Thursday, October 20, 2022

Losing to Houston has become a painful ordeal, and if the Yankees are fated for another such outcome, I hereby request that it happen quickly

I'm so sick of losing to Houston... 

Seriously, I'm sick of the crowds. I'm sick of their orange hankies. I'm sick of Jose Altuve, sick of being sick of being sick of them. 

I'm sick of Verlander getting charity calls on balls and strikes: Last night, those in-the-vicinity strikes? WTF? Does he have photos of the home plate ump? Is this their new cheat? 

I'm sick of hearing how smart the Astros were, tanking all those years, so they could hoard draft picks, hold the city hostage to fund a stadium, and then cheat their way to a championship. The American way, right? Hooray for Houston. Hooray for oil profits.

I'm sick of hearing that - any minute now, tick-tick-tick  - Josh Donaldson will go on a tear. Spoiler alert: He won't. The guy hit .222 this year. He's doing what he did all season. Right now, he's a human Golden Sombrero, and last night, the way he missed belt-high fastballs, he might as well have been swinging a hologram.

Next season, he will be paid $21 million - a price tag Shallow Hal will point to, if and when the Yanks finish second in the Aaron Judge bidding war. (That's Hal's superpower - finishing runner-up in free agent auctions.) One note, though: If Judge walks to SF or LA - or Queens - it won't be Donaldson's fault. It will be Hal's. The Yankee-owned media better get that straight. 

I'm sick of waiting for Matt Carpenter to hit. I'm starting to think his six weeks of wonder last summer was a once-around-the-league mirage. Moreover, I'm tired of believing that anyone - even a savvied vet like Carpy - can simply step from the Injury List into the postseason - and hit. Last night, every time Carpenter came up with runners on base, he fanned. It should have happened in a Double A rehab game, not in October pressures against an existential nemesis.   

I'm sick of wondering whatever happened to Domingo German? Last night, I was stunned - STUNNED! - to see Frankie Montas get the call - though not stunned by the result. 

Frankie the Yankee quickly surrendered a HR, burying us ever deeper. Seeing Montas cut ahead into the Circle of Trust fuels the Cashman conspiracy theory, which says Aaron Boone wears a brain implant that forces him to use Cashman's Cuties - players the GM acquired through trades. Everybody else must wait his turn, until the Cuties have worn out their welcome (then becoming Cashman Castaways, soon to be traded for another Cashman Cutie.)

I'm sick of Jose Altuve. Did I mention him? Yeah, most of all, I'm sick of him.


Celerino Sanchez said...

It sucks when you have to play a varsity team. Using Montas & Schmidty came directly from Cashman. He trying not to look like an ultimate idiot in the A's trade and trying to show that they didn't need Whitlock because they had Schmidt. I'm sure Buster Ulney or some other Cashman lackey will start the cheating rumors soon. Again a team with a 200m+ payroll has to rely on a retread like Carpenter. I knew when Hicksie went down this team was in trouble. It really is to quote Yogi "Deja vu all over again"

mik said...

With all respect to Yogi Berra's 'It ain't over 'til it's over', it feels over. Certainly hope that I'm mistaken.

Dan said...

This summarizes the fundamental Yankee issue, year after year. Enough muscle to bully the Guardians of the world, but not enough weapons to compete with the great teams. You cannot have Donaldson / Carpenter hitting 5/6 and seriously expect to beat the Astros. And then trot out whomever from the bullpen to try and hold the game together. Ain't gonna happen.

Parson Tom said...

I thought the Hicks injury would be addition by subtraction, but apparently not if Carpenter is just going to be slinking back to the dugout with another K every time.

Donaldson struck out on three pitches twice in a row. Doesn't even deserve to be described as feeble.

And yet ... the Stanton double missed going over the wall by three or four feet. Maybe Boone would have managed to win if the team had the lead?

JM said...

We have Cole and Nestor and Sevvy. It ain't over. Unless the offense continues to whiff with runners in scoring position. We can only win then if our starters throw shutouts.

The Archangel said...

Simply put,

This team perfectly reflects its management and ownership.

As Stan Lee used to write, "'NUFF SAID"

Doug K. said...

So they add Peraza to the team and then don't play him?

It's Peraza at SS. IKF at third, Cabera in LF. If you have to use Donaldson at all (Hint: You don't) he comes in a late (and I mean late) inning replacement.

How hard is that to do?

Apparently VERY hard.


AboveAverage said...

Last night we MISSED STRIKES HARD (especially the strikes that were in the strike zone)

Mildred Lopez said...

