Monday, September 12, 2022

Yank loss column lead now four (4): Breathing room and a more kindly schedule

Over the next 10 days: Six v Boston, three v Milwaukee, two v Pittsburgh - then settling up with the BJs. 

Meanwhile, beginning tonight, Toronto and Tampa go Russia/Ukraine on each other five games. Five. 

Unless one team sweeps, and we fall apart - not a far-fetched notion, by the way - we should easily glide into the first-round bye.

One concern: 

If we've learned anything about the 2022 Yankees, it is that Newton's Third Law prevails: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Any winning streak will be followed by a stinky collapse. Those games against sub-.500, Tomato Can Boston? Don't get cocky. You think you know juju? Those cheap suited demi-demons will laugh at you. Anything can happen. 

This we know:

1. Technically, Clay Holmes is back, but he's not the lights-out closer of Memorial Day. Yesterday, as if to prove his own private doubts, Aaron Boone brought in Holmes with a 7-run lead. He walked a batter, gave up an earned run, struck out two. Meh. In his last four games, Holmes has twice been touched for runs. (Give credit: He pitched two innings in the walk-off win over the Mini-Twinkies, arguably the most pivotal victory since July. 

Without Holmes, the Yankees have a potluck supper bullpen. And barring a miracle cure for his infected skin, I don't think anybody expects the Cuban Canvas, Aroldis Chapman, to pitch after Oct. 3. We still have PTSD from his last appearances.

2. Oswaldo Cabrera hit his first HR yesterday. (Sterling call: "The Wizard of Oz!" which makes no sense, confused with Oswald Peraza, right?) I cannot recall the last time a Yankee rookie looked so poised at the MLB level - wait, actually, I can: It was Derek Jeter. 

Okay, hold your fire: I am NOT saying Cabrera is Jeter. But wherever he plays, the guy makes an impact, and he always seems in the right place... as Jeter once did. (The Flip.) I don't know where Cabrera will end up - (probably 2B, so long, Gleyber?) but it's nice to see the HR. He showed power in the minors. He should be a 15-25 HR-per-year hitter. 

3. With a little wiggle room - and Toronto and Tampa bashing in each others' brains - maybe the Death Barge can heal? Maybe. Over the last six weeks, as the team continually stumbled, you could feel hope fizzling out of the Yankee balloon. It still can happen. But but but... it probably won't. 

That means one shining light for all the current Yankee disappointments: 

The chance for an October redemption. 

Heading into the meat-grinder, Yankee fans have compiled a grand and glorious shit list: Aroldis, Donaldson, Gleyber, Hicks... Dear God, reciting their names is like summoning the Demon. But even Hicks - even Hicksy! - will likely get another shot at some fairy tale redemption. October will put the defining mark on their Yankee careers. This is why Yankee fans are so restless: Over the last 12 Octobers, we have nothing but failures. 

This is why the Yankees are still different from all other teams: The only month that truly matters is October. And the Yankees are going to be there.


JM said...

I was looking at the World Series schedule. It goes into November. Not because of some act of God or crazed terrorists. That's where it falls now.

So imagine the Yankees in the WS. Playing in very late October and November in New York.

We went to one October playoff game, years back. It was freezing. And you're sitting there, not moving around, and the seats are cold as ice (Foreigner!). It was not really fun. As bad or worse than going to see an Army-Navy football game as a 13-year-old, played in an ancient stadium with concrete, backless seats.

With the security precautions we have now, can fans bring blankets into the Stadium? I'd guess that battery-powered hand warmers would be out.

TheWinWarblist said...

Wiggle room? Favorable schedule? These Our 2022 New York Yankees® have been the worst team in MLB since the All-Star break. The worst. They cannot make the playoffs. They cannot win a single post-season game if perchance they back into a wild card.

What is wrong with you? Do you think this is 1998?


Rufus T. Firefly said...


We love you, but you might be off your meds. You are showing optimism. AGAIN!

If this is just a shameless ploy to sell your book, I salute you. Otherwise, sheesh!

Doug K. said...

It's a magical time to be a sports fan in NY.

The Hammer of God said...

Two very good wins the last two days, against the Tampons. We won a crucial series against the officially designated Yankee Killers of the A.L. East. And we won convincingly!

