Sunday, October 16, 2022

Spoiler alert: In October, youth always beats age, small ball always beats HRs, and pitching depth always prevails. Why do the Yankees not know this?

Remember June? Ah... June. The days were long, the nights delightful, we were in love, romping naked in the outfield, and the AL East was our shagging couch. You wore silk. I wore aftershave. We swore eternal loyalty. We drank from the snifter of Torre.

And yet.. even in our highest, most delusional moments of beery bliss, one certainty prevailed:

If the Yankees failed in October, none of it would matter.

Well, it's about to not matter. One more loss, and some major, piping hot shit will be coming down. I'm talking about blaring headlines, seething blog posts, fan-on-fan crime, a total breakdown of society... as Bill Murray once feared, "Dogs and cats, living together!" Get thee to a nunnery, Suzyn, because Birnham Wood is coming to Dunsinane - and when I'm doing Shakespeare crapola, trust me, that's China Town, Jake, because the fucking final call is at hand. 

Oh, yeah, sure... I suppose some twinkle-toed namby-pambies out there will say we can win tonight, maybe teleport this traveling fiasco back to Gotham for the official bridge collapse. Or, who knows? Maybe Giancarlo walks into a couple fastballs. It's not impossible, just improbable. Two wins. That's all we need. Right? 

Listen: Don't buy a costume, because the 2022 Yankees won't reach Halloween. We won't beat Houston. We won't make the world series. Months ago, Boone fried our bullpen. We've been down to stems and seeds since August. Cashman's greatest June merely led to his worst-ever July. So, now, we wait for a merciful ending. The cavalry is not coming. Godot is not coming. Guffman is not coming. Not even the Great Pumpkin is coming. He's out with an infected tattoo.

Seriously, how do you NOT reach such a dismal conclusion? We have nobody - nobody - who can pitch a ninth. We've burned Trivino, we've burned Wandy, tonight we'll burn Loaisiga and - dear God, did I hallucinate this? Did we really, at the end of everything last night, go with Clarke Schmidt? 

Yes, he pitched well Friday. But - Jesus Christ, Clarke Schmidt? Not ripping the guy, but he's the long man, sixth or seventh on the depth chart, barely ahead of the Cuban Carwash down in Miami. And there we are, watching a game and a season fly out the window with... Clarke Schmidt? Wherever he is, I bet Colter Bean is smiling. 

Scattered thoughts...

1. Finally, Boone drops Judge to second in the batting order, so he can come up with runners on base and... Gleyber Torres, as leadoff? His on-base percentage is... drum roll, please... .310. Three ten. Not his batting average, mind you. His on-base percentage. Three one oh. Are you kidding me? (That's only 15 points higher than Harrison Bader, our long term, light hitting CF.) Ridiculous.

2. Love his energy, but Oswaldo Cabrera should not have been playing LF in the eighth and ninth. No matter how you slice it, he's a 2B playing the outfield. If Tim Locastro is out there, maybe - just maybe - that dunker gets caught.  

3. Tonight, it's Gerrit Cole. As it should be. Ashes to ashes, Coal to Cole. He needs to throw eight innings, maybe go the distance. It's probably too much to ask. Then again he's the Yankee fan for life, right? 

Iceberg, dead ahead. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday...


Celerino Sanchez said...

These playoffs have been the worst thing for baseball. The regular season is meaningless (it’s always been for the Yankees). Why bust your ass for 162 games, when you can get on a roll in August and carry it through the playoffs.

Parson Tom said...

fuck this shit

Mildred Lopez said...

Stopgap-Falefa might very well be a nice guy, great teammate, all that jazzy stuff. But the bastard can't play shortstop. Made plays that led to a couple runs, extended innings when the team is grabbing pitchers off the bottom of the barrel by the end of the game. And yet the Yankees have a good shortstop, a natural who can field and hit, the man of the future who isn't on the playoff rooster because the team chose to carry Marwin Gonzalez, the same Marwin Gonzalez who hasn't made an appearance yet. That's mustard on this shit sandwich.

Pocono Steve said...

That sinking feeling that you just want the stupid season to end so that you may transfer your attention to comparatively stress-free pursuits, like the Football Giants, Tex's Rangers, and the Knickerbockers!

Publius said...

"...teleport this traveling fiasco back to Gotham for the official bridge collapse."

Almost worth losing the game just to read that. Almost.

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

The seven stages, as experienced by me:
1. Anger
2. Anger
3. Anger
4. Anger
5. Anger
6. Anger
7. Anger

Doug K. said...

Read today that Holmes called bullshit on not being able to pitch. I'm guessing Boone thought they could win without him so he'd be ready to pitch today. Stupid is as stupid does.

Sevy also took a shot at Boone.

If Boone is losing the clubhouse it may be our best chance to see him dumped.
If they lose today they should pile on. He is horrible.

Pocano -

"That sinking feeling that you just want the stupid season to end so that you may transfer your attention to comparatively stress-free pursuits, like the Football Giants, Tex's Rangers, and the Knickerbockers!"

This X10!

Mildred -

This X20!

