Saturday, August 8, 2015
Leadfooted Yankees have stopped running, even against knuckleballers, and they might just strand the season at first
Posted by el duque at 7:21 AM
Last night, the Yankees lost stupid, supendously.
Seventh inning. Tie game. One out. Didi Gregorius on first with an infield hit. It's clear to anybody with an eye or seeing-eye dog that Stephen Drew can't touch R.A. Dickey's knucker with a clown show tennis racket. After one pitch, the Jays call time out. The defense re-alligns. Toronto sends its 3B into RF, overshifting against the pull-hitting Drew.
So here it is: Drew, batting .190 over the 18 months, with a speedy baserunner and the game on the line, staring at a leftside void roughly the size of Andrew Cuomo's ego. We need the runner to advance. All Drew needs to do is lay down a bunt. On YES, they're marveling at how the Jays are daring Drew to bunt. It's practically a gift. I'm screaming at the TV.
So what does Drew do? What he always does. He hacks, swings away, from his pink-painted toes, and - as usual - fails. Foul pop. Out. Threat over. Didi stranded. Yanks do nothing. If the game went 100 innings, we's still have one run, still have guys standing on first, contemplating the universe, waiting for Godot, or the Great Pumpkin, or something.
For some unexplained reason, the Yankees have forgotten they were born with feet. They haven't attempted a stolen base since June 12. This, from a team with Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. How do you take speed out of that equation, especially against knuckleballers, and especially when nobody on the team shows any ability to hit such a pitch? Every other team in baseball runs on knuckleballers. Not us. We've lost twice in a week to knucklers, and never even tried running.
Gardner last night had two singles. In the fifth, he was on with two outs. Perfect opportunity. He stayed put. A-Rod popped up. In the eighth, it was worse. Gardner led off with a single. A-Rod hit into a double play. Stupid, stupid, STUPID.
Of course, railing against Stephen Drew - or in this case, Joe Girardi - is like yelling at the sharknado: People laugh at you, just for caring. Dellin Betances is being used like a rented mule, the Scott Proctoring of an all-star talent. He'll probably be the next cog to break. Drew is barely hitting his weight, yet he cannot - or simply refuses to - adjust. Well, next winter, the game will adjust, and Drew will disappear. The Yankees this year never gave Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder the light of day at 2B. They've been willing to overlook Drew's miniscule output for a steady glove. OK, I get that. But folks, the lead is shrinking, and every time we lose stupid - like the loss we conjured last night, you can hear the fingernails digging into the chalkboard, as we sink to the floor.
Today, the Yankees play David Price, a pitcher they have owned in recent years. Why am I expecting the worst? Well, the answer is easy. We are playing stupid.