October 10, 2018

Schadenfreude 243 (A Continuing Series)


Mike Vaccaro, Post:
There was a distinct sense of desperation all around Yankee Stadium, starting when the gates first opened two hours before first pitch.

Monday had been more of an anticipatory party: they'd split their two games at Fenway Park, meaning all they needed to do was hold serve at home and they'd be right back where they had been a year ago: Game 1 of the ALCS at Minute Maid Park.

Of course, the Red Sox lit a blowtorch to that merry storyline, crunching the Yankees 16-1 in Game 3 and putting the Yankees square on the brink.

The folks carried that reality in with them to Yankee Stadium, all 49,641 of them, and it was clear that none of them wanted the season to end ...

Was it really asking to much for one more night of magic?

Was buying a return trip to Boston really that outlandish?

CC Sabathia took the mound to a fine hum of appreciation from the faithful. ...

Of course, it didn't take long for the faithful to turn restless. Sabathia turned in a couple of scoreless innings, escaping a bases-loaded fix in the first, but in the third the Sox slowly bled him, and scored a pair of two-out runs on two-out hits, and the whole time the Stadium began pleading for manager Aaron Boone to get Sabathia. He never did. It was 3-0 Sox before the inning was over and the mood inside these walls had grown grim.

And when Christian Vazquez poked a pop-fly home run off Zach Britton leading off the fourth, extending the Sox lead to 4-0, a distinct whiff of winter began to waft throughout the stadium, an inescapable sense of doom that wasn't helped at all by the fact that Boston starter Rick Porcello was motoring along in cruise control.

George A. King III, Post (11:39 pm):
A Yankees season that started with the thunderous roar of Giancarlo Stanton joining Aaron Judge perished Tuesday night at a Yankee Stadium so soundless at the end you could hear the rats.

For the second time inside a month, the Red Sox celebrated a big victory at Yankee Stadium by dealing the Yankees a season-ending 4-3 loss in Game 4 of the ALDS that was witnessed by a sold-out crowd of 49,641 that pleaded for something to celebrate but never received it.

The Red Sox clinched a third straight AL East title at the Stadium on Sept. 20 and added the ALDS to the suitcase headed to Fenway Park, where the best-of-seven ALCS opens Saturday against the defending World Series champion Astros. ...

As was the case in Boston's 16-1 shellacking in Game 3, the visitors scored early against the Yankees' starter. Monday night it was Luis Severino; Tuesday they got to Sabathia. ...

The final 2018 gathering of the Dead Bats Society was a two-game deal, since the Yankees scored four runs in their final 18 innings.

Joel Sherman, Post:
They always had October. They always had that thought about twisting home field to their advantage, come October. ...

The Yankees had convinced themselves that their eight-game deficit in the regular season was not indicative of how close the rivals were in 2018.

Except it was. That was no mirage. The Red Sox are better. They dominated the Division Series as they had the 162 games, out-hitting, out-pitching, out-defending and out-managing the Yankees. They even outdid the Yankees in The Bronx. ...

[The Yankees'] raucous party at the Stadium was muted by poor starting pitching from Luis Severino and CC Sabathia, Aaron Boone's flabbergasting decision on consecutive nights to stick beyond an acceptable point with those ineffective starters and Boston's unplugging of an offense that usually rises at home.

The Red Sox won both games on the road, holding on in the end Tuesday night for a 4-3 triumph. ...

The Yankees ... finished the series 4-for-26 with runners in scoring position. ...

The ball stayed in the yard, the Yankees went home. October was no different than April through September.

The Red Sox were better.

Dan Martin, Post:
Giancarlo Stanton has drawn plenty of comparisons to Alex Rodriguez throughout his career — and now he has one he'd probably prefer not to have: a miserable debut in the postseason.

Stanton's first foray into the playoffs didn't go as he had hoped and he wound up hearing a familiar sound in The Bronx in a season-ending 4-3 Game 4 loss in the ALDS.

The designated hitter came up as the tying run in the bottom of the ninth and struck out against Boston closer Craig Kimbrel and was booed loudly following the at-bat. ...

Stanton also heard it from the Stadium crowd after his grounder to short ended the sixth.

