Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Can Corey Kluber's core keep kloobing? And can Higgy have a heavier holler?

Last night brought something totally unexpected: 

The Yank bullpen didn't get roused before the old Daily News 5th.

Imagine that? A starter, not named Gerrit, lasting into the 7th. The stuff of wizards and wild cards, of peyote dreams and Lotto commercials. Could Andrew Yang be mayor? Could Caitlin Jenner run California? Can the Death Barge find a No. 2?

Alas, it came against Baltimore - home to the musical team of Mountcastle and Mancini. Let's not count the teeth on this stallion. Still, for the first time in 2021, Corey Kluber transmitted a thin beam of hope through the Stygian black pandemic skies. The Yankees' most expensive free agent from last winter lasted into the seventh, the 7th!, where Jonathan Loasiga could take over.

Dare we believe the rotation has a No. 2?

Here are Kluber's 2021 game logs, last night at the top.

As you see, it hasn't been pretty. Still, last night was by far his best of 2021. The  Yanks took an early lead, steadily widened it, and  Kluber squashed the O's like a carny fat lady sitting on a heckler.

Tonight, it's Domingo German, whose last outing went six innings and gave up 2 earned runs. Thursday, it's "The River" Jordan Montgomery, who - well - has been Kluber in reverse. He started April like Whitey Ford. He's finishing like Whitey Bulger.

June and July are light years away. We could all be dead. But after basically missing two years, it's fair to think Kluber would need a month to regain command. He's like a stroke patient, relearning how to talk. He may never dominate, as he once did for Cleveland. But if he becomes a No. 2, that is a tumbler clicking into place. We'll still be three cards shy of a full house, but we won't go four days a week cringing at the cosmos. 

Secondary note: Kyle Higashioka is soooooo the starting Yankee catcher that it's no longer funny or pleasurable to badmouth on Gary Sanchez. I am hereby calling for an IT IS HIGH moratorium on ripping Gary unnecessarily  - (note the qualifier.) 

Traditionally, the Yankees go through a phased mating dance with diminishing sluggers, before they finally invoke the Scranton option. If the slugger accidentally leans into one - blasts it 500 feet - raising his average to .120, the YES announcers zestfully rejoice, proclaiming that this was just the hit he needed to snap out of the funk. Thus, he gets to go another 0-30. 

Gary Sanchez is deep into that sad cycle, so well into the drain that it will even be hard for Aaron Boone to claim rebirth and resurrection. He is now the backup catcher, and a hitter who needs to seriously rethink his game before it's too late. It's no longer worth treating him like the IT IS HIGH pinata. Frankly, we should worry. 

Meanwhile, John Sterling needs to upgrade the Higgy call, which is "Higashioka... the home run stroke-ah!" Many Yankees have a prefix and suffix HR holler - (Example: It's a Tex message... Oh, you're on the Mark, Texieira!") Did I  miss something? Has The Master created a suffix for Kyle? If not, I would like to submit one.

Higgy... comes up biggy!

That's all I got.


Celerino Sanchez said...

Kluber is the new Iron Joe McGinnity. They should extend him now! the guy threw 6 innings.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I think I remember something to the effect of "Gettin' Higgy with It" from two/three years back, which was a surprising nod to hip hop culture from The Master,,, or was that just a dream??? LOL

Platoni said...

Higgy, he sure crushed that piggy!

I still need to finish my first coffee.

DickAllen said...

A sad tale. I have been Sanchez's biggrest (maybe only) supporter here, but this ending to the beginning (or is it the beginning of the ending?) of a potentially great career may be over.

Unless something really unusual happens, I can see him being shipped out by the trade deadline for a few warm bodies, maybe someone else's disappointment.

Dandy Prof said...

Indeed, The Master used it last night! "I'm getting Higgy with it!"

Whitey Fraud said...

The master really needs to rethink his Stanton call. Last night, he stumbled all over the Eye-talian phrasing. Not a good look! Maybe "Stanton leaves 'em starin'" (I got nothin')

Anonymous said...

Kluber got into the 7th, but he probably should've been removed in the 6th. You could see he was starting to get hit hard. Boone got lucky that Kluber didn't blow it. I guess Boone was fixated on getting Kluber to 100 pitches. The managing is so robotic and unresponsive to reality that I can't believe that this is really happening. To the list of all the stupid things that are wrong with the Yankees, you can add "worst managed team".

The Hammer of God

JM said...

Dick, he couldn't adjust. And mostly, couldn't catch. That's a pretty deadly combination.

As for Higgy..."Kyle hits one a mile" is my contribution. The Master is free to use it as he sees fit. He really did botch the Stanton call. Less of a tongue twister, maybe in, say, English, might be a good idea. I'm not a big fan of the "Judgian" and "Stantonian" blasts, either.

TheWinWarblist said...

6 AND two thirds.

TheWinWarblist said...

Should we really blame Sanchez for our being butt-hurt because our expectations for him were higher than he was capable of?

I, of course, say, "Yes!"

Ajax said...

Ky! Kare wa tomera RENAI!!! [Approximate Japanese equivalent of Giancarlo! Non sepo STOPARLO!]

Anonymous said...

"Kyle hits one a mile"" - good one. He should use it.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Duque, apologies in advance but your comment moratorium on Gary Sanchez left me more flat footed than Stanton rounding third.

What am I supposed to do with these?

What’s the safest place at Gary Sanchez’s birthday party?
Inside the piñata.

Knock Knock
Who’s There?
Gary Sanchez
Gary Sanchez who?

And last…

The night before the 2020 ALCS Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, and Luke Voit walk into a bar. The bartender asks them, “What’ll you have?” Gleyber says, “Give me two shots of Cuervo Gold” and Luke Voit says, “An ice cold beer” and Gary Sanchez says, “Surprise me.” and the bartender says, “OK. You’re benched.”

I'm good now. I promise.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Love it, Duque—and all of you crazy munchkins!

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Top Reasons to Love This Blog:

1) The addition of the Astros/Jose Altuve Countdown Clock

2) Duque's post of today (e.g., "Let's not count the teeth on this stallion.")

3) The concept that we actually need an IIH moratorium on ripping Gary.

4) The comments above, particularly Doug K's jokes.

Anonymous said...

Just saw that Chris Gittens had three HR's on Sunday.

also Judge is banged up again. So it's, hit a HR (by using his HR swing) hurt self. don't play for three days?

Doug K.

DickAllen said...

Uh, Doug...

Where did he hit these three homers?


The local arcade?

In a Scranton nightclub?

Never mind Gittens - our lord and savior Luke (The Gospel) Voit is on the horizon.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Glad we got rid of our best back-up outfielder. Who could have foreseen Aaron Judge getting hurt?

Anonymous said...


That's a good point. Now I have to go find where I read it.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

OK it was

Apparently I missed the quotes around the word "game"

From : Gittens posted a 1.248 OPS in spring training and has continued to club the ball in April, mashing three home runs in Sunday’s “game.”

Mea culpa maxima.

Doug K.

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