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  • Tim Kabel

About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Lost to the Blue Jays Again 5-2

By Tim Kabel

August 21, 2022

***

The Yankees lost yet another series yesterday. This is the sixth straight series they have lost this season. They have not done that since 1995.The 1995 team used it as a rallying point and turned their season around to make the playoffs. I don't know about you, but I do not have confidence that this group will do the same thing. This season, it would be a matter of holding on to a playoff spot but, that is starting to slip away.


The Yankees have lost 14 of their last 17 games and are 12 and 25 in their last 37 games. Yet somehow, in his post-game press conference, Aaron Boone said that they have only had a tough stretch of 12 games. He claimed that other than that, the team had been doing great. Boone minimizing the problem is certainly not going to help. The Yankees have been mediocre for a lot more than 12 games. He became angry and animated during the press conference, raising his voice and slamming his hand on the table. Unfortunately, his message was misdirected; he does not need to get tough with Meredith Marakovits to motivate her. I doubt she will hit a big home run tomorrow. Boone was angry and frustrated at the reporters for asking these questions but, that's part of the job. When they were on the tremendous winning streak they had earlier in the year, Boone was glib, funny, the life of the party. He was a regular Wink Martindale. Now, he's frustrated, angry, and irritated with the questions he is being asked. Unless he figures things out, he won't have to worry about it next year.

Quick Stats:

  • Aaron Judge entered the game in a 2-24 slump and had gone seven games without a home run. It’s impossible to deliver every day, especially with no support in the lineup.

  • Vladimir Guerrero entered the game batting .381 against Gerrit Cole.

  • The Yankees have scored 19 runs in their last ten games. The last time they had a stretch of sustained ineptitude like that was in 1990. Stump Merrill was the manager. Perhaps he and Aaron Boone can summer together in Maine next year, like Katherine Hepburn and the Fondas in On Golden Pond.

  • Bo Bichette made his 14th error at shortstop in the second inning, which is the fifth most in the majors.

  • In the third inning, Aaron Judge had his 700th career hit. Not to minimize Judge, who is a great player but that is 2,765 fewer than Derek Jeter. It's just another indicator of how great Jeter truly was. If you add Lou Gehrig’s career hits to Judge’s, Jeter still has more.

  • The Yankees scored 5.5 runs a game from April through July, leading MLB. In August, the Yankees are scoring 3.3 runs a game, which ranks 26th in MLB.

  • Yesterday was the 58th anniversary of the harmonica incident between Phil Linz and Yogi Berra. After that brouhaha on the bus, the 1964 team went on a roll and eventually made it to the World Series. I don't know if a similar event could happen with this team. The biggest difference is that Aaron Boone is no Yogi Berra. Perhaps someone could play the bagpipes on the next flight.

The Big Story:

At this point, you have to wonder which is the real Yankee team. Is it the team that got off to the tremendous start earlier in this year and had everyone believing they could win 122 games? Or is it this group that can't get out of its own way and loses series to virtually every team? If you match the Yankees since the All-Star Game up against any other team in the major leagues, they will come up short. They are only 1/2 game better than the Detroit Tigers. We used to look forward to games against the Baltimore Orioles, because they would seemingly be easy victories. Now, I bet the Orioles look forward to games against the Yankees. The Yankees lead over the Blue Jays is just seven games. Something needs to be done. The Influx of youth and energy with Oswaldo Cabrera and Estevan Florial has not hurt but, it isn't enough. This team finds new ways to lose every day. They have reverted to their 2021 form. The way they are playing now, they will lose their first playoff series.


Player of the Game:

Jose Trevino had two hits and scored a run.


Notable Performances:

Gleyber Torres hit a home run in the eighth inning. Aaron Judge and Oswaldo Cabrera made tremendous defensive plays in the game.


Better to Forget:

Just about everything else. The offense was invisible. Gerrit Cole imploded. To use a George Steinbrenner expression, “Albert Abreu spit the bit.” He was brought in to hold the Toronto Blue Jays at four runs but, he couldn't do it. I really don't understand Boone's fascination with using him.

My Take:

Earlier this year, the Toronto Blue Jays were struggling. They were a preseason selection of many pundits to make it to the World Series. Yet, they were trailing the Yankees by fifteen games and fighting with Tampa Bay, Boston, and surprisingly, Baltimore for second place. The ownership and management of the Blue Jays determined that the team’s performance was not good enough. So, they fired their manager. In mid-July, they replaced Charlie Montoyo with John Schneider. They had just signed Montoyo to an extension through the 2023 season with club options for 2024 and 2025. Yet, when ownership and management determined that the team wasn't going in the right direction, they made a change.


What is worse, a team not living up to expectations, or a team in the midst of a monumental collapse? I believe the collapse is worse. The Yankees were on a record-setting pace for the first half of the season. Now, they are a dreadful team that has lost six straight series. After yesterday’s loss, the Yankees had scored 21 runs over their last 11 games, while batting .178 as a team. Prior to that, the last time the Yankees scored so few runs while having such a low batting average over an 11-game stretch was in May 1914. Think about that. In other words, no one who is alive today was alive the last time the Yankees were this bad. (I’m sure my friend Roger is scouring the lists of residents of every rest home in the tristate area, just to prove me wrong).


Aaron Boone has no answers for the current crisis. He isn’t even sure what the questions are. He hasn't had any answers for years but now, his deficiencies are glaringly obvious. This team is crawling toward the playoffs. They have lost so much of their lead, that it is quite possible they won't even make the playoffs. I don't like suggesting someone should lose their job. However, this is sports, and managers and coaches are frequently hired to be fired. Many fans were against the idea of bringing Boone back after last season. Yet, the Yankees did it. It is not as if the 2022 Yankees were struggling to stay above water the whole season. They were not. They had the best record in baseball for most of the season. Now they do not. They are sinking like a stone in the standings. Something needs to be done.


If the Blue Jays fired their manager because the team was not living up to expectations, I think it makes sense for the Yankees to make a managerial change while they still have a chance to salvage a championship season. I truly doubt many Yankee fans have any confidence in Boone. He makes terrible in-game decisions. He often seems lost, confused or ot-of-touch. Even if the team straightens out and makes the playoffs or wins the division, Boone’s indecisive leadership and poor decision making will send them to an early exit. The Yankees need to make a managerial change before they head out on their West Coast trip which begins on Thursday. Otherwise, this team seems likely to complete a total collapse.


Next Up:

This afternoon, the Yankees play the last of four games against the Blue Jays at home at 1:35 PM. Toronto’s Alek Manoah (12-6 2.71 ERA) will face Nestor Cortes, Jr. (9-4 2.74 ERA) as the Yankees try to avoid being swept. It’s not too much to ask for a win from my favorite pitcher on my birthday, is it?

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