Doug K. said...

Joel Sherman asks, "Would signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado have made Yankees champions?"

The answer is yes. And what we hope is the pressure to remove Brain starts to increase.

Also even though the Yankees "made it" to the ALDS they will still be eliminated in the first round they played in.

The Hammer of God said...

Out of all the umpteen pitchers on the roster, BaBoone has to call on Clarke Schmidt, a raw rookie who makes a lot of mistakes and is much better as a long man than a closer, to get the two most important outs of the season thus far? Clarke Schmidt almost blew one during the regular season against the Mets in the 9th inning, and I thought to myself back then "this guy shouldn't be used as a closer".

Oh Clarke Schmidt, if you're going to fuck up, do it quickly, don't wait until you've got two strikes on the potential final out. That was like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Them Yankees are the New York Bums!

And when Wandy Peralta answered the bell for the 9th, I thought BaBoone was going too long with him. He actually got the first out. Then the double. That's when BaBoone should've taken him out. Not waiting 'til another hit. Yeah, that was horrible managing.

So that 9th inning, we found out how effective our vaunted pitching coach is. I worried about how this guy would be able to guide young pitchers out of jams in big spots. There you go, and there goes the season!

ZacharyA said...

>small ball always beats HRs

I agree with everything in the post but this comment.

Just look at the Astros/Mariners series. Houston scored 10/13 of their runs via home run and swept the series. Every single run the Astros scored late (6th inning onward) came via the homer.

The Yankees aren't going to be able to play small-ball against a team like Cleveland. They're a top-5 pitching staff and a top-5 defensive unit. Small ball is going to lead you no where. You're just not going to rack up a bunch of singles against guys like Emmanuel Clase and Trevor Stephan.

It works for Cleveland because they're facing mid-tier pitchers like Clarke Schmidt and defenders like Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

They key to beating a high-octane, top-defensive unit is to put the ball over the wall. And the Yankees actually did it successfully last night. Five runs ought to be enough to win in October.

But we're short-handed in the bullpen, and our manager is a moron.

If Scott Effross was healthy, you'd imagine he would've pitched the 10th inning on Friday and the 9th inning last night, and this series would look very, very different.

The Hammer of God said...

@ZacharyA, Yeah, okay, maybe, but then why hit Judge #2 in the order? If following that strategy, might as well maximize your chances of Judge coming up with guys on base by hitting him #3. What if BaBoone had Judge hitting 3 last night? Would it have made a difference? Maybe.

But it's true that last night was on the pitching. Specifically, 9th inning. And BaBoone with his dumb decisions.

The Hammer of God said...

But one more thing, I don't totally agree with the notion that small ball doesn't work against flame throwers and top tier pitching. If anything, you could say that hitting liners, hitting into holes, moving runners, stealing bases sometimes work better against those kinds of pitchers. Sometimes these hard throwers and "top tier" pitchers unravel and come undone when guys get on base and start wreaking havoc. (These days, as we all know, there is very little base stealing.) As always, it depends on a lot of different factors. We shouldn't paint with too broad a brush.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

What, in your opinion, would be better?

A. The Yankees rallying to win this series 3-2, and going up against Houston.

B. The NYYs LOSING tonight, ousted in 4 games -- perhaps leading to a house-cleaning (maybe even extending to GM and MGR).

I always want to see my team win. But 2023 is hanging in the balance. The same guys who put Marwin on the roster and left Peraza off -- and who prob. would bring Aroldis back if the team makes it another round -- need to go.

Losing is how we might get rid of them. Addition by disaster...

Mildred Lopez said...

I think Cleveage puts up a better fight with Houston than the Yankees. Better and deeper pitching, better defense, annoying as hell. But with the Dodgers and Braves gone the Astros path to the Selig Trophy looks pretty clear.

Also, Doug K...

Asked if he was surprised Holmes didn't pitch in the 9th Severino said “He’s our closer, so of course I’m surprised.”

Tight ship they've got there.

Doug K. said...

I hate to say it but it's B.

I can't root for that to happen but overall the team would be better off if they lost today and fired Boone and Brain

HoraceClarke66 said...

All true, guys, and interesting debate.

The Guardians of Traffic were 4th in the AL in ERA and 4th in (fewest) hits allowed. They have three very good starters, and a deep and excellent bullpen. They were, on the other hand, 8th in home runs allowed, so that seems to be the better way to get to them.

On the other hand, you don't win by beating anybody's closer. Not consistently, anyway. You need to get on top of a team like Cleveland, and stay there.

Which...we can't do, since we don't have an effective bullpen at this point. Or at least, not as effective as Cleveland's.

HoraceClarke66 said...

The major gaffe yesterday really was leaving Cabrera out there in left.

Yes, why WASN'T LoCastro, at least, out there? And yes, why DON'T we have our slick-fielding SS on the roster, able to replace Falafel late in games?

And why are Gonzalez and Hicks on the team at all?

Sheer incompetence.

HoraceClarke66 said...

In answer to the $64,000 question...yes, I would just as soon lose to Cleveland as to Houston.

