Saturday, March 27, 2021

"No, it wasn't those airplanes. It was the Bullpen that killed the Yankee Beast."

Last night, Aroldis Chapman took up where 2020 left off. 

He came in for the seventh, a scoreless dual with mighty Baltimore, and did for the Yankees what gender-reveal parties did last year for California wildfires. 

It began with a bloop single, which is the second worst thing that can happen when El Chapo enters a game. This was followed by the worst thing: The entrance of a speedy pinch-runner. Something about jackrabbit pinch-runners - their long leads, their obvious plans to steal second - has a tendency to unhinge Chapman.

It's a good thing nobody in baseball knows this. Otherwise, well, we'd have to start worrying. 

Stressed about the pinch-runner, Aroldis uncorked a wild pitch so high that Gary Sanchez waved at it like a passing plane. That put the pinch-runner on second - no more worries that he'd steal! - and El Chapo then gave up a run-scoring single. 

Then a double. That put runners on second and third. Did I mention there are no outs? Chapman threw another wild pitch - this one nearly killed the batter - scoring the second run. Did I mention no outs? Then he unleashed another wild pitch - Gary just started running after it, as soon as it left Aroldis' hand - scoring run number three.  

At this point, El Chapo did manage to strike out the, by-then, terrified batter. He left the game to a round of boos, which could also be attributed to the arrival of Nick Goody, who has had a tough spring. 

Let me run some spring ERAs by you.

Chad Green 5.06
Chapman 6.23
Luis Cessa 6.75
Michael King 7.04
Tyler Lyons 7.11
Justin Wilson 23.14

What does it say when the most hopeful thing about your bullpen is that the worst of them (Wilson) is out with an injury?

Okay, yeah, I know what you're thinking: March stats mean nothing. It's a time for veteran pitchers to try new grips, launch angles, etc. But the Yankees are heading into April with half their bullpen in shambles. 

We do have Nick Nelson, Lucas Luetge, Jonathan Loaisiga and Darren O'Day - but who in that crowd is a sure thing?) Concerns about the rotation have masked the steady deterioration of the bullpen. Zack Britton might not be back until July. 

We can look at the Yankee batting order and feel good about our chances. But no lead will be safe, and that, my friends, is a cause for concern.


JM said...

We've signed Chapman to beyond his sell-by date. Which we've already passed.

It's galling enough that we still have to put up with him, but what makes it totally maddening is that it comes after all those years of the great Mariano.

Who, by the way, was always cool and collected, and never sweat buckets.

Anonymous said...

A few thoughts...

1) " and did for the Yankees what gender-reveal parties did last year for California wildfires. "

Good one.

2) Tanaka is out with a calf injury. 3-4 weeks (so far)

Maybe we got lucky.

3) The Bullpen

Too bad we couldn't come up with a few extra million to sign any one of the top relievers that changed teams this off season. But, you know... luxury taxes and all.

BTW According to Forbes the franchise is worth, 5.25 BILLION DOLLARS.
But, you know... Luxury taxes and all.

4) Last - Speaking of Forbes apparently money is a curse.

The three top franchises in their sport. (In terms of worth.)

Dallas Cowboys - Last Championship 1996
New York Yankees - One title in the last 20 years.
The New York Knicks - 1973.

Just sayin'

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

@ Doug K. Forbes estimates NYY at 5 and a quarter billion. I wonder how the hell they would estimate that value. If I was Prince Hal, I'd demand at least 20 billion for the NYY. If I was a zillionaire looking to buy, I'd pay just about anything to be the new owner of the NYY. Well, maybe only up to $30 billion.... But Prince Hal had better start shaping up, because another lousy playoff exit or no playoff at all ... and this club starts looking like it's highly overpriced.

The bullpen needed a major overhaul, but we got a bandaid instead. So it looks like the typical Cashman deal: just sit tight and hope for the best. If the wheels fall off, then do another quick fix. Nothing very constructive happened over the winter, unless you count getting two starting pitchers who are held together with duct tape and safety pins. If those guys stay healthy, then perhaps we'll have a surplus of starters, which can help out our bullpen. Thing is, though, that everyone in baseball has a tendency to use relievers one inning at a time. It seems no reliever pitches more than two innings in a game, ever. I would like to see our surplus starters coming into a game and finishing it off. That way, you save the other arsonists for the next conflagration, uh, game.

The Hammer of God

HoraceClarke66 said...

Pitching? Pitching? We don't need no stinking pitching!