The Yankees offense spent much of the series half-asleep at the plate, but no one drew more focus than Stanton, who was invisible again in Tuesday's series — and season — ending loss to the Red Sox. ...

[W]ith the opportunity to deliver in the postseason, Stanton came up small.

He finished with five hits in 22 playoff at-bats, which is worse when you consider only one went for extra bases. And that was a home run in an already lopsided victory over Oakland in the wild-card game.
Kristie Ackert, Daily News:
After a rough first inning Tuesday night, CC Sabathia made a beeline for home plate umpire Angel Hernandez. The veteran lefty covered his mouth with his glove, but it was clear he had harsh words for the umpire. After the Yankees' 4-3 loss, eliminating them from the American League Division Series, Sabathia made it clear he was criticizing Hernandez.

"He's absolutely terrible," Sabathia told reporters. "He was terrible behind the plate today. He was terrible at first base. It's amazing how he's getting jobs umpiring in these playoff games. ... He shouldn't be anywhere near these playoff games. ... He's always bad. He's a bad umpire."
Mike Puma, Post:
CC Sabathia had a rough night and then took out his frustration on embattled umpire Angel Hernandez.

"He shouldn't be anywhere near a playoff game," Sabathia said after the Yankees' season-ending 4-3 loss to the Red Sox in Game 4 of the ALDS. "He's bad. I don't understand why he is doing these games. He's always bad. He's a bad umpire." ...

Sabathia wouldn't offer any specifics on his beef with Hernandez ...

Sabathia wouldn't blame his night ... on Hernandez, but that didn't stop Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello from firing a shot toward the Yankees clubhouse.

"Throw the ball over the plate, CC," Porcello said. "I thought Angel Hernandez called a good game. You have got to throw the ball over the white part of the plate and then you get the strikes called."

Wallace Matthews, Daily News:
They left Fenway Park after their 6-2 win over the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 with all the momentum on their side, and the next two games at Yankee Stadium, where they had the second-best home record in baseball.

They had Luis Severino, their nominal ace and a legitimate Cy Young candidate in the first half of the season, going in Game 3, and CC Sabathia, who had never been beaten in an ALDS game, lined up for Game 4.

Surely they would win at least one of those games, and if things broke right, both.

Yes, it was certainly their series to lose. And somehow, they managed to lose it.

Oh, they made it exciting right to the end ... But like a lot of things about this Yankee season, that turned out to be one more cruel tease. ...

This Yankees team turned out to be surprising in another way. Surprisingly flawed for a team with the second-best record in baseball. Surprisingly anemic at the plate despite leading everyone in home runs. Surprisingly weak in the starting rotation, a unit their front office did not see fit to improve in the off-season.

And their rookie manager, Aaron Boone, so easy-going and verbally nimble in his media sessions, turned out to be surprisingly slow and inconsistent in his decision-making from the dugout.

Boone is not the reason the Yankees lost this series, although you can make a strong case that he cost them Game 3.

The real reason the Red Sox are going on to the ALCS against the defending World Champion Houston Astros and the Yankees are home is a combination of several factors.

The biggest factor was symbolized by the at-bat of the game, when Giancarlo Stanton, the bright shiny toy the Yankees front office couldn't pass up, came to the plate in the ninth inning with two on, none out and the Yankees trailing by three. It was all set up for last year's NL MVP, who is paid $30 million a year, to win over the Yankee Stadium fans with a game-tying home run.

But Stanton had no chance ... [Craig] Kimbrel got a first pitch strike on a slider, then got Stanton to swing over another that bounced at his feet. After missing with a fastball, Kimbrel made Stanton look bad with another slider. Stanton was serenaded with a chorus of boos on his way back to the dugout. ...

[I]n the end Stanton was just another underachieving Yankee. ...

Most ironically, what turned out to be the winning run came on a home run, the only one of the game, hit by Christian Vazquez, the No. 9 hitter in the Boston lineup, who only hit three home runs all season. To add insult to injury, it was a classic "Yankee Stadium home run," a porch job ...

The Yankees put up a fight in the ninth inning. But like much of their regular season, once again, they looked good. But not quite good enough.
Ken Davidoff, Post:
Maybe, based on the last time he partook in a Yankees-Red Sox playoff series, Aaron Boone figured he'd save his best for last?

