Tuesday, May 29, 2018

That four-day rain-out in Washington killed Yankee momentum

Two weeks ago, across the vast expanses of the Yankiverse, time itself ceased to flow.

As our heroes visited Washington, creating new Bryce Harper speculation, they were on a 10-2 run, closing on Boston. Then came four days of soggy nothingness. An off-day. A five-inning rain-out tie. Another rain-out. An off-day. Nothing. 

Ever since... a 5-4 record, second place, and shoddy work. 

The four-day snooze should have rejuvenated our pitching staff... but it didn't. CC Sabathia struggled out of the blocks against lowly KC. In fact, our rotation has boiled down to Luis Severino and a series of dice rolls. Yesterday, the notion of Domingo German facing Justin Verlander inspired little hope from the git-go, and the game seemed a done deal from the second inning onward, once Houston took a 3-0 lead.

The four-day snooze should have settled our bullpen... but it didn't. David Robertson is going through a particularly nasty stretch, as the so-called "circle of trust" has dwindled to a dot of delusion. In one wretched night, the Yankees scored 10 runs and still lost - certainly the worst defeat of the season. 

Last time we faced Houston, the Yankees lost game one and then stormed back to take the series. But that was before the four-game snooze. They are not the same team. 

Listen: It's far too early to panic and, frankly, what's the point? Neither the Yankees nor Boston will miss the post-season. One will win the division. The other will take the wild card. Done deal. But right now, we look like the third best team in the American League. Changes could be coming. 

With four-hits yesterday in Scranton, Clint Frazier looks like a player who simply cannot be denied. Meanwhile, Aaron Hicks continues to slide farther from the guy who looked so dominant early last year. Could Gardy move to CF and Frazier take over in LF? Or does Frazier get traded for a starting pitcher? Right now, he's being wasted in Triple A.

With two hits yesterday, did Didi Gregorius finally break out of his slump? Because his collapse has been so overwhelming lately that you almost start to reassess the possibilities of a Manny Machado trade. Through April, Didi looked like our longtime SS, maybe a future Yankee captain. In May, he's looked horrible. Would Baltimore take him as a centerpiece to a deal that brings Machado to NYC for three months? Last month, I'd been slapped across the face for writing such blaspheme. Now, anything could happen.

Finally, Greg Bird homered yesterday - a great omen. If Bird's bat has truly returned, he becomes the missing LH that neither Didi nor Hicks has provided lately. At the least, he should take pressure off of the others. But does that mean Tyler Austin completely disappears? Or does he get traded for a pitcher? (Another trade chip, Tyler Wade, has finally gotten hot in Scranton.)

Right now, the Yankees look like the AL's third best team... but they have more depth than Boston or Houston. Something is going to change. We have to get back to that winning state before the rain-outs. 


TheWinWarblist said...

Gloom thunder clouds and rain rain rain ...

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Easy to break out of the funk. Beat Houston in the next two, sweep Bawlmore, and you've got 6 in a row.

I'm not sure why this can't happen, unless Verlander is cloned and several of him end up on the Orioles.

[I'm also not sure why this hasn't occurred to Buckeroo]

JM said...

The Orioles are heading to a 100-loss season, looks like. If we can't sweep them, we ain't got a broom.

HoraceClarke66 said...

"Dot of delusion!" I love it!

I think the rain down in Washington only kept Gonzalez and Scherzer from throwing our hitters into this quagmire a week earlier.

Beating Houston will be hard because all of their starters seem to have suddenly—and suspiciously—turned into the best pitchers of the modern era. The Buckeroos are always encouraged to play against us as if they were in the seventh game of the World Series, as opposed to their trips to Boston, where they mostly concentrate on going on the Freedom Trail, and stuffing themselves at the No-Name.

I suspect this Yanks team is going into one of the periodic hitting nosedives they hit last year. Not a big deal, except that, as our Peerless Leader points out, all that time off did not seem to revive our pitchers.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Great to hear about Tyler Too, who I always liked, and yes, let's get Red Thunder (and The Toe) back up here, NOW!


We may well have to bite the bullet and sign him for next season. But the fact that he will be a free agent makes it all the more ludicrous to trade useful bodies for some extra four months of his services.

This is what I mean about "stop competing."

This team still has tremendous potential, and treated right is likely to outlast the C. Hose, Tribe, and Houston Miracle Arms. But there is no pitching (or hitting) fix we can obtain this year, not even for Clint Frazier or Didi.

KD said...

1 and 2 since little Toe sent down. One and two....

I sense a sweep by Houston’s pill-poppers. If we don’t win the series against Buck’s Birds, the cracks in this team’s foundation will be apparent to all.

As Hoss says, we gotta keep building. Let’s enjoy this season and team for what it is and keep chop’n!

KD said...

As far as Didi goes, only a Dutchman can assist. Where is Urban Farmer when we need him?

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Please please Urban Farmer, send us some mighty mighty To Sir with Love JuJu!!!!!!

KD said...

Listen up you crazy people! Don’t know if you guys are fully aware or not. We have POWERFUL juju forces aligned against us at this very moment. We must act!

First one is the mysterious absence of urbane, I mean urban, farmer. Didi has swung a noodle ever since he inexplicably went silent. We need Mr. Farmer back STAT!! This is serious. Didi has his Yankee career on the line.

Second is the curse of little Toe. Although the curse is in its infancy, we must act fast to prevent it firmly taking root. FAST!!!

Urban Farmer, if you read this, please genuflect in the direction of NYC and get that Dutch juju directed at Didi. He needs yiu. Hell! We need you!

As for Toe, we can’t expect much from the Yanks, sorry to say. So, I am going to pull out my personal best juju tonight. I am saying that if we beat the Pill-poppers tonight, the curse of little Toe dies prematurely. It will be over!

I invite all you insane mofos to join me in this effort. Together, we can make a difference.

That is all.

KD said...

Please not: I in no way am calling for a juju intervention, nor its more potent cousin, the international juju intervention. Only duque can call forth such powers. Besides, I don’t have the Drudge Report flashing siren lights.

el duque said...

In the case of individual juju, each of us must give what he - or she - can afford. I'm reluctant to call for international juju interventions because we might come to depend upon them, the way I'm told that happens with users of Viagra.