Friday, September 17, 2021

Once again, last night, the 2021 Yankees glimpsed their destiny

The American language needs a new word, one that describes a sports team mired in a horrible, quicksandy destiny. 

"Doomed" is too dramatic; nobody dies in baseball. "Damned" is too magical; this is a real earth problem. "Cursed?" "Ill-fated?" "Undead?" -close, but none covers the 2021 Yankees - a ruined, desperate, zombie team now facing its final, irrelevant destination.

"Lost?" "Ill-starred?" Hey, I can do Roget's, but none can do justice to last night's defeat.  

In another time, last night's loss - to Baltimore! - would have made Top 5 on the Soul-Crushing Index. But in this Year of the Torture Chamber - hell, it's just another dried teardrop in the scrapbook. 

In case you missed it - lucky! - the Death Barge came within one pitch of handing Baltimore its 100th loss. We faced the worst hitter on baseball's worst lineup, who had already fanned three times on the night. We had two strikes on him. Then, our battery couldn't execute a pitch. A wild pitch tied the game. We lost in extras. Good riddance.

Growing up watching the Yankees, I don't remember wild pitches and passed balls being such a thing. You might see one or two in a game. Now, with 20 strikeouts per game, the YES announcers wonder aloud about balls going directly to the backstop - they happen all the time. You'd think it was little league. Last night, the wild pitch was the second in the inning. We literally threw the game away. 

So, what word encapsulates such ridiculous, unnecessary self-torture? I mean, nobody forced us to root for this team. We've already suffered a season's worth of torment - walk offs to the Rays, to Jose Altuve, to the cornfield, we've watched El Chapo bombed, Chad Green get humiliated, errors, wild pitches - what word describes our bovine, lemminglike willingness to march toward this final culling, which we know will be ugly? Can October 4 come too soon?

Insert sigh here.

This season, Tampa went 15-1 against Baltimore. After last night, the Yankees finished at 9-8. The ultimate tomato can, and we barely beat them. 

By the way, today, nobody can whine that Aroldis Chapman wasn't pitching the ninth. That ship has sailed. Clay Holmes - pitching his second inning - actually brought more hope. The Yankees have no one to finish a game, no one to hold even a five-run lead. We wait for Jonathan Loaisiga, knowing that if he comes back - a risky proposition, considering his injury record - he will be rusty and probably fail a few times. And then the question will be, who pitches the seventh and eighth, to get the ball to him? 

We are headed directly toward the ice berg. This team is - hmm -Titanicking? 

Nah. Still not there. The Yankees are going down, and there are no words. 


Celerino Sanchez said...

I'm shocked that Johnny (lifetime ERA 5.10) Holmes blew a save and Wandy (lifetime ERA 4.52) lost the game. These were key Cashman add-ons during the season and would be a perfect fit for the O's but not for a so called Championship driven franchise.

Ironbow said...

The Yankees season was essentially over after the Toronto series. It's a mediocre club with an uncertain future. Nothing else to talk about.

ranger_lp said...

HoraceClarke67 said...

It's just a basic professionalism that's missing. Having already thrown a wild pitch in that inning, with the O's worst hitter up...Holmes and Wattle have to make certain they don't let that ball get away. There's just no excuse for it.

This team is barely alert most of the time.

Dantes said...

Given how this season has gone, between the bad play and the viral outbreaks I’m gonna describe them as Poxed 🤔

TheWinWarblist said...

Posed is good. That of course brings to mind "Plagued."

TheWinWarblist said...

POXED is good.

Doug K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZacharyA said...

I can't get over how much complaining I've seen about Gary Sanchez's defense in the pouring rain or Clay Holmes wildness, and no one is calling out the Yankees offense, which once again let the team down.

The Yankees scored 2 runs in 10 innings against the Orioles pitching staff, the worst in all of baseball (5.90 ERA).

I cannot stress how embarrassing that is.

In their eight losses to the Orioles this year, the Yankees scored: 3, 2, 3, 6, 1, 3, 7, and 2 runs. The lineup has underperformed in 75% of those losses.