Oops! ... He did it again.

The 2018 Yankees season ended by virtue of a 4-3 loss to the Red Sox in American League Division Series Game 4 Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, propelling Boston to the AL Championship Series, where it will take on the defending-champion Astros. The Red Sox proved themselves to be no 108-54 regular-season softies, outplaying and outlasting their rivals. The Yankees' heavily touted home-field advantage went the way of the dodo bird and political moderates.

However, even if you're even-tempered enough to defer to the small sample sizes of October, and to acknowledge the 2018 Yankees' accomplishment of 100 regular-season victories, there's no getting around the startling lack of urgency Boone displayed in managing Games 3 and 4.

Just as he left Luis Severino in Game 3 too long (and replaced him with the underwhelming Lance Lynn), the rookie skipper let the season slip away with veteran starting pitcher CC Sabathia while his fleet of elite relievers waited for their opportunity. ...

Given the Yankees' heavy emphasis on analytics and Boone's season-long embrace of them, it's absolutely stunning that they would go down in such an old-school fashion, letting their starting pitcher absorb so many blows rather than get a fresh arm in there. ...

Against the major leagues' best offense, with all hands on deck, the Yankees had to be on the highest alert Tuesday night.

Yet Sabathia created quite a scare in the first inning, loading the bases with two outs ... and not a reliever was stirring in the home bullpen. ...

After a quiet second inning, Sabathia walked Andrew Benintendi to start the third ... and no one got up. Steve Pearce lined a single to center field ... and no one got up. J.D. Martinez lofted a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Benintendi for the game's first run, and no one got up.

Only after Xander Bogaerts tapped a comebacker to Sabathia did David Robertson start throwing off the bullpen mound. While Robertson warmed up, Kinsler ripped a double over Gardner's head to plate Pearce, and old pal Eduardo Nunez lined a single over third baseman Neil Walker to score Kinsler for a 3-0 advantage. ...

"I was fine with the way CC was throwing the ball," Boone said after the game. ... "We were going to have him go through Bradley, simple as that. ... I think it was a sound decision to ... allow him to go through Bradley at that point."

But why not get Sabathia out of there earlier, especially given the damage that Kinsler and Nunez did with two outs? I asked Boone if he considered taking Sabathia out before those two righties hit.

"Not seriously at that point," Boone said.

Kristie Ackert, Daily News:
It was too little, too late. The Yankees got to the American League Division Series by beating up teams with their bats, but in this best-of-five game series against the Red Sox, the offense went quiet. ...

For the second time in a month, the Red Sox celebrated in the Bronx. The Red Sox won the ALDS for the first time since 2013, when they won the World Series. ...

For all the talk about the Yankees pitching and Boone's bullpen management, it was the offense that failed the Yankees in this series. Their lineup was quieted by dominating starters in Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and ... Rick Porcello ...

The team that crushed the single-season record for home runs in a season, and scored over 50% of their runs via the long ball, hit just .227 coming into Tuesday night's game ...

The Yankees came into Tuesday night hitting .143 (3-of-21) with runners in scoring position during this series. ...

In the first three games, the Red Sox hit .429 with RISP, 12-of-28. ...

In the third, Sabathia clipped Andrew Benintendi to lead off the inning and was immediately in trouble. Steve Pearce singled on a blooper to right and Martinez brought in the first run with a sacrifice fly.

That was when the red light on the Yankees' bullpen phone began lighting up, a visible signal that the phone was ringing.

Sabathia got a soft contact comebacker out of Xander Bogaerts, before giving up a hard-hit RBI line-drive to left field.

Still, Boone stuck with Sabathia to face Eduardo Nunez, who lined another RBI-single to left.

Scott Chiusano, Daily News:
Start spreading the booze.

The Red Sox are leaving today with an ALDS Series victory, and they are not going without taking a parting shot at the Yankees.

As if it wasn't enough that Boston celebrated on the field in the Bronx in front of stunned Yankee fans (for the second time in a month, mind you), those age-old arch-rivals had to rub it in further by blasting "New York, New York" while they popped bubbly in the clubhouse.