But allow me to pour some cold water onto our bloated heads: after scoring a bunch of runs against the Tampons's opener, or whoever the hell he was, we got railroaded once again by our nemesis, the Yarlboro Man a/k/a Ryan Yarbrough. Five innings of shutout, lights out, 2 hit baseball. By a soft tossing, fastball locating, speed changing lefty, who is everyone else's designated pinata. Whoever we face in the playoffs is going to be able to pitch at least as well against us as this guy. What does that tell you about our chances of surviving one playoff round?

The only reason we won this series was that the Tampons, with managerial genius Kevin Cash, outthought themselves, and inserted openers, interlopers, and gamblers into a game which the Yarlboro Man should've, could've, would've started. The Yarlboro Man likely would've tossed at least 8 shutout innings against us. And then it would've been Pete Fairbanks time. How's that for a reality check?

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

Wizard of Oz is pretty lame for a number of reasons

1) Uh... Ozzie Smith.
2) Ozzie Nelson
3) His "Nobody beats the Riz" (which I like)

Here's a couple he should use.

"IIHIIFIIG.... Bang! A great shot by Oswaldo. He assassinated that ball."

"IIHIIFIIG... Where's Oswaldo? Running around the bases for a Home Run."

or at a minimum...

"IIHIIFIIG... Oswaldo hit the balldo over the walldo!"

The Hammer of God said...

Did everyone see the two Gleyber Torres home runs? He has his front foot up in the air for a really long time as the pitch is coming. Then he looked awfully off balance after the swings. His mechanics are waaaaaay too noisy. Yeah, he hit two homers in a game, but man, this guy's mechanics are messed up.

Contrast Gleyber's mechanics with those of Stanton and Cabrera's on their home runs. The latter two had much better swings. Stanton's swing is kind of monstrous, like a guy swinging a two by four. Cabrera has a sweet lefty swing, a thing of beauty. Lou Pinella would be proud.

The Hammer of God said...

@ Doug K. I like Oswaldo/balldo/walldo!

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I vote for where's (Os)waldo.

Hammer, you are spot on.

JM said...

Yeah, me too!

As for Gleyber, yes, he looks terrible at the plate. But if he starts hitting with regularity, especially with power, that won't matter. Results count, and though mechanics usually determine or at least influence results, they're secondary.

So if he looks like shit and is all over the map, I'm fine with it as long as the ball goes over the fence. Or in the gap, or wherever nobody can catch it. Whether or not he can do that is up to him, bad as his swing might be.

ZacharyA said...

Through 23 games, Oswaldo Cabrera is hitting .205/.239/.301 (.540 OPS) and is 3-19 (.158) with RISP. A single home run in a blowout game isn't enough to convince me the Yankees have actually developed a skilled bat here. Obviously, I'm not going to judge Cabrera too harshly on a tiny sample size, but I'm also not giving Cashman and the development team an ounce of credit until we see more at the plate.

It looks like the Yankees are going to make the playoffs regardless of how the season ends thanks to Manfred's expanded schedule. Even if the Yankees go 5-16 or something horrific, it would take almost perfect play by the Orioles and Guardians to pass them in the overall AL standings. Not gonna happen.

So now I'm just invested in Aaron Judge's home run race. He hasn't homered in five games, but he hit .444/.542/.500 (1.042 OPS) in that stretch so he isn't cooled off. Just getting pitched around a bit. He needs to hit 1 HR every 3 games the rest of the way to reach 62. Still seems doable to me unless Boone starts giving him extra rest.

DickAllen said...

Yeah, the Yankees will be playing in October.

But not for long.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Blowout was still in the 2nd inning so I'll give him that.
He also looks like he cares and is actually trying. Unlike a lot of payroll we see too often.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

If Boone rests Judge to cost him the HR crown, he'd better enter the witness protection program.

TheWinWarblist said...

"IIHIIFIIG... Oswaldo hit the balldo over the walldo!"

Yes. This. So much more of this.

Perfunctory Fuck.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Doug for the win!

Carl J. Weitz said...

How about " Oswaldo just hit a magic bullet"? No? LOL

Carl J. Weitz said...

Or " Oswaldo hit that ball all the way to Dealey Plaza"! Yup...even worse.

The Hammer of God said...

@Carl, A bit macabre. Maybe on Halloween? If we're still playing. (I don't think we'll be.)

daveyhead said...

“Oswaldo hits it to the grassy knoll!”
A little editorial license