Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Seattle v. Oakland, Happ v. Sevy, Romine v. Sanchez, Bird v. Nobody

Hot scoop: Led by first-baseman - yes, 1B - Jogginson Cano, (who notched a single!), the Seattle Mariners last night lost to Oakland, 3-2, dimming their hopes for that elusive, 2018 wild card berth. The Yankee "wild card magic number" - wins coupled with Mariner losses - has dropped to 39. We lead the Joggers by six in the loss column. 

Over the next two nights, with Oakland hosting Seattle, we can be fat, drunk and stupid against the Rays. No matter what happens, we cannot lose ground. This is like lice vs. crabs, acne vs. psoriasis, shingles vs. - wait, take it from Terry Bradshaw: You don't want shingles! But you get the picture: Oakland v. Seattle... the enemy of my enemy is my friend. 

And if we can sweep the Rays - dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe... - we can put space between us and the AL West. Obviously, if the Yankees fail to win the Wild Card home field advantage, Boone will be fired, and this season will suck. But no matter where the game is played, let's face the reality: 2018 is going to come down to nine innings. That became clear two weekends ago, and no hot streak against tomato cans can change that. Our year now rests on one October night, and we don't have a clue who our starting pitcher should be.

Clearly, Boone will go with the the best Yankee pitcher at the time. Luis Severino is no longer an ace, and Masahiro Tanaka hasn't been one in two years. If the game were tomorrow, we'd pick J.A. Happ, hands down. A bigger question: Who would catch?

I'd vote for Austin Romine, who has outperformed Gary Sanchez at nearly every level. Last night, Michael Kay blathered how the Yankees have missed Sanchez' big bat. He was referring to the 2016 Sanchez, not the one we've seen this year. Check the stat lines.

Romine:  182 at bats, 8 HR, 35 RBIs, .269
Sanchez: 245 at bats, 14 HR, 42 RBIs, .188.

Give Romine another 60 ABs, and he'd have the same RBI totals as Sanchez. Moreover, he strikes out less (67 for Sanchez, 43 for Romine), and we all know Gary's inability to block pitches - and his refusal to run after them. 

I'll admit it: I have permanent PTSD from the image of Sanchez jogging to first last month, in that horrifying loss, when he was thrown out on what should have been a game-tying infield hit. The Yankees made an excuse for him; they put him on the DL and blamed his hamstring. Well, I don't buy it. The guy's signature style of play has been to loaf. Frankly, it's why he fails to block so many pitches in the dirt: he simply doesn't throw himself into it. 

I get why the Yankees don't criticize him (as Joe Girardi did last year.) There's a far-flung chance that he'll get hot for a week or two in September. Still, I hope Sanchez is part of a trade next winter. He needs to play in a small market city where his team contends every five years. Once he's over 30 and hungry for a post-season, you better believe he'll run out grounders. Then, he'll magically reduce the number of passed balls. 

Other idle thoughts:

It would really be nice for Aroldis Chapman to have a 1-2-3 outing. Just one. You still have a sense of dread, that the dam can break at any time.

Realistically, the Yankees have no other option at 1B than Greg Bird. Luke Voit looks a notch below Tyler Austin, and Mike Ford - currently hot at Scranton - bats left-handed, so there can be no platoon. Ford deserves a shot, but the Yankees will never give it. Why? He was never drafted. They signed him out of the Cape Cod League, and he doesn't have the pedigree. 

Neil Walker has done nicely in RF. But he is a ticking time bomb. One of these days, a ball in the gap is going to have him on a collision course with Aaron Hicks. You can't stick a career infielder in right field without eventually paying the price. 


KD said...

The basement millennial must now manage Boone so that the team is peaking for the Wildcard. Happ did look very good last night but I'd still give the game to Tanaka with a short leash.

BTW, I got the shingles shot and, since I have not come down with the disease, it is 100% effective. Yeh Science!

JM said...

I, too, am a beneficiary of scientific amazement. And the shot was practically not incredibly annoying in my local Walgreens pharmacy.

Tanaka is a gamer. Happ has looked good since coming down from the Northern Kingdom. Remember how Tanaka performed last year after probably his worst season ever. He was great.

Or, we could give the ball to Sheffield. Ha ha ha ha...yeah, I know, he won't even be there.

TheWinWarblist said...

Ha! New Jesus "hungry for the postseason?" As if. The only things Sanchez is hungry for are cheese fries and a pile of ice cream sandwiches.

TheWinWarblist said...

And so endeth the fucking JuJu ...

TheWinWarblist said...

Fangraphs Austin Romine wRC+ = 111. Career year thus far.

KD said...

it's funny how RAB hates on Romine while pining away for the return of The Lazy One. guess they don't believe in modern baseball statistical analysis.

2018 WAR
Romine 1.6
Sanchez 0.6

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

What Michael Kay failed to clarify is that we have missed Sanchez’s bat all year. He has been as large a disappointment as Sonny Gray.
When Sanchez is healthy, he should either be the back up or left in Scranton until he shows he can perform. With the exception of throwing out runners he has underachieved and been a liability.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Very wise, Duque. But...

What about McBroom???

This is so typically Coops. The Yanks have the righty, McBroom, hitting .304, and a revived Mike Ford on the left side. BUT...neither can be brought up because...Cashman says so.

On and on it goes, with Bird hitting a double just often enough to stay on first. Oy.

Oh, and Romine last night was saying that he was hitting better because he was going to the opposite field. You know Coops and Ma are going to come down on that like a ton of bricks.

Joe of AZ said...


Local Bargain Jerk said...


Which one, the one that's melting in the sun somewhere in a Mexican League, or the one that's melting in the sun outside the Yanks' Single-A facility in Tampa?

My vote: Neither.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I don't know how you can really doubt the dedication of Gary Sanchez, a man who plays on despite the fact that he is liable to tear a hamstring with every footstep.