About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Lost to the Oakland A’s 4-1
by Tim Kabel
August 29, 2022
The Oakland A’s purged their roster of virtually all proven major league talent this year. Yet, the Yankees managed to make three of their four starting pitchers look like Cy Young Award contenders as they split this four-game series. On Saturday night, the Yankees had only one hit, and that was from rookie Oswaldo Cabrera. Sunday, they managed four hits and one run. The Yankees are limping toward the playoffs. It seemed like they might be out of their funk when they had a five-game winning streak earlier last week, but they then proceeded to lose the last two games. The Yankees simply cannot extract themselves from the swamp of mediocrity in which they are wallowing. They are almost assured a playoff spot but, it is hard to have any confidence they will last very long in the postseason.
Aroldis Chapman is on the IL due to an infected tattoo. Mr. Roarke never had that problem.
Yesterday's game had participation by players named Bard and Puk, Was I watching baseball or Shakespeare in the Park?
Quick Stats -
Entering yesterday’s game, the Yankees’ starting pitchers had an ERA of 1.38 over their previous six starts.
Saturday’s game was the 12th time the 2022 Yankees had more runs than hits, which is the most since 1951.
The Yankees entered yesterday’s game having won five of their last six games but, they still have only won 9 games in August.
The Yankees lead the major leagues in walk-off wins with 13. Unfortunately, they also lead the majors in walk-off losses, with 9.
The Yankees are 7-7 in extra-inning games.
Andrew Benintendi is batting .303, which is third in the American League.
Yesterday was Ron Guidry’s 72nd birthday, Mike Torrez’s 76th, and Lou Piniella’s 79th.
Big Story -
At this point, it would appear the primary difference between last year's team and this year's team is that this season, the Yankees got off to a tremendous start before they slipped into mediocrity. Last year, they struggled to make the playoffs before losing in the first round. This year, they will sputter and stagger their way into the playoffs before losing in the first round. Is it worse to be mediocre the entire season or to tease your fans with excellence before pulling the rug out from under them? As the song lyric goes, “a taste of honey is worse than none at all.” Yankee fans can feel justifiably hoodwinked, bamboozled, and hornswoggled as the team drifts further and further away from the championship level of baseball that they played earlier in the year, like Wilson floating off in Castaway.
Player of the Game -
Greg Weissert bounced back from his miserable Major League debut on Thursday by pitching two hitless innings and striking out three batters.
Notable Performances -
Nobody really stood out yesterday.
Better to Forget-
Just about everything. The offense was nonexistent. Clark Schmidt was not very good. The defense was not sparkling. It was an uninspiring effort all around.
My Take -
I was a history major in college, and I taught history in high school many years ago. I still love history and when I can, I read about it. Let me just say Harry Truman was not one of my favorite presidents. However, he was feisty, and the fact that he had the sign that read “The buck stops here” on his desk spoke to his character. I may not have agreed with his decisions or his style but, the fact that he was a leader was beyond dispute. If Aaron Boone were to have a sign on his desk, it would read “The bubble blows here.” In the top of the 9th inning, with the game on the line, the camera cut to Aaron Boone, and he was blowing a bubble the size of a hot air balloon.
In my most recent article, I advocated replacing Aaron Boone before it was too late. Within days, Brian Cashman gave Boone a vote of confidence. It is clear the Yankees will not fire Boone during the season. It is also highly likely that Cashman will return for another extension. I don't necessarily disagree with that because most of the moves he made have either been successful or made sense at the time. In addition, he has built an impressive minor league system which could bear fruit as early as next year. In fact, Oswaldo Cabrera could be a key player down the stretch this year. So, it is essentially guaranteed that Brian Cashman will be here for the foreseeable future and Aaron Boone will be here for at least the rest of this season.
We can quibble with some of the moves Cashman made, but he built a team that is very formidable. Unfortunately, he gave the keys to someone who is not only an unlicensed driver, but he also doesn't even have a learner's permit. Aaron Boone makes confounding decisions on a regular basis. He does not seem to have a plan, a pattern, or any semblance of logic. It's as if he's guided by the bubbles he blows. As far as his ability to communicate, which was apparently his hallmark, his answers at press conferences are rambling, confusing, condescending, and often nonsensical. He does not seem to have any ability to make in-game decisions. As far as motivating the players, he could not motivate a mouse to eat cheese.
This is not a new topic. I have been criticizing Boone for as long as I have been writing for SSTN. In fact, I have been saying it far longer than that but, no one knew it. My cat did but, he's not talking. If he did, he might make more sense than Boone. The Yankees talent as a team and individually, covered up the deficiencies of Boone over the first half of the season. Now, as the Yankees lurch unsteadily toward the playoffs, Boone’s shortcomings are blatantly obvious. It would be easy to say that he should be fired but, he is not going to be. He will be there, looking bewildered, indignant, and defiant as the ship sinks into the ocean. The sad thing is it will have been a lost opportunity. The majority of the players will return next year. If they re-sign Judge and continue the influx of youth, they should have an opportunity to succeed in the future. The team simply needs a new voice. At this point, all we can do is hope that somehow, the team is Boone-proofed enough to enjoy some level of success in the postseason. However, hope doesn't always get you very far. Hope and Crosby, that's a different story. They went to Morocco, Zanzibar, well, you get the picture.
Next Up -
Tonight, the Yankees open a three-game series against the Angels at Anaheim at 9:38 PM. LA’s Jose Suarez (4-6 4.19 ERA) will face Frankie Montas (4-10 3.84 ERA).