Thursday, March 11, 2021

This year, the fractured and traumatized Yankee bullpen will hinge on Mean Chad Green

This week, various outposts across the Yankiverse treated Zack Britton's impending surgery like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Immediately, our nation turned its lonely eyes to the Four Bullpen Horses of the Yankee Apocalypse - Aroldis Chapman, Justin Wilson, Darren O'Day and Chad Green - none of whom had thrown a pitch this spring.

Last night, they appeared, one by one, as if summoned like Candyman through a greasy bathroom mirror. And the most important of them - Mr. Mean Chad Green - looked dominant. He fanned the side in a 1-2-3 inning. As Oprah would say, "Wow." 

Of course, Green was facing the Pirates' eighth-inning leftovers, a lineup worthy of  the Marymount Wayward Girls Choir, so let's hold off on comparisons to Carl Hubbell in the 1934 All-Star Game. Even in a month without meaning, it's worth noting that the COVID bus-ride schedule has paired the Yankees with their Gulf Coast neighbors - the Pirates, Orioles and Tigers - three of the worst teams in creation. (Sadly, we couldn't schedule the Washington Generals, with Red Klotz.)

But let's not digress. Let's talk about Mean Chad, who appeared unto us two innings after Justin Wilson, whom we once traded away to get him. In May, Green will turn 30. He has a solid career ERA of 3.19. (In fact, Wilson, 33, has a career 3.27 ERA. The only downside of that deal was that the Yankees also received Luis Cessa - who annually raises our expectations and then kicks us in the nuts. Next month, Cessa turns 29; his career ERA: 4.40. It's now or never.) 

But wait... let's stick to the script: Green gives a special reason for hope. 

In his career, he has shown the rare ability to adapt

It happened in 2019. That April, Green melted down. It was awful. We were like George C. Scott in Hardcore, shielding our eyes and shouting "TURN IT OFFFFF!" Opposing batters hit .395 against him. He couldn't finish an inning. By May, Green was reworking his mechanics in Tampa, hoping for a stint in Scranton. For many pitchers, that's time to cue the credits. Remember Edwar Ramirez? Remember Joba? We steeled ourselves to never see Green again, for him to spend his twilight years in the pickup laundromats of Moosic. Instead, he returned to post a second-half ERA of 2.89. He adapted. 

Last year, if you wanna call it a year, Green threw 25 innings, with an ERA of 3.51. Not spectacular. Too few innings to gauge. But what if, in the ALCS finale against Tampa, the Yankees - in a tied ninth inning - used Green instead of El Chapo...? What if... aw, I'm torturing myself again... we'll never know, eh?

Well, this we do know: Britton will be in the jacuzzi tor three months, maybe four. And no matter how much we pay him, Chapman remains a PTSD nightmare waiting to reoccur - always one leadoff walk from disaster. The Yanks say they'll use their full staff to handle the eighth inning. Doncha believe it. The most important arm in that bullpen is the one attached to Mean Chad Green. And if Chapman falters, he's the one to which we turn. 


Celerino Sanchez said...

Don't forget about Cessa, "the human gas tank". I'm sure he'll be in that bullpen filling the role of Serge Mitre, David Hale and every other loser that Cashman has brought in.

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts on yesterday's game...

1) Domingo German is pitching for his life. He knows it. We know it. The guy looks really good so far. Hopefully he's as focused on his personal side as well. If so, that number 5 slot is shaping up as a good kind of battle between Devi and German.

What I'm about to write is unfair because it awards bad behavior but, if I had to choose right now and all things being equal, I'd give it to German solely because I believe if he is sent down to Scranton it will mess up his mind and bad things might happen. Sucks, but I think it is true.

2) I normally don't like to make fun of things people have no control over but at one point during the game I became struck by how odd/strange/funny some of the Pirates names are. It could just be me but..

Wilmer Difo - Sounds like the secret identity of a Dell Comics superhero from the 50's.

Oneil Cruz - Mom was a Paulie fan? Liked the playwrite? Never saw Oneil as a first name.

and my favorite...

Braeden Ogle - Here's the thing with this. A lot of last names names are taken from professions. Brett the Gardner, Frank the Baker, Willie the Shoemaker.

So Braden ancestor was like, Johnathan the Ogler? How creepy was this guy that the name stuck?

Doug K.