Saturday, July 28, 2018

If Boston doesn't cool off, none of this will matter

Last night, the Redsocks Mega-Force 2018 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (MF-18-HOFSTOD) tied Minnesota in the ninth, then won in the 10th with a Mookie Betts walk-off homer.

Like in the Ridley Scott movie Alien, whenever a cat shows up, things are starting to get scary.  

This was the kind of victory you expect from a MF-18-HOFSTOD. Boston has been winning not only nail-biters, but laughers, shootouts, pitchers' duels, murder mysteries, splatter-fests and remakes of '70s retro-musicals without Meryl Streep. Until now, we could laugh through their hot streaks, knowing it's better to save some testosterone for the back-to-school home stretch. But the finish line is starting to take shape, and we're the ones who seem to be sucking air.

Want to know why we're 5 games behind? (Three in the loss column, The Master would note.) Betts is hitting .345, followed by Babe Benintendi at .297, and the unreal JD Martinez, now at .322. Meanwhile, our top batting average, Miguel Andujar, sits at .294. If they continue to hit, no infusion of Happs and Brittons will matter. If this continues, let's start lining up our rotation for the Wild Card game. (For the record: We are 5 games ahead of Seattle for the home field advantage, six up on Oakland for the away-game slot.)

But can they keep going? 

Betts, age 25, last year hit .264. He's already hit more HRs than in 2017. Benintendi is a wild card, ascending in his second year. Martinez, 30, last year hit .303 with 45 HRs. Betts and Martinez are in mini-slumps, and Boston is 6-4 in their last 10 - a slight cooling since the all-star break. 

Trouble is, we've sucked. Losing two out of three in Tampa - with Gary Sanchez bringing the pineapple - has been perhaps the lowest trench of the season. Now, with Aaron Judge gone for a month, it's time to test the 2018 Yankees beyond its simple advantage in talent.  

The most maddening aspect of Judge's injury is that the vaunted Yankee depth chart - chock full of young talent (Frazier, McKinney, Drury) two weeks ago - seems to have vanished overnight. We have one last piece to play from our supposedly "top tier" farm system: Justus Sheffield. But the longer he waits in Scranton, stringing together quality starts, the more we have to wonder why he's not getting his shot. Is he that breakable? And now that Domingo German is injured - an inflamed elbow, not a good thing - are we really going to look beyond Sheffield for the solution? 

My guess is that the Yankees see the same reality as we do. If Boston keeps winning at this pace, if they are really the MF-18-HOFSTOD, none of this will matter. 


13bit said...

I’m tired. So much drama and such crappy hitting. It’s almost as though Cashman is more important than the team. How did this mediocre, balding faux Spiderman become the center of attention here? He is no chess player. He isn’t even a checkers-playing chicken. He’s s putz who inherited a great team 20 years ago, rode it to glory, then methodically eliminated anybody who would question his sagacity. Now, he is the moron Wizard of Oz.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Amen, 13bit, amen!

The Superteam of the 1990s was built by Buck, Bob Watson, and especially Gene Michael, who should be in the Hall of Fame. But Cashman has always acted as if it were all his doing.

When he did take over, he had what was probably the greatest advantage any American GM in any sport has ever enjoyed, ownership that was willing to spend pretty much anything, at a moment when everybody else was abiding by a de facto, self-imposed salary cap.

Yet, year after year the Yankees fell short because he just could not come up with another pitcher, or another role player. Not to mention his really weird stuff, like continually drafting pitchers who had or were about to have major arm surgery.

When he finally rebuilt the farm system and pulled off those 2016 deals, I thought maybe had learned something at last. But then he let the guy who seems to have really done the rebuilding skip off to Miami and—whattaya know—once again he's failing to do the small things that get a team over the top.

Anonymous said...

HoraceClarke66 and 13bit hit it right on the nose. cASSmn has always taken credit for success but not the blame. Even a retard like myself knows that pitching is the name of the game and needs to be taken care of early (winter?). Later during the season, you will certainly pay the price to trade for mediocrity. Why is that Evoldi can be gotten for 1 body while the Yankees are using 2-3 players to make a trade? Was the Boston player that good? This is cASSman's team! Fire his ass along with the owners!!

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