Wednesday, July 13, 2022

As Hope Week arrives, Yankee fans begin to lose theirs

With a 14-game lead in the AL East, the mighty 2022 Yanks should be triple booster vaccinated against Covid, monkey pox and despair. 

Don't you believe it. At the beginning of Hope Week, pessimism reigns across the Yankiverse. And why not? For 13 years now, Yank fans have learned to expect the worst. That way, they're not disappointed when the October sky falls, and Chicken Little is proven right.

Okay, I know what you're thinking: Yeesh, Duque, how can you be so negative? We have a 14-game lead in the AL East! A winning percentage over .700! The most all stars named from any team! To hear you talk, the floors are caving. Good grief! 

Okay, smartass, since you mentioned them, let's talk about our "all stars." Though he pitched well last night, Gerrit Cole got whacked in Boston - five runs in six innings, forcing the bullpen to take over. Nasty Nestor couldn't make it out of the fourth. Jose Trevino has flattened as a .250 hitter. Aaron Judge's legs are shot, perhaps from roaming CF. Giancarlo Stanton is hitting .162 in July. And last night, Clean Clay Holmes blew a three-run lead without recording an out. Not one. Against the Reds. At home.  

Good luck, American League!

But wait, there's more. Aaron Hicks - hitting .385 over his last eight games - drilled a foul ball off his shin and hobbled off the field. That's the Hicks we know: Starts cold, heats up, gets hurt. Cold-hot-hurt. In the postgame Boone Lagoon, the Yanks downplayed Hicks' injury, saying hooray! no bone was shattered! But we've seen this loop. Cold-hot-hurt. Cold-hot-hurt. Expect him back after the all star break and hitting .150. Cold-hot-hurt.

DJ LeMahieu seems to have settled into a tired, glacial .260 continuum. The days of .330 look like ancient history; he's gone from great to competent. He entered July hitting .266. He's now .268. It's not terrible - let's remember: the guy plays everywhere - but he's not the MVP candidate of 2020. And it's hard to forget those two blown pop flies that opened the flood gates at Fenway...  

Speaking of those flies, Aroldis Chapman! Still no clue. In May, he headed baseball's deepest bullpen. Now, we're always a gopher ball from Wandy Peralta and Lucas Luetge, and did we really snag Albert Abreu after Texas waived him? Without El Chapo firing bullets (no pun intended), who can have confidence in him? Especially when he has none himself? Right now, it's Holmes, Michael King and the cast of Abbott Elementary. If we can't hold the line against Cincinnati, no lead is safe.

So, yeah, we're 14 up with games to play in October. Hooray. But a lingering deficit remains: Youth. 

Boston beat us with Jeter Downs. Last night, the Reds used a collection of nobodies. Tampa constantly replaces skin cells. But the mighty Yankees are now into their second straight year without promoting a homegrown impact rookie. Where are the youngsters, with their hope and innocence? Yeah, there's Baby-Faced Ron Marinaccio, whose arm has fallen off, and an occasional appearance of JP Sears. But Clarke Schmidt belongs on milk cartons. 

We have no youth. For unknown reasons, the Yankees seem to have soured on Estevan Florial. He'll soon be traded to a franchise that covets a young, speedy OF with power. But it won't happen here. The great Yank hope, Anthony Volpe, remains at least a year away, and SS Oswald Peraza - after a terrible start in Scranton - heated up in June and has flattened in July. He, too, more and more looks like fodder for a trade, into which Yank fans increasingly place their Hope Week hopes. 

Why the dearth of young players? Well, we traded them all, last Aug. 1, to bolster a wild card stretch run that - in the end - lasted one game. The dog days of summer are upon us, and no matter what their record says, the Yankees look tired, old and staggering toward the all star break. Hope Week? Be serious. 


C... said...

6 all-stars is 6 players who didnt get extended rest during the break.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Clay "Johnny" Holmes has shot his wad. Nestor's 15min are up. Can they trade Tallion the Stallion for Roansy Contreras? Could Torres finish a 5K? Houston is 3 back in the loss column, does anyone think that Nat King Cole will win a game 7 in Houston?

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I can't fathom this team making it to a game 7 with Houston,,,, URGGGG!

JM said...

We're in grave danger of falling under .700.

Last night was simply ugly. Holmes became Chapman. Peralta stayed Peralta. The offense got a lead and then couldn't do shit. And we wasted a nice start by Cole.

What year is it again? 2021?

ZacharyA said...

This team has some wild home/away splits this year, going both ways.

Gerrit Cole
(Home) 9 GS, 57.2 IP, 8 BB/74 K, 2.03 ERA, 0.832 WHIP
(Away) 9 GS, 48.2 IP, 22 BB/61 K, 4.25 ERA, 1.212 WHIP

Josh Donaldson
(Home) .179/.277/.277 (.554 OPS) in 130 PA
(Away) .268/.340/.500 (.840 OPS) in 156 PA

Doug K. said...

A truly frightening summary off of an even more frightening game.

We'd better hope that Holmes hasn't developed a case of the yips. Because that's what it looked like to me. He wasn't even close with his pitches.

Perhaps being named an All-Star broke him.

Seriously, I'm surprised one of those pitches didn't hit Keith Olbermann's mother.

Uh oh...

The Hammer of God said...

With the very first pitch that almost drilled a guy, Holmes didn't look like himself. Be prepared for an anouncement that Holmes needs surgery on his elbow, because sudden control issues like that always make me think elbow trouble. The clock struck midnight on Holmes, and he turned into a pumpkin.

Yanks played over .700 ball for the first half. There's really no reason why they couldn't play under .300 ball for the second half. Ba-Boone had everything going right for him in the first half. Now, he's got everything going wrong all at once.

Looks like they're answering the question that we all had through the first half. No, this team ain't for real. They're pretenders. They're most likely going to have a historic meltdown. And possibly finish dead last in the A.L. east. with a .500 record.

Oh well, if that's what it takes to get Brain Cashman out of here....

AboveAverage said...

Honestly (even though few will admit it)

Holmes has been looking "Yippy" for his last four appearances.

Signs have been there.

Proof is in the Zone.

Matt P. said...

Our sole focus should be on Astros. And it ain't looking good. While we blow saves, and last night against a woeful Reds team, Astros are playing Angels and A's before allstar break. 2 teams who can't win to save their lives. Our offense thinks they can just snooze with a 3 run lead? And we can just "chalk it up to a bad night" for Holmes? No. Unacceptable. Because now Astros are only 3 back in loss column. And guess what looms right after the Allstar break...a 2 game double header in Houston, where Houston is purposely lining up Verlander and we just can't win. Plus, Cole pitches Sunday, so he isn't available. I have full expectation Astros overtake Yanks top spot by then. And they won't look back. So the road will obviously go through Houston.

13bit said...

Have you heard? It's in the stars.
Next July we collide with Mars.
Well did you evah...
What a swell party this is.

Mel said...

Boone watched Holmes clearly not have it through 4 batters and leaves him in. According to statistics, I guess, the odds of getting the next batter is guaranteed.