I'm sick of Verlander and his John Houseman face, but even more so of knowing the Yankees could have had him in the rotation if Fiscal Hal or Brain Cashstrapped or whomever was in charge of the off-season cluster fuck would only have signed off on the player option year - an option contingent on him pitching 130 innings mind you - and handing a Verlander equivalent contract to the human windmill occupying the number 5 spot in the Yankees lineup for the foreseeable future, a windmill so pathetically overmatched even the wind is telling him to "just stay down man".

Seager? Nope. Verlander? Can't take a chance. Correa? He's a cheetah! But Donaldson? - oh yeah, now there's a difference maker. They were right about a big way.

Today's my birthday by the way. That's why I'm in such a good mood.

AboveAverage said...

Happy Birthday - Eat Cakes Hard

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

Late-night human sleep-aid Tony Paige, before his WFAN sign-off a few years ago, often said that the Yanks were built to win a Wild Card, not a World Series. He was right then, is still right now, and will remain right into perpetuity.

ZacharyA said...

Postseason batting lines (sorted by OPS)

Bader .263/.364/.895 (1.258 OPS)
Rizzo .316/.480/.684 (1.164 OPS)
Stanton .200/.261/.550 (.811 OPS)
Kiner-Falefa .267/.353/.267 (.620 OPS)
Judge .167/.200/.417 (.617 OPS)
Donaldson .211/.375/.211 (.586 OPS)
Cabrera .105/.105/.316 (.421 OPS)
Torres .130/.200/.130 (.330 OPS)
Trevino .067/.063/.067 (.129 OPS)
Carpenter .000/.000/.000 (.000 OPS)

You just can't win like this.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Happy Birthday Mildred.

Maybe you'll be too drunk by the time we get to tonight's option J) -- Boone screws the game up two nights in a row.

Mildred Lopez said...

Thank you AA. It's our anniversary today too - 21 years of marital bliss. My wife is cooking dinner today, daughter making a cake after school. I'm the King For A Day!

Mildred Lopez said...

Thank you RTF!

The Hammer of God said...

@Mildred Lopez, "Fiscal Hal", that's a good name for him, I think we'll put that one to good use over the winter and next year. Happy Birthday!

Doug K. said...

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary!

My wife and I were married for two wonderful years. Just not contiguous in the 23 years we were married. A day here. An hour there. I remember a couple of good weeks in 2003.

(Yes it's an old Catskills joke and not mine but it seemed appropriate.)

The Hammer of God said...

Verlasshole threw another one of his patented invisible fastball games. He throws 'em. Yanks miss 'em. And when you swing and miss at everything, the ump starts callin' everything a strike, if it's within a foot or so of the plate. Typical Verlasshole game against the Yanks.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hilarious, Mildred Lopez! And congratulations, on all counts.

AND...does no one else remember what auspicious day this is???

It's MICKMAS! Mickey Mantle's birthday, 91 years ago, in a charming little toxic waste site, in Oklahoma.

Mildred, in ancient times, had we known you shared a birthday—and an anniversary—with The Mick, we would have proclaimed you our king and demi-god.

Well, times change. But still—Happy Birthday!

BTR999 said...

I'm proud to have been among the very first to call for robo-umps years ago. It would end the favoritism, anti-Yankee bias, and pitch framing nonsense.

Not so proud about the current state of my favorite team, whose puerile actions have completely validated every critical word written here. Loved Axisa's comment in the masthead. Cashman assembled a RH team last off season (in YS!!!!!) and indicated that it didn't matter, then got very luck for a while with Carpenter. I'm afraid Carpenter simply isn't ready to contribute. No one should have expected his hot streak to continue unabated anyway.

I'm not such an asshole as to wish injury on any player, but it does speak volumes how easily losing Hicks has been shrugged off. That's how bad he was. No worries, both he and the execrable Donaldson will be back next year.

Zach's stats were very telling. Torres, Donaldson, Cabrera, Trevino, and yes even Judge seem overmatched in every AB. This was the way they all ended the season and its carried over into the postseason. The pitching has been ok aside from Schmidt, but we need to score. Like all MLB mgrs. Boone is much better at managing a lead. It does seem he punted last night's game, especially by bringing Mountass in. This echoes the approach during the regular season when early games seemed not to matter and the August swoon was shrugged off.

I have zero confidence in this team winning this series. Like Duque, I feel it might be better if it all ended quickly.

AboveAverage said...

No that sums it up, JM.

You hit your points hard.

Mildred L - we had our 21st one week ago today.

Enjoy being King for a day - but don’t forget “your” Queen.