And no, I don't think Cleveland WILL beat the Astros. I think this is the highlight of their season, and they will be looking forward to next year.

Houston will simply overwhelm them. And boy, are the NL playoffs setting up nicely for the 'Stros!

DickAllen said...

Things could be worse: I could be a Dodgers fan right now.

The Yankees and Dodgers are the world champions of failure.

And there are no guarantees that the Asstros have a failure-proof path to winning the WS. There have been way too many upsets over the last few years. The more playoff rounds MLB adds, the greater the chance of a wild card champion.

borntorun999 said...

It is indeed incompetence as you have all so succinctly laid out. I think most if not all of us knew that sooner or later (read: sooner) Boone’s ineptitude and Cashman’s bungling of the trade deadline would sink us no matter what. Players like Hicks and Gonzalez proved themselves worthless during the long season, yet here they are with no role to play. Players like Holmes, Effross and Schmidt were wildly overrated, and failed us. Yes, I realize how savagely the injury bug bit the bullpen. That underscores how much bullpen depth means, especially in the postseason. I must say how wrong I was about Schmidt. He’s more of a last-man-put-of-the-bullpen guy or an emergency starter, not an important cog.

I have to stand with Pocono Steve and say I’ve had enough, I want, need, something else, something less…disappointing. One WS appearance in what will be 19 years, yet Cashman will be welcomed back as will Boone. Sycophantic reporters refuse to hold their feet to the fire in the pressers. Next will be the stomach turning negotiations with Judge, which should have been wrapped up long ago. Judge will never recreates this magical season and will soon begin his long, slow injury-flecked decline. If we weren’t saddled with contracts for Cole and Stanton it would be easier to swallow. Now, we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Next year we’ll 90 games and collapse in the playoffs, so I guess it really doesn’t really matter. Anyway you look at it, we lose.

Joe of AZ said...

These losses are on our fuckin manager and GM who couldn't put a roster together if his privileged life depended on it....after watchi. Waldo last night it's clear having peraza over IKF and Gonzalez was a much better option judge should be batting 3rd we saw what happened when he actually had someone in base in front of him throw out the algorithm they're using cuz it ain't workin

The Hammer of God said...

@Joe of AZ, Yeah, agree 100%. Why didn't BaBoone tweak the defense in the 9th? And why wasn't Peraza on the roster? Stupid incompetence, with a big assist from the finance side of things (management not really wanting to win).

HoraceClarke66 said...

And just to go back to that argument over how to win in the playoffs for a moment...

What you want—what you ALWAYS want in baseball—is a team that can win IN MANY WAYS.

In hitting, you want to be able to be have guys who can hit singles AND taters.

Look at the famous Boston Massacre, back in 1978, when the Yanks went into Fenway and ran up 67 hits—56 of them singles. The 1998 team had 207 homers—but also batted .288 and stole 153 bases.

The idea of a MULTI-DIMENSIONAL something that Cashman and his algorithmic wizzes have abandoned.

The Hammer of God said...

And one more thing about small ball, if I recall correctly, as I was listened to Game 2 on the radio and didn't really pay close attention, Yanks had a 2-0 lead with Stanton up and men on 2nd and 3rd. He struck out. The next guy made out too. And I thought, that was a great chance wasted. If Stanton hits a sac fly or dribbles a grounder, Yanks probably win that game 3-2. Yeah, they may have fucked it up later some other way, but the fact remains that that inning turned out to the difference through 9 innings.

The difference b/w a champion and a runner up. Like the old poem, "so close yet so far away". Sometimes you've got to make contact no matter what.

The Hammer of God said...

@Hoss, Absolutely, for sure. Cashman has gone into this stupid Oakland A's money ball mode. A strategy that has been proven to be a losing one. HR/strikeout/walk. If that's all they do, and it is all they ever do, then it's a losing gamble in the postseason.

Which is why it's even more shocking that Judge hits 2. If you're going to do money ball, might as well hit Judge 3 or even 4. You want that 3 run HR. I've never seen a management that hates the 3 run HR so much. It's like they're trying to make sure that no one hits a 3 run HR.

The Hammer of God said...

Two winnable games, flushed down the fucking toilet by stupid managing and stupid roster management.

There's not really any point in hoping that the Yanks lose. Why? Because HAL will not fire Cashman or BaBoone. HAL is happy if they get flushed out tonight. He was probably worried that he might make too much money this year. This way, they don't have to make too many adjustments to their tax avoidance strategies. They'll have enough money to re-sign Judge, if they decide to do so. They can get rid of a few bloated contracts and play the two Oswalds, which will save some money for Judge's new deal.

If I was Judge, I would run away as fast as I can after this season is over.

JM said...

We have lousy leadership.

Well, that sums everything up.

The Giants are losing 10-7 with 14 seconds left in the first half. They can win this. Should be an interesting second half.

It's fun to watch a team that's well-coached with a lot of young guys who can play and are given the chance to. Unlike the game I'm duty bound to watch tonight.

The Hammer of God said...

@EDB, Why would I need to when I have you? Seems you've got that job covered for all of us! LOL