About Yesterday: Yanks Lost 5-1
About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Lost to the Cardinals 5-1.
By Tim Kabel
July 3, 2023
*** The Yankees ended the series against the Cardinals and the road trip on a sour note yesterday by losing the game and the series. They went 3-3 against two last-place teams on this road trip. They are once again eight games over .500 for the season. This was a road trip where they should have racked up some wins, but they did not. They will limp home to play the Orioles beginning tonight.
The Orioles are now a better team than the Yankees. At this point, the Yankees are clinging to a wild card berth in the playoffs but, that is far from a certainty. It is just as likely they will drop out of the playoff spot and wind up on the outside, looking in. It is hard to characterize this season as anything other than a disappointment so far. It is true that the Yankees still have about half the season to go but, there is no reason to believe things will get much better.
Quick Stats -
The Yankees only mustered three hits in the game, tying their season low.
Aaron Boone was ejected from the game for the fifth time this season and the 31st time in his career. Well, at least he's good at something.
DJ LeMahieu is batting .167 in his last 21 games. Maybe he isn't a much better option than Josh Donaldson at third base.
The Yankees were 1-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.
The Yankees used Billy McKinney to pinch hit for Jose Trevino in the 7th inning. At that point, it was a one-run game. After the game, Boone said he was saving Rizzo for another big spot. As Yul Brynner said in The King and I, “is a puzzlement".
On Friday night, the Yankees Single-A manager, Rachel Balkovec was ejected from the game by umpire Isabella Robb. It is the first time that a female manager was ejected by a female umpire.
On July 2nd, 1978, Ron Guidry beat the Detroit Tigers to improve his record to 13-0. Sometimes, you forget how good he really was.
Big Story -
The baseball season is the longest season in professional sports. As John Sterling has told us over and over, “They play every day. That's baseball, Suzyn.” No matter how good a team is, there are ups and downs. Teams have winning streaks and losing streaks. However, to be a successful team, you need to take advantage of the weak spots in the schedule and win as many games as you can so that your overall record will be better.
The Yankees just played six games against two last-place teams. In a perfect world, they would have won all six games. They didn't. They didn't win five or even four games. They broke even and won three games. That is not getting the job done. While it is true the Yankees can win games against better competition, stretches like this just make things harder. The Yankees are not doing themselves any favors and right now are only a slightly above average team.
Player of the Day -
Gerrit Cole pitched a solid game, which under normal circumstances would have been a winnable game for the Yankees.
Notable Performances -
Anthony Volpe had one of the Yankees' three hits. He now has a seven-game hitting streak, with multiple hits in five of those games. The clamor to send him back to the minors has subsided.
Better to Forget-
Just about everything else.
My Take -
I remember watching the Benny Hill Show many years ago. On one episode, I remember Benny saying, “He who smiles when all goes wrong, has just thought of someone he can blame it on." It was funny on a TV show but, when it becomes the philosophy of your baseball team's manager, it's not so amusing.
After the game yesterday, Aaron Boone began complaining that the umpire ejected him much too quickly and that the St. Louis Cardinals may have been manipulating the clock to give their relief pitcher more time to warm up. That is grasping at straws, and frankly, it's pathetic. Neither of those were the reasons the Yankees lost yesterday and lost the series to the Cardinals.
The Yankees are not an exceptional team right now. Yes, they have injuries, but they also have multiple players who are not performing well. Josh Donaldson is finished. Yes, he has hit a few home runs lately but, he has eleven hits all season. Anthony Volpe had more in the last week.
Question: what movie title will best describe Josh Donaldson's hit total at the All-Star break? Answer: The Dirty Dozen.
The Yankees are not getting much production out of their catchers. DJ LeMahieu is fading fast and is not a productive player at this point. The mere fact that Isiah Kiner-Falefa is considered to be an offensive stalwart tells you all you need to know about this team.
I expect some improvement when Carlos Rodon joins the rotation this week and when Nestor Cortes returns. However, the team is not inspiring and needs a lot of work. I don't know if Hal Steinbrenner would replace Brian Cashman but, at this point I'm not opposed to that.
However, they do need to make a change in the team's manager. As I've written many times, Aaron Boone consistently makes the wrong decision. Could he conceivably have better players to put in the lineup? Yes but, he misuses, over-uses, or under-uses the players he does have on a regular and consistent basis. I don't know if anyone out there remembers the movie Ben Hur but, one of the reasons that old Ben won the chariot race was that he switched the order of the horses, playing off their strengths. If it were Aaron Boone, and the movie was called Boone Hur, he would have finished dead last in the race and then blamed the horses, the other drivers or the conditions of the track.
When you have to rely on making excuses and whining as an official strategy, it's time to go.
Next Up -
Tonight, the Yankees open a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at 7:05 PM at Yankee Stadium. Domingo German (5-5 4.54 ERA) will face the Orioles' Tyler Wells (6-4 3.21 ERA). How will German perform after his perfect game?