What kind o kake is your daughter making you?

The Hammer of God said...

@JM, "Schmidt ... shouldn't have come out for the next inning after getting the d.p."

Yep, you're spot on. He got the d.p. but he was awful. He was hanging sliders all over the place.

This kid has got a lot to learn.

In Game 3 against Cleveland, when he blew the 9th inning after getting to two outs and a 1-2 count, he threw a rolling slider off the outside corner but a bit high. Maybe they don't hit crap like that it the minors, but they do hit 'em here in the majors. He doesn't seem to understand that a good hitter, with two strikes, will protect the outside corner. So in that situation, the pitcher needs to bury that slider down and away for a swinging strikeout. Or go against the grain and hit the high inside corner with the fastball for a called strike 3. You can't throw a lousy slider to the outside in that situation.

BaBoone has got a lot to learn.

BaBoone can't leave Schmidt in there for that next inning. He was lucky to escape that jam with the d.p. Go to someone else next inning.

Piiax said...

Well, cheer up all. Altuve will be 40 in eight years.

The Hammer of God said...

@borntorun999, "I'm not such an asshole as to wish injury on any player ...."

You can be an asshole. You have our full cooperation and consent!

Man, does that Donaldson suck. This guy is an upgrade offensively from Gary Sanchez?

13bit said...


I'm sick of Houston exposing us for what we are: a mediocre team with bad coaching, a bad farm system, poorly built, poorly managed. THIS IS BRIAN'S TEAM and yet he will not suffer from their bad performance. No accountability because HAL DOESN'T CARE.

Same old, same old. Spotty pitching. NO hitting. NO situational hitting. NO fundamentals.

It's not so much that Houston is great as that we suck ass.

Joe of AZ said...

Only cuz he hustles to first.....after a K

Joe of AZ said...

Taillon deserved the chance to go for 6 innings he was holding Houston down as good as any pitcher...

JM said...

The one silver lining of Houston's series against Seattle and so far against us: Altuve isn't hitting.

Little cheating shit.

The Hammer of God said...

@13bit, I think you're 100% right-o! It ain't so much the ASS-stros, it's on the Yanks. I don't think the ASS-stros are a great team. Which is why they only won one championship, when they were cheating. And which is why, if the ASS-stros do dispose of the Yanks and make it to the World Series, the ASS-Stros will lose to the San Diego Friar's Club ... er ... Padres!

You heard it here first!

The Hammer of God said...

@JM, Yeah, but imagine how bad it'll get when the cheating dwarf starts hitting ....

JM said...

Hammer, some guys get to their early 30s and just start losing it. He might be sliding downhill due to aging.

Of course, considering his height, he doesn't have that far to slide...

The Hammer of God said...

Would that that were so! We can hope and dream!

Mildred Lopez said...

Don't know what kind AA. She's 16 so anything she does for her parents is under the heading of "gift horse".

@HC...I grew up in a smallish city in western Pennsylvania, the only Yankees fan in the school, the neighborhood, maybe even the entire town thanks to my grandfather. Straight off the potato boat from the old country he lived in New York city with his cousins for a while before moving west. That's where his, and subsequently my Yankee fandom came from. He loved Mickey Mantle and always thought my mom should have named me Mickey - why wouldn't she? We were born on the same date after all! Unfortunately Mantle's best days were slipping below the horizon, as were my grandfather's, by the time I was rounding into a loud-mouthed wise ass.

Publius said...

After Gurriel homered, I turned it off. Not sure I've ever given up that early in that close a playoff game before. But this, the game was over.

BernBabyBern said...

Boone botched last night's game. Again. His pitching moves make no sense.

First, why was Taillon taken out? He'd held the Astros to one run and had only thrown 67 pitches. If the Yankees had a couple days rest and had a fully stocked bullpen with their top guys rested and ready, I can see taking him out. With what we had available last night, I can't fathom taking him out there.

Then, after Schmidt got out of the jam, why was he brought out for another inning? He hasn't been reliable lately. He's not the guy you want pitching in a tie game in the playoffs.

Boone was asked in the press conference if German was in the mix to potentially be used, and he said that he "always" is. So, the reporter asked, why hasn't he been used at all in this post-season? Boon says that German is there for situations that need "length."

WTF? Length? He took Taillon out after 4.1 innings -- more than half the game was left. The top bullpen guys were gassed from the Cleveland series, so Boone had two options -- use your B-level bullpen guys, or go to German. As usual, he made the wrong choice.

