Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Gnats are toast, but why does the Series feel so different from the ALCS?

They say that nothing succeeds like success. Thus, maybe it's a false read - a projection of our own internal miseries - when we watch the Astros swarm into another rally, looking more than ever like a champion. They appear to be a team of destiny, thanks to their spark-plug, the best player on the field, Jose Altuve. Every time that little shit comes up, something is going to happen. You can feel it.

To put it bluntly, the Yanks had no one like him. Our closest - DJ LeMahieu - was magnificent, to be sure. But he's no rah-rah instigator, no human catalyst, and he was sandwiched by big names who withered in the spotlight. 

Aaron Judge (6 for 25), Edwin Encarnacion (1-18), Brett Gardner (3-22), Gary Sanchez (3-23) and Aaron Hicks (2-13) clogged our lineup. After LeMahieu, no one rose to the moment. 

If these four games feel different, there's a reason: Balls are being put into play. Thus far, Houston batters have struck out 32 times - average 8 per game - and the Nats 39 (average 10.) In the ACLS, the Yankees fanned 65 times - a woefully pathetic average of 13 per game. Our leaders were were Sanchez (12), Encarnacion (11) Judge (10) and Gardy (10) - et tu, Gardy? - inexcusable for a vet whose game once depended on making contact. WTF happened to him? How many runs failed to score because Yankees couldn't put a bat on the ball? By the fourth game, just seeing them stride to the batters box put a chill onto the Yankee Stadium crowd. They were the opposite of Altuve. 

There are a million reasons why the Yankees lost - number one being that Houston has a better team. But they had one guy who was constantly starting fires, and we didn't. In the future, I believe that spark may come from Gleyber Torres, as he evolves into the team's marquee star. Judge is great, but his role may turn out to be merely providing public relations cover.

One final thought: I take no comfort in the notion that, at least, the Yankees lost to baseball's best team. So did everybody else. Nor can we claim to have given Houston its toughest test. That came from Tampa, who took them to the final game. Like last year, we were just a stone in the road.


13bit said...

We were not the best team out there. Our pitching was spotty. Our hitting was worse. Will they make the structural changes needed for us to be contenders again?


Ken of Brooklyn said...

I believe we iced the Nats the minute IIHIIFIIC swore allegiance to their cause, LOL!!!!!,,,, our soiled and sullied JuJu ate their Baby Shark! ,,,

JM said...

I'm not giving up on the Nats. They beat Houston at home, Houston is beating them at home. It's a weird series in that respect. But I don't think Washington will lose three in a row at home. I mean, even the Yankees couldn't manage that.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Very astute, Duque.

I think the Nats are done, too. And while their hitters are much smarter and have a much better approach than ours do, they also failed to get the big hit at the right time.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And most discouraging, is how Coops and Ma are talking about our team just as we predicted they would.

"We had enough pitching...Okay, so maybe we didn't have enough STARTING pitching, but that was just because of the unexpected injuries and the German thing...We were a club of championship caliber, we just didn't get a big hit...We were only a couple of plays away from making the World Series..."

All of which is true—kind of. And all of it happens almost every year, and all of it was completely predictable.

Pitchers get hurt. That's why you pile up a whole bunch of them. And it's why you spend money on veteran pitchers who may be a waste in their last couple years but will get you a couple of championships before that.

Yes, it's possible that once you get to the ALCS you can get enough breaks to win. But when you never do, you should start thinking about why.

Yes, if everything had gone perfectly, maybe the Yanks would have beaten the Astros. And then lost to the Nationals. There is no way they were the best team in the major leagues this year, no way they could have beaten top-rate starting pitching, series after series.

But none of this will be acknowledged, and the Yanks will go back to doing exactly what they've done before, in the hope of maximizing profits, their sole goal.

TheWinWarblist said...

Suzyn is the Best.

I wish ill on you Hal. I wish cancer and death on you. A cruel debilitating cancer that deprives you of your ability to "lead" this noble franchise and then takes your life before your time.

ranger_lp said...

Last time I counted, Yanks led the league in domestic abusers...Rolaids and German.

Rufus T. Firefly said...


My belief is there are many more on ALL of the teams, and we don't hear about it, just like we didn't hear about Mick's barroom brawls (started by Billy Martin). This is worse. And not likely to change overnight. Unfortunately, there are also people who take it because they don't have anywhere else to go and even if they could, might choose sticking with the money and the bruises. All the more reason those who get away with are assholes.

ranger_lp said...

@Rufus...we haven't evolved yet. Sometimes I think I've been dropped on the wrong planet...

Anonymous said...

Happy Yankee Thought #6

Chapman being named AL reliever of the year increases the odds that he will opt out.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...





Alphonso said...

I don't get what everyone is hoping for.

Altuve is Altuve.

Torres is Torres.

And each shall so remain.

Our real problem is that Stanton is Stanton.

And strikeouts are strikeouts.

You can't win when you can't put the ball in play.

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