This was, of course, a response to Aaron Judge playing the signature Frank Sinatra song out of his speakers while he walked past the home clubhouse on the way to the bus. That ribbing of the Red Sox came after Judge and the Yankees had slugged their way to a Game 2 victory at Fenway Park, seemingly grabbing all the momentum from Boston's grasp.

But after two shocking victories in the Bronx, the Red Sox quickly climbed back to the top of the heap. Players in the clubhouse sang the lyrics while celebrating their division series win, the team's first since 2013, when they went on to win the World Series.

Since Judge walked out of Fenway Park playing the song, the Red Sox scored 20 runs to the Yankees' four.

Wallace Matthews, Daily News:
In his first October as a manager, Aaron Boone is learning a tough lesson about life in the Bronx: That 100 regular season wins matter a lot less than a single postseason loss.

A day after Boone's Yankees were humiliated, 16-1, by the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALDS to put them on the brink of October extinction, Boone found himself still trying to explain some of his more puzzling moves from the night before. ...

By any conventional standard, Boone had a fine inaugural season as the Yankees manager. A hundred wins say so.

But despite having won two and lost two of his first four playoff games, he is having a woeful postseason. Monday night's loss is proof positive.

Even if you buy the Yankees' contention that Luis Severino always starts his warmups within 10 minutes of first pitch – and you discount the tapes showing pitching coach Larry Rothschild apparently "reminding" Severino of the 7:40 start time – it seemed obvious that for whatever reason, Severino was not completely ready when the bell rang. ...

And even though it took three innings for Boston to really get to Severino, it seemed clear to everyone in the ballpark that a quick hook was the right move in this game. Everyone but the man in charge. ...

[Boone] created more opportunities for second-guessing heading into Game 4.

Although he had J.A. Happ ready to go, Boone stuck with his choice of CC Sabathia as his starting pitcher, despite Sabathia's second-half struggles and his inability to go beyond the sixth inning since mid-June.

He also chose to bench Miguel Andujar, the Yankees Rookie of the Year candidate who led the team in extra-base hits and was tied for third in the major leagues in doubles, with 47. ...

And Boone picked Brett Gardner, in perhaps his last game as a Yankee, to play left field ahead of Andrew McCutchen. ...

Boone knows that a win in Game 4 would wipe out all the criticism hurled his way from Game 3.

And another loss would negate the 102 wins that preceded it.
Kristie Ackert, Daily News:
Aaron Boone ... said that he spoke with both [Luis Severino] and pitching coach Larry Rothschild and was convinced that Severino was warmed up and ready to go before getting shelled by the Red Sox in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. ...

TBS analyst Ron Darling, who pointed out during the broadcast that Severino got on the mound just eight minutes before the scheduled first pitch ... was also backed up by pitchers and catchers around the game, including the Yankees' own broadcaster John Flaherty.

Two major league pitchers asked about typical warm ups Tuesday both said that they would not be able to get ready in that short a period of time in the bullpen, but wouldn't comment on Severino.

The bottom line is we can debate warm-up gate ... but there is no question that the Yankees' ace never showed up. ...

[That is] a big problem for the Yankees going into 2019. ...

[The Yankees] need a pitcher who can be an ace in October, not April through July.


YED 2001 - November 4
YED 2002 - October 5
YED 2003 - October 25
YED 2004 - October 20
YED 2005 - October 10
YED 2006 - October 7
YED 2007 - October 8
YED 2008 - September 23
YED 2010 - October 22
YED 2011 - October 6
YED 2012 - October 18
YED 2013 - September 25
YED 2014 - September 24
YED 2015 - October 6
YED 2016 - September 29
YED 2017 - October 21
YED 2018 - October 9


FenFan said...

Dead Bats Society

That's awesome...

Paul Hickman said...

YED is near ?

No , YED is here .......

Should we shed a tear ?

No , we shall get a Beer !!!!!!!!!!

GK said...

Bumbinos! How about Baby Bummers?
my continuing obsession - Future Baby Valentines

Paul Hickman said...

Also agree with Wallace Matthews

Vazquez is the "new" Bucky Fucking Dent , that irony of a 40 year old form of "revenge" got lost in all the other drama

Paul Hickman said...

Who's for a YED in August ?

Ryan Brasier ......

Yeh ! Get back in the fuckin box !