August 21, 2017

Schadenfreude 211 (A Continuing Series)

George A. King III, Post:
With all due respect to Meatloaf, two out of three ain't good.

At least it wasn't for the Yankees during a weekend stay at Fenway Park, where they dropped two of three games and left New England's living room five games back of the Red Sox in the AL East.

After flushing a late three-run lead Friday night and swallowing a killer loss, the Yankees rebounded for a one-run victory Saturday evening that gave them a chance to slice the pennant-race deficit to three lengths on Sunday.

Instead a 5-1 defeat that was witnessed by 36,911 pushed them five lengths out, and with 39 games remaining in the regular season the 66-57 Yankees' chances of getting into the postseason are a lot stronger through the back door provided by two wild-card tickets than as AL East champs.

Of course the Yankees don't want to hear that chatter, but watching them struggle to score runs Saturday and Sunday ... it's difficult to believe that all of a sudden the runs faucet will go from a slow drip to a gusher. ...

The biggest worry in the Yankees' universe has to be Judge's struggles that started July 14 at Fenway. Since then Judge is batting .169 (21-for-124) with seven homers, 14 RBIs and has struck out 58 times in 35 games. ...

A Yankees lineup that has more dead bats than just the one Judge is swinging was held to a run and three hits by Rick Porcello ...

Any chance the Yankees had of coming back from trailing 3-1 vanished when Tommy Kahnle's second game in Fenway resembled his first on Friday night. He issued a walk and two doubles to the first three batters in the eighth that led to two runs ...
Mike Mazzeo, Daily News:
Aaron Judge has had his worst struggles against the Red Sox.

Judge went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and a rare mental lapse in the field on Sunday afternoon, and the Yankees lost 5-1 to Boston in the rubber game of their three-game series at Fenway Park.

The Bombers are now five games behind the Red Sox in the AL East standings.

Judge went 1-for-12 with five strikeouts in the series — and is 3-for-40 with 17 strikeouts against Boston in the second half, with no homers and no RBIs. His MLB-record strikeout streak stands at 37-straight games.

Joe Girardi said on Saturday that he isn't considering removing his 25-year-old rookie from the No. 3 spot in the batting order.

In the seventh, Mookie Betts deked Judge into throwing to the cutoff man after he caught a fly ball in right, as Betts advanced to third. The Red Sox executed a similar play against Judge on Saturday.
Joel Sherman, Post:
Judge has collapsed in August and the whole offense has followed. The Red Sox have zoomed into first place — up five games after a 5-1 triumph Sunday — and the Yankees now are mostly fighting for a wild card.

Still, on the weekend when Girardi removed Aroldis Chapman from the closer role, he has adamantly stuck to Judge batting third daily. Even after Judge's feeble 1-for-12 weekend with five whiffs against Boston, Girardi said he will be hitting third in Detroit.

Now, a manager is constantly forced to weigh what is a slump for a player and what is something far worse, what is best for the team and what is best for the individual. ...

But Judge's downturn is at more than a month. ...

Girardi ... must de-emphasize Judge for a while. ...

[H]e is killing them in the three hole. ...

Girardi says he has stuck with Judge because he "is still dangerous." ... But the quality of the at-bats fluctuates between good and horrific ... He struck out in a 37th straight game Sunday. He is hitting .169 in the second half with 58 strikeouts in 124 at-bats. ...

The Yankees were a dreadful 7-for-40 with men on base in losing two of three to the Red Sox. Judge had the most at-bats in those situations, going 1-for-8 with four strikeouts, including 0-for-4 with three whiffs with runners in scoring position.

Girardi, hitting coach Alan Cockrell and bench coach Rob Thomson all insisted Judge will pull out of this, citing his still unflagging confidence. But there are signs of a withering of his game. Judge dropped a flyball last week against the Mets and twice was deked into nonchalance in this series — by Xander Bogaerts on Saturday and Mookie Betts on Sunday, each advancing to third base. Girardi did say he is continuing to monitor the meaning of such plays.
Mike Mazzeo, Daily News:
Struggling slugger Aaron Judge is staying in the No. 3 spot in the Yankees' batting order.

"I'm not going to move him," Joe Girardi said after the 25-year-old rookie Judge went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk in Saturday's 4-3 victory over the Red Sox. "He's still dangerous. He's still getting on at a pretty high clip, and he's on in front of some other guys that are swinging the bat pretty well. So he's going to stay there."

Over his last three games, Judge — who has now struck out at least once in a major league-record 36 straight games — is 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts and two walks. He is 4-for-27 with runners in scoring position in the second half.
Ken Davidoff, Post:
You want to talk trends and warning signs?

For the first time this season, the Yankees don't control their own destiny in the American League East race.

The Yankees are closer to missing the playoffs altogether than they are to winning their division. If not for the cratering of the 2017 Mets, they might be out of the money right now.

Of their last six series, they have won one, tied one and lost four....

Every time these Yankees threaten to break free of their malaise, to recapture their early-season magic, reality drags them back down. On Sunday, that reality came in the form — once again — of the rival Red Sox, who handed them a 5-1 defeat at Fenway Park, thereby taking two of three in this series and four of six in their back-to-back weekends' showdown from The Bronx to Boston's Back Bay. ...

Sonny Gray — making his Fenway debut in the Yankees' road grays — fought through five innings and didn't strike out anyone, somehow limiting the Red Sox to two runs despite seven hits and two walks; Adam Warren and Tommy Kahnle failed to keep it close in relief.
Dan Martin, Post:
Has anyone ever seen Rafael Devers and David Ortiz together?

Devers became just the second player to hit three homers in three straight games against the Yankees before turning 21, according to Elias Sports Bureau, when he took Adam Warren deep in the seventh inning of the Yankees' 4-3 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Saturday.

The other opponent? Babe Ruth. ...

Manager Joe Girardi acknowledged Devers has "changed" Boston's lineup. ...

"He's been hot," Warren said. "We've got to see him more and wait 'til he cools down little bit. He's going to be around a long time, I think."

Devers has tormented the American League — especially the Yankees — since being brought up from Double-A Portland after Boston gave up on Pablo Sandoval and opted not to trade for Todd Frazier.

His latest blast was his eighth in just his 20th game. No one in MLB history that young has hit that many homers so quickly at such a young age.

1 comment:

FenFan said...

Girardi says he has stuck with Judge because he "is still dangerous."

Who does Girardi think he is? John Farrell?