Friday, June 23, 2017

A bad week becomes a bad month and starts to suggest - gulp - a bad team?

Today, I believe the Gray Lady said it best..

Over the course of a baseball season, about a half-dozen games will vie for the dubious honor of being a team’s worst setback of the year.
Mark down Thursday night’s 10-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels as the early leader in the Yankees’ clubhouse — a game that was so bad on so many levels that it would be difficult to list them all.

How doth we lose? Let me counteth th ways: Castro buckner's a DP ball, Severino butchers a four-run lead, Betances flings balls straight to the backstop, Sanchez sails them into the outfield, and everything goes blooey before Binders Joe can even think of bringing in baseball's current version of Red Klotz, Mr. Tyler "No Lead Is Safe" Clippard. 

Okay... we dropped a stinker. Everybody has them, right? We remain tied for first in the AL East, actually one game up in the loss column. So... why do I feel the ground squirming beneath me?

Sorry, folks, but I cannot escape the notion that this is no longer just a crapola road trip in a turd-pie week. It is now a rotten month on the verge of becoming another clunker season. Two weeks ago, such thoughts seemed impossible - the idea we could add to our lineup the game's top slugger and yet remain a mediocrity - but now, I dunno.  

Of course, the answer is simple: As always, it's pitching, pitching pitching...

Last winter, the consensus was that we didn't have it. Today, nothing has changed. 

Tonight, for example, we can count on - nobody. Tanaka has been awful. CC is hot-tubbing until late July. Severino and Montgomery are morphing back into pumpkins. Pineda is, well, Pineda. Our bullpen looks shot, with or without El Chapo, who has yet to be tested since has return. Today, the famous unnamed Yankee scouts are even questioning whether Chance Adams - our best pitching prospect, who threw six shutout innings for Scranton last night - will be doomed in the majors because he doesn't throw enough grounders. Et tu, Chance?

In May, we viewed our bullpen one of the best in baseball. Today, we are tied for 2nd in blown saves, with 13. In save percentage - that is, the likelihood of succeeding in save situations - we rank 25th... at 53.57 percent. That's right: When the 9th inning arrives, we are only slightly more likely to preserve the lead. No team wins anything meaningful with a 54 percent chance of holding saves. 

One other thing, and yes, I'm a broken record here: I never imagined the Yankees could win and yet become boring. But it's starting to happen. There's debate over whether Aaron Judge should compete in the Home Run Derby. I don't see why it would affect him: Isn't that what Yankee games have devolved into? We are tied (with Tampa) for second - behind Houston - with 115 home runs. Yet we have 120 more strikeouts than the Astros. Our poster boy is the well-mannered Chris Carter, whom I can no longer watch. When he marches to bat, I leave the room. Now and then, he runs into one. But how much longer do we watch this guy swing and miss, swing and miss, swing and miss? 

Okay, we had a bad night. Now... what? 

I say, prepare yourselves, everybody. Because we are about to learn the truth about the 2017 Yanklees, and it might not be pleasant.


John M said...

Aside from Judge being this good, this is unfortunately the team I kind of expected this year. But I never thought the pitching would devolve to be this. It really, really sucks.

What a travesty. I had thought if we had a good enough start, we could coast on it, but if this is reality, our April wasn't good enough by a long shot.

Urban Farmer formerly known as DutchFan said...

There is hope.
Plagued by insomnia I often have to drift in and out of the post-game commercials hosted by Sweeny and Suzyn. And last night she said something like this.

I am gonna throw this to you Sweeny. Tomorrow all the Japanese press will be out to cover this natch. Tanaka and Yu Darvish. This is Japanese honor. This is about being the best.
So you know, maybe, just maybe it will make Tanaka step up.
Just put it in the back of your head.

joe de pastry said...

Baseball, the greatest of all sports, has become boring.
Too many strikeouts, not enough exciting fielding/baserunning plays.

Urban, our friend, that white cap is an abomination.