This is the story of the season.

Clay Holmes has been good as a Yankee (2.29 ERA). Wandy allowing a Manfred run to score is whatever: the winning "hit" could've been an inning-ending DP with better defensive alignment.

But the mighty New York Yankees being unable to hit the Baltimore Orioles pitching staff is the real stinker here.

JM said...

I check on my phone to see what's happening in the game. This one had the smooth, yet acrid, smell of long expired camembert that we know so well.

Ahh. The tang, the emergence of novel bacteria and festive green-blue mold spots. Vintage 2021 Yankees. Pair with well-turned Merlot for that vinegary chaser.

In other news, not to be outdone, the New York Giants bumbled ineptly for the final two minutes of their game, giving up a slim lead with eau de toilette defense and pénalités moroniques, and losing in similar fashion.

It's going to be a long winter.

Anonymous said...

I like Poxed as well but perhaps it takes the responsibility away from the players and management and gives it to the pox. Like Cursed. Hey what are you gonna do? They're cursed.

How about Inept. Because they are truly inept.

A pitcher who throws two wild pitches in the 9th inning? Inept.

An inability to bring a runner home from second with no outs? Inept.

A manager that keeps putting relievers out there who can't get the job done? Inept.

Giving up viable relievers for nothing and replacing them with crap. Inept.
A second baseman who can make routine plays? Inept!

Inability to beat the worst team in baseball. Inept!

I could continue but I think the point is made.

That said, Poxed does have more zing.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

A second baseman who CAN'T make routine plays? Inept! (Not can.)

A commenter who can't proofread his own stuff! Inept!

Doug K.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Zachery, the hitting is the hitting. They were up 2-1 in the ninth against the worst team in baseball and they lost. How many games has this bullpen lost. All I hear is how you can't blame the pitching. Last time I looked the bullpen is part of pitching and it SUCKS!!

Anonymous said...

Inept, indeed! Another nail in the coffin for 2021. How many nails does it take to seal a corpse in a wooden coffin? About the number of games the Yankees have remaining for this year. This team is only a little better than Baltimore. And this is supposed to make the playoffs and win the World Series? I'll add another term, albeit more than one word, to the mix here: this team is a BAD JOKE.

The Hammer of God

ZacharyA said...

>Growing up watching the Yankees, I don't remember wild pitches and passed balls being such a thing.

Yankees Wild Pitches + Passed Balls

2021: 89
2016: 66
2011: 74
2006: 63
2001: 75
1996: 72
1991: 66
1986: 57
1981: 30 (Rick Cerone and Barry Foote were apparently blocking gods)
1976: 55
1971: 58

My brief look at the data indicates that there has been a natural increase in wild pitches and passed balls over the last 50 years, probably linked to the rise in pitch velocity.

But the Yankees are having an extraordinarily bad blocking season. League average in 2021 is 66 WP+PB per team. The Yankees are 35% worse than league average, though not the worst in baseball (White Sox are 39% worse than average).

It's tempting to just point at Gary Sanchez and give him the entire blame, but Cashman has collected a stable of high-velocity pitchers that pound the dirt with sliders, and Kyle Higashioka and Rob Brantley have struggled to block as well. Not defending Sanchez, who is clearly bad behind the plate. But this is a team effort.

ZacharyA said...


>They were up 2-1 in the ninth against the worst team in baseball

I don't know how you can type that up and be unable to acknowledge how embarrassing it is that the Yankees only scored 2 runs against the worst team in baseball.

The bullpen has certainly struggled, I'm not denying that. But Clay Holmes allowing a single run should not have been the death blow. The lineup put us in that position.

Yankees Runs Scored

2017: 858 runs (2nd in MLB)
2018: 851 runs (2nd in MLB)
2019: 943 runs (1st in MLB)
2021: 638 runs (19th in MLB)

Yankees Bullpen ERA
2017: 3.34 ERA (3rd in MLB)
2018: 3.38 ERA (4th in MLB)
2019: 4.08 ERA (9th in MLB)
2021: 3.66 ERA (5th in MLB)

The 2021 Yankees bullpen has a lower ERA than the 1998 Yankees bullpen (3.76 ERA) but it doesn't matter because we can't score runs.