And when he finally decided to bring in one of the unused starters, why go to Montas instead of German? Do you really trust Montas -- hit like a pinata ever since the trade -- more than German? It seemed early to throw up the white flag, but that's what the move sure looked like.

Every time Boone makes a move, I want to throw bricks at the TV.

JM said...

TVs are valuable, Bern. Throw bricks at Boone.

The Hammer of God said...

BernBabyBern, The fact that BaBoone has not pitched German yet this entire postseason, that is indeed a headscratcher. Because German did pitch pretty well. You could even argue that German was their best pitcher for a spell during the regular season. They must have entirely lost confidence in German for some reason. Either that or they are hiding an injury. Something that's not bad enough to put him on the DL but bad enough to hold him out of games. But if so, then why not put Marinacchio on the roster, right?

ZacharyA said...

What's extra depressing is looking over this Astros roster and seeing how well the team is built.

FOUR starters with an ERA under 3.00

TWO depth starters/long men with an ERA under 4.00

SIX relievers with an ERA under 3.00

SEVEN batters with a BA above .250

EIGHT batters with a SLG above .400

NINE batters with a strikeout rate under 20%

I know, I know they're cheaters and we hate them.

But pulling back a bit, the guys running the show know how to build a well-balanced, deep championship roster.

The Hammer of God said...

Watched a replay of the Judge catch in right center vs Bregman's liner. Judge's left knee hit the ground so hard as he dove. That was cringe worthy. Hope his knee is all right.

ranger_lp said...

Why do you all think Boone is making these pitching moves?

I don't believe any of this. This is all Ca$hman.

The worse part of the Yanks getting to the ALCS is that Boone and Ca$hman are coming back next year with more of the same...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Great analyses all around, guys. Which is the sad part, since they seem to elude Boone and Cashie.

Yes, our hitters are completely overwhelmed—and I suspect Judge is trying to do too much. As annoying as Costas is, he made some good point about how you have to start getting guys on base so all those solo homers become two- and three-run shots.

Alas, we don't have anybody who can get on base, it seems!

HoraceClarke66 said...

And great point, Zachary. Yes, the Astros really ARE a well-built team. I don't know if they're "great," but they are far beyond us—and really, have been for 7 years now, or ever since they won the one-game play-in back in 2015.

The Yanks were young and rebuilding then. But it's worthwhile noting that the starter who shut us down rather effortlessly that year, Dallas Keuchel, has been gone from Houston for the last 4 seasons now.

In other words, they not only built a better team than we did, but have repeatedly REbuilt, or at least renovated it—constantly adding new pitchers and position players.

We have not did this.

AboveAverage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Hammer of God said...

@AboveAverage, "[t]heir I Ching coin tosses"

Wow, that's absolutely wonderful! This is the only sports blog in the universe where one can find a reference to the I Ching, I'm sure. (For those who don't know, the I Ching is a divination book written in ancient China, probably thousands of years ago, that you can ask questions, using any probability related device, such as coins, and it will give you answers.) However, I suspect that Yankee management is too stupid to consult the I Ching. They rely on their own analytics department, which, as we all know, is wrong most of the time.

Yesterday, I heard on WFAN that the Yankees wouldn't have Cabrera in the lineup because lefty hitters have more trouble against Verlasshole than righty hitters. So Donald Duck played. And for some unfathomable reason, they had Carpenter, a lefty hitter, doing his rehab against Verlasshole. That all sure worked out, didn't it?

BernBabyBern said...

Boone gave the lineup on the Michael Kay show:

Bader, CF
Judge, RF
Stanton, DH
Rizzo, 1B
Torres, 2B
Useless Guy ... sorry, I mean Donaldson, 3B
Higgy, C
Peraza, SS
Cabrera, LF

So, IKF is on the bench and Cabrera is in left.

Boone said he didn't consider IKF at third instead of Donaldson. Says Donaldson's defense is important, and rambled on what a great at-bat he had when he worked a walk last night. We're setting the bar really low for his offense, apparently.

RtotheE said...

Nah, we got this. How do I know? Well, I am the fan who predicted the lowest win total in the IIHIIFIIC per-season poll, so I feel obliged to be optimistic this postseason. Shouldn't that make us all doubt my current claim even more? Nah, we got this.

The Hammer of God said...

Did Donald Duck draw a walk? I missed that. Must've happened when I wasn't paying attention or had tuned out after the two homers by the ASS-stros. Whoopie! We had a BB! Wow, three more of those in the same inning and we could've had a run! (Assuming no double play.)

The Hammer of God said...

@RtotheE, Stranger things have happened. And even a blind squirrel can find an acorn, so they say.