locked into long-term contracts. They do not need to be saddled with aging veterans who are no longer able to contribute.
Releasing Aaron Hicks was the first step. Now that Josh Donaldson is on the IL and may never return, that is another example of addition by subtraction. Yet, there is more work to be done.
Turning shortstop over to Anthony Volpe was a good decision. Now they need to add Oswald Peraza to the infield. Oswaldo Cabrera should get a legitimate chance to play, the same way that Volpe has. Whenever Cabrera has a solid game, he rides the bench for two days, or perhaps three afterward. That is not how you develop young talent. Although it is how Boone develops young talent, which shows why he has never done so effectively.
We may have to ride out the season with Boone as the manager but, if things continue as they are going, his dismissal will be inevitable. One way or another, change needs to occur.
Tonight, the Yankees open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels at 9:38 PM at Angel Stadium. Luis Severino (1-4 7.38 ERA) will face the Angel's Griffin Canning (6-4 4.62 ERA). (Griffin Canning sounds like the factory where Great Aunt Tilly worked during the war.)