Carl J. Weitz said... neglected to insert Johnny's middle nickname:
Johnny " Wad" Holmes.
And the Yankees have already shot theirs. Yesterday, they, ummm, came up empty.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Good point, Zach!

Carl J. Weitz said...

It's amazing, JM...the Giants always find some way those the game. Last night they found a new one: An offsides on a Washington missed FG with 5 seconds left. Vastly overrated defense that cannot stop the run or pass. Pathetic organization. Another absentee uber-wealthy owner. What is it with NY sports team ownership? To paraphrase Dean Wormer, Inept, drunk and satisfied is no way to run a sports franchise.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Some way to lose those games*

ranger_lp said...

@Carl...Giants don't have a pass rush...therein lies the problem...

Carl J. Weitz said...

LOL...Ranger, they have a multitude of problems.

Anonymous said...


You're right about the defense. Their "soft coverage" only works if the QB is under pressure. But their ineptitude goes WAY beyond that.


A number one draft pick that is already useless and disgruntled.

A Prima Dona free agent receiver.

The o line while better is still filled with subs.

Using the number two pick in the draft on a RB! (Who isn't as good as advertised. I know he was hurt but that counts too.)

Hiring a former cowboy HC as offensive coordinator. When he pretty much sucked in Dallas.

It's a long list. But it can be summed up with... They don't know how to win.

Doug K.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I am unsure why any of us want the NYYs to get into the playoffs as a wild-card entry.

If they win the WC game, so what? They'll get clobbered in the series that follows. Is there any doubt?

If they lose the WC game, it will fit in with what we have seen all year.

There is no upside. And if Hal keeps Cashmoney + Lorna Boone on the job into 2022, there's no hope for next year, either.

Sorry to be so gloomy. Realists (I pictured myself as one) are a real pain in a sensitive place. Even unto themselves.

Carl J. Weitz said...


You are correct about Gettleman.He is incompetent and a lying sack of shit. He has to overpay free agents because he is disliked and must pay a premium to have players accept him as a boss. Carolina discovered his many shortcomings and got rid of him.

DickAllen said...

Joe FOB:

It's not likely many of us want to see the Yankees get into the wild card game, much less win it. There is a communal sense of foreboding if I read the temperature of this blog correctly. A kind of inevitability their eventual demise, and it's likely to happen in the same excruciating way they lost last night.

There's plenty of upside for Harold though. If the Yankees get in, and if they win the WC game, there will be a division series to watch and that will earn The Heir Apparent a great deal of money both in ticket sales/merch/food from the suckers (like us) and the windfall that comes with national television revenue.

So, all-in-all, it will be painful to watch, but watch we will, like sitting bedside vigil for an dying relative. One we used to be in love with. But Harold will laugh all the way to the bank (providing he actually has a sense of humor, which I doubt).

It's all about the money.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Zachery, I'm not saying that hitting is great, but you can give me all your ERA stats, the fact is they have close to 30 blown saves. How many times have people gone on this blog lamenting the fact that they blew games against the RS, the O'S, the W.S. They gave up 6r in the ninth against Houston and lost 8-7, was that the hitters fault? Lost to the Twins in 9th 7-5. They gave up 7r in the ninth to lose to the Angels 11-8. How about the Field of Dreams game 9-8, another Chapman beauty. If they had won these games and few others they'd be 3-4 GB Tampa. The old quote goes "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies & Statistics"

ranger_lp said...

@Carl...agree with all of that...

This season is a referendum of Gettleman. If the Giants don't make the playoffs, he's gone, Garrett is gone, Judge is gone, Jones is gone...everyone except Dixon and Gano.

Publius said...

Rough night for Yankees/Giants fandom.

Dantes said...

Yeah, I was going for the similarity with plagues plus poxed has the added body’s of being associated with syphilis

Dantes said...

Bonus Of being. That’s a weird autocorrect

Anonymous said...


agree that Gelltleman and Garret are gone. I think Judge gets a couple of more years. As to Danny Dimes. This loss ain't on him.

