Friday, July 8, 2022

Did we imagine it, or did Yankee fans own Fenway last night?

A five-run deficit in the 3rd inning sure can Sylvia Plath a home crowd. Take last night: You were not reliving some pre-2004, purple haze flashback: Yank fans were actually overwhelming their "Hub" counterparts, right in the Fenway frat house. 

While a sweep would certainly be gratifying, capping one of the greatest first-halves in Yankee history, let's not be greedy. A gracious winner knows when to ease his toes from the pedal, and Lord knows how kindly Redsock fans have treated us in recent years, when the Yanks faltered. These pillars of sportsmanship would always extend the welcoming hand of friendship, shouting "FUCK YOU" in the way that zoo chimps fling their feces at tourists- purely in tribute. 

Of course, we cannot let up, not in any way. Last night, even with a five-run lead and an emasculated home crowd, who among us did not fear the absolute worst? It's engrained into us. We cannot forget last July, when the Yankees were poised to enter the all star break on the most joyous note in the last entire decade.

We were sweeping the Astro cheaters in Houston, following two shutouts - one started by Nasty Nestor, the other a complete game by Gerrit Cole. Now, we led game three by a 7-2 score in the ninth. Mean Chad Green came in to finish them off.

He retired one batter. That's all. Nobody could meltdown like Mean Chad. In the end, Jose Altuve hit a 3-run, walk-off HR, and whatever momentum the Yankees had heading into the break, it vanished with that gopher ball. We've had ninth-inning PTSD ever since. 

If the Yankees do take this series, or merely split it - and if they avoid some stunning, out-of-body meltdown, they will enter the all star break with a lead of around 14 games. Do the math. It will be almost impossible for any AL East team to catch them. (And aside from the Yankees, the hottest team in the division is... Baltimore!)

There are reasons to believe at least a few Yankees will improve in the second half. 

Giancarlo Stanton should hit higher than .237. Same with Anthony Rizzo, who - for all his power numbers - should do better than .223.  DJ LeMahieu is hitting .263; that's below his standards. We can imagine Josh Donaldson hitting more than 8 HRs. And Aaron Hicks, who is batting .400 over his last seven games. Let's not even worry about Joey Gallo, who is probably in his final days as a Yankee. 

The fear, of course, is innings. Our pitching staff is reaching its career limits. How far can Luis Severino, Nestor Cortez and Jameson Tailion go before the sheer volume of workload - far greater than they've known in the past - takes its toll? Same with the bullpen. If the Yankees have any trade chips, they will need to fortify their pitching staff - perhaps even more than dealing for a corner outfielder.

Last night, right in Fenway, the Yankee fans came through. We had John and Suzyn broadcasting from Boston; how many times will that happen again? (Said The Master: "I mean, Cole is a great pitcher, and Devers absolutely owns him, OWNS HIM!" Later, he said, jubilantly, "I'm repeating myself so much this year.")

And tonight, in Fenway, we must be loud. Early leads - they sure are fun, eh?


DickAllen said...

I have never loved John Sterling as much as I did last night. He was a much younger, humbler and funnier version of himself. He made it sound like Yankees baseball once again. Even his warble had a little lilt at the end.

Boston Sucks.

Harold Sucks. Crawl back under your golden rock you lizard. I'm sure we'll be hearing from you after Judge signs crosstown: "We made him a fair offer... and blah, blah, blah..."

JM said...

Is Devers the Altuve of Boston? Will Cole ever overcome the Fenway Curse? Can Nestor and Sevvy handle the terrors of the Green Wall? And what about Judge's lower back and Rizzo's back in general?

These and other questions will be answered, in tonight's episode of..."Soap."

ranger_lp said...

IIHIIFIIC thinking...we started last night thinking we might get swept by the Red Sox. We won...worst that can happen is the Red Sox can gain two games on us in the standings. Updates after tonight's game on Amazon Prime...

Doug K. said...

Yes Devers is the Altuve of Boston. The Yankees shouldn't pitch to either of them.

To Duque's point about the second half...

While it's hard to imagine a better one, there are a bunch of improvements that will take place.

1) Chapo is no longer the closer. Imagine how last night's game could have gone if he were the 9th inning pitcher. Sure he will do some closing. But not in the big moments.

2) Gallo gone. The guy to get is the Astro killer or Reynolds (who long term is the better if more expensive choice. I'm not sure Benedenatendi moves the needle as much as we think.

I feel bad for Joey. He clearly tries. He's like that kid who was picked last for a playground game who desperately wants to prove he should have been picked sooner.

3) German is coming back. We forget how good he was because he is a dirt bag wife/girlfriend-beater.

4) JP Sears. All he does is get outs. (Even as a trade chip we benefit)

5) Johnny Lasagna returns.

That said, Five things that can go wrong...

1) Judges calves.
2) Rizzo and Donaldson are old and subject to body woes.
3) Our starters no longer look invincible.
4) Brain will be making the trade for a LF.
5) The Astros.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Great analysis, Doug!

I think Torrents getting hurt may have been the biggest break of all. Now we just need to keep Clay Holmes healthy, so Ma doesn't slot him back in as closer.

HoraceClarke66 said...

For once, too, we get a break on being the "Game of the Week."

All three remaining games are at night. A travesty, not to have day baseball on a July weekend. BUT...we now how this team plays on day games following night games. This should keep everyone at least relatively chipper.

HoraceClarke66 said...

BJs bludgeoned by the Mariners last night, and have now lost 6 of 7.

Rays are on the rise—having won 5 of their last 6. But they have 4 more at home against Boston before the break, so that can't be bad. I'm hoping for a split.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Devers is not the cheating, lying asshole that Altuve is. When you see him interviewed, he actually seems humble, if not a little bit slow. I can't hate the guy. Kinda like Tim Wakefield. I just want him to lose.

That doesn't mean they shouldn't pitch at him instead of to him.

And nothing is sweeter than silencing the racist townie assholes at phenweigh pahk.

AboveAverage said...

Great points, Doug K (which is close to Dough K or el duque - okee dokee?)

A few additional thoughts:

1. Judge's gastrocnemius muscles are each bigger and heavier that Altuve - so if they're aching its best to give them the attention that they need.

2. Nasty Nestor should be extra-wicked nasty tonight. No early long balls please. (personal message to Mr Cortes because we ALL know that he regularly reads this site - - - Nestor - you know that new double devil hipster release you've been working on.....THE TIME IS NOW TO BRING IT INTO PLAY! Once or twice will do. Come on now. EXTRA-WICKED-NASTY)

3. There is no finer CUP of JOE in the morning than Guatemalan Antigua Peaberry Medium Roasted Coffee! YUMMY!

4. Upon review - Number Four has been redacted

5. I know a great Rolfer in NYC if Mr Rizzo's lower back problems continue on to nag and annoy

6. WIN! WIN!!! WIN!!!!!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yanks had Devers' cousin, Jose, in the minors. Sent him to Miami in the Stanton deal. He briefly made it to the show last year, seems to lack all of his cuz's power and general hitting ability.

Doug K. said...

If Devers makes to to free agency in 2024 he would be a great get.

TheWinWarblist said...