Thursday, April 30, 2015

Swinnnnnnnnnng battah: The Yankees play 13 innings of failed home run derby

Yesterday in Baltimore, the Orioles played a game without fans.

Yesterday, in New York, the Yankees played a game with fans - 16 of them - also known as strikeouts. And they played without one situational hitter.

Seriously, does anybody here remember how to advance a runner? Twice in extra innings, the Yankees had none other than Jacoby Ellsbury and/or Brett Gardner standing on first with less than two outs. Neither ran. Nobody bunted. (Chris Young attempted a bunt, a pathetic foul pop-up, which was nearly caught.) Manufacture a run? Bah. That's for wimps. Nope. For a lucky 13 innings, Yankee hitters simply did what they always do: Swinnnnng away, O mighty oak tree! Didn't matter that the Rays stacked the entire state of Florida on one side of second base. Nope. The Bronx lions wanted a walk off HR. In their minds, each was the immortal Babe, or maybe the immortal A-Rod, looking to A-bomb the ghost of the immortal Willie.

Speaking of Alex... you probably know by now that he went 0 for six, fanned four times and hit into a game-ending DP. It was like watching his highlight reel from the 2004 ALCS against Boston. He's only been back a month, yet he's already rounding out into post-season form. Worst of all, the Yankees seem disturbingly close to being a team that depends on his bat. With Tex turning into Rob Deer - a HR or nothing - and Carlos Beltran being an interstellar Stargate to Hell, Alex still looks like the only guy capable of driving in 100 runs. Or at least he did... until yesterday.

Yesterday, here's how the Yankees scored. Chris Young homered. And Chase Headley homered. Both were solo shots. Both briefly roused the crowd from their cell phones. Both were followed by 45-minute long team naps. Sixteen strikeouts. Nothing to show. If Tampa hadn't scored, we'd still be playing.

Listen: The Empire is still 13-9, holder of the fourth best record in the AL. Let's be honest: If anybody had said we'd be in first on May 1, we'd have taken it. But the questions keep mounting. And highest on the list - even above the dubious fate of Masahiro - remains whether the Yankees can score a frickin run when it matters.

The O's played a game in Baltimore yesterday with no one there to watch. The opposite happened in the Bronx. The Yankees never showed up.

1 comment:

jdrny said...

Some of the blame rests with the manager and coaching staff for the lack ability to move runners without hitting home runs. It's called "small ball" but it's never called upon by mgr. Girardi.