Doug K.

TheWinWarblist said...

Commentariat on fire this morning.

TheWinWarblist said...

ZachA we are all with you about the impotent hitting. (Impotent Poxed? The Impotent Poxed?) [shrugs] 2 runs is a disgrace. But the proximate cause was giving up an unforced run in the bottom of the ninth. Of course, the Yanks couldn't even get the ghost runner to third in the top of the 10th, much less score him. The Orioles look like a contender with something to play for in the bottom half. They would still be hitting if that first run didn't win it. They looked like they could have put up a dozen runs if they had needed them.

DickAllen said...

Jesus Christmas.

It's bad enough the Yankees suck.

Do I have to listen to how much the Giants suck, too?

The football season doesn't start until after the World Series. And it shouldn't.

Doug K. said...

Sorry Dick. Yesterday's loss was a particularly galling one.

Doug K.

ZacharyA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZacharyA said...

Yeah, Holmes and Sanchez shit the bed no doubt.

I just think the pen gets a disproportionate amount of grief compared with its actual role in the Yankees disappointing season.

Last night the pen gave up 1 ER in 3.2 IP (2.45 ERA).

If the 2019 Yankees were playing last night, it would've been 7-1 or something going into the 9th. Holmes and Sanchez would've coughed up a meaningless run in the pouring rain and none of us would care.

I can't tell you how many times this year this has happened. Bullpen gives up 1 run in 3-5 innings, which is a good performance, but we're online bitching about them because that 1 run was the difference in a 2-1 game.

The truth of the matter is no bullpen is going to put up a 0.00 ERA every night. It just doesn't happen. So if you play nothing but close games, each run they allow is going to look that much worse.

The 2009 Yankees had a 3.91 ERA from their pen, good for 13th in MLB. But who cares? They scored 5.65 runs per game, bludgeoned their opponents, and didn't play close games.

Also, I want to point out that earlier in the season - April, May, and June - when the lineup wasn't scoring and our starters weren't going deep, everyone was predicting that the heavy workload on the bullpen would come back to bite the team by the end of the year. Well, it's the end of the year. And we're being bitten.

Again, that's on the lineup for not scoring runs early this year.

Anonymous said...

Last night Sterling said that the fans in the stands were not wearing any clothes. After a short pause, he explained that of course he meant rain gear, as the rain was coming down pretty hard. But the images conjured up in my mind and the minds of other listeners were hilarious. I thought Sweeney would die laughing.

Scottish Yankee fan said...

I don't know of a name to describe this Yankees team but in Scotland we have a great word for how I feel as a Yankee fan


One of those words that all Scots know exactly what you mean it is a paragraph in one word

It means fed up disgusted sickened repelled outraged wearied nauseated

You can also call someone who does all these things as a scunner

Doug K. said...

Scunnered it is. I be scunnered. and tonight we're in for another scunnering at the hands of the Indians.

Doug K.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

SCUNNERED, that's it! I was lucky enough to miss the last two games,,,,,, I'll try to tune in tonight so I can wallow in misery of our shared skunnery!

Carl J. Weitz said...

And in a week the NHL teams opens camp. GO Rangers!
The only owner hated in NY more than Hal is the unctuous and contemptuous narcissistic drunk named Jim Dolan.

TheWinWarblist said...

Who's Jim Dolan?

Kevin said...

"Scunnered", man that's beautiful! I need to place it in working vocabulary.

Kevin said...

Who of the current positional players would you guys like to have back next year? For me: Judge, DJ, Voit, and Stanton-kinda. For me, this short list says it all.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Winnie...James Dolan owns the Knicks and Rangers. He executes a lifetime ban on anyone who disparages him at the games or carries signs he does not care for. Longtime season ticket holders included. Ex Knicks & Rangers as well. He's a stone cold alcoholic and super obnoxious prick. He inherited the team from his father (sound familiar) who owned Cablevision. He also owns Madison Square Garden, AMC, Sundance, MSG and several more cable networks.