October 4, 2019

ALDS: Twins vs MFY


Next up on the October baseball calendar: a big, tasty serving of Pinstriped Schadenfreude!

The dong-happy Twins - Rico Baldy's "Bomba Squad", the first team in history to top 300 home runs in a season - will attempt to reverse some dismal history when they open one of the ALDS against the Yankees tonight (7 PM, MFY time).

Previous postseason incarnations of the Twins turned rolling over for the Yankees into an art form, going down to defeat five times in fourteen years (2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2017). The Twins won only two of 15 postseason games against New York in that time period, including 10 of the last 10.

Here is a story from mlb.com, with a mystifying headline: "Judge, Stanton A Dangerous Duo Again For ALDS"

Mark Feinsand (formerly of the Daily News) leads off by linking Aaron Judge to Derek Jeter when it comes to Smart Yankee Leadership™ because of course he does. Lurch opines: "You can win every single game in the regular season. But if you lose in the postseason, it doesn't matter." ... Mmmm, bold insight! He may have a future in broadcasting.

But that headline. ... "Again"? ... Did its composer bother to read Feinsand's article? Because Feinsand makes no mention of anything positive Judge has ever done in the postseason and the only Stanton stats I see are shitty ones from last year's ALDS against Boston (and when I say "shitty", I mean "wonderful").

Feinsand says that Stanton could be "a difference-maker for the Yankees ... but it remains to be seen whether he can be the offensive force the Yankees envisioned when they traded for him two winters ago."

Here's a crazy idea ... How about we witness these guys being a dangerous duo for a first friggin time before anyone says (as an unqualified fact, no less) that they are a dangerous duo "again". This kind of fawning nonsense is not uncommon when it comes to these particular guys. One recent example: here and here.

So what "dangerous" stuff has this duo done in previous ALDS?
2017: 1-for-20 (.050), 16 strikeouts
2018: 6-for-16 (.375), 2 solo home runs (MFY lost 3 of 4 games)
2018: 4-for-18 (.222), 4 singles, 6 strikeouts (MFY lost 3 of 4 games)

Update: Judge and Stanton were in the same starting lineup in only 13 games this season. Judge went 13-for-41 (.317) and Stanton went 10-for-32 (.313). That's certainly respectable. However, Stanton also struck out 17 times, making his whiff average .531 (17-for-32). In those 13 games, the Yankees went 6-7 and they lost the last four games the "dangerous duo" started.

Judge: "Man, I feel like some of the ghosts from Yankees past are here with us whenever that stadium gets rockin'."

Ah, the ghosts. (Also, "that stadium" is only 11 years old.)

Might these be the same ghosts Jeter assured Yankee fans would appear during ALCS Game 7 back in October 2004? We all know how that spiritual summoning turned out...

ESPN's Jeff Passan has penned a sycophantic feature on Aaron "Savage" Boone, having chosen to forget that Boone snoozed during at least two of last year's four ALDS games. The New York papers ripped the frozen-in-his-tracks Boone, but for Passan, those facts have gone down the memory hole:
And now, on the eve of New York hosting Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Twins, [if] Boone ... has learned anything in the past two years, it's that he was made for this moment.

The world, to Aaron Boone, is a million-piece puzzle, and he gathers the pieces one at a time. His mind naturally banks everything he sees, no matter how tiny the detail. ...

Watching Boone canvass the Yankees' clubhouse is like watching a politician work a room. Boone processes everything while looking at nothing in particular. Each pat on the back comes with a motive. No question asked is benign. During batting practice, Boone lobs compliments at players around the cage ... He is processing information, collating it, filing it away for when he'll need it next. ...

[Boone possesses] this sixth sense that baseball people call feel. Those who have feel get it -- the interpersonal relationships, the gravity of situations, the how and the why. ...

The Yankees might win. The Yankees might lose. As much decision-making and strategizing and string-pulling as he does, Boone knows there's only so much a manager can control.
And there are only so many innings a manager can stay awake.


allan said...

"The most beloved player in pinstripes understands what it means to be a Yankee."


allan said...

Post Picks

Ken Davidoff: Yankees in 5
the Yankees savages in the lineup will do considerable damage against Minnesota’s thin pitching staff and because the Yankees’ deep bullpen will limit the damage done by the Twins’ Bomba Squad

George A. King III: Yankees in 5
The Yankees have Aroldis Chapman and the Twins don’t. The Yankees have Chad Green and the Twins don’t. The Yankees have Zack Britton and the Twins don’t.

Dan Martin: Yankees in 4
for all the questions about the Yankees’ rotation, it should be better than Minnesota’s, and the Yankees built their bullpen with October in mind.

Joel Sherman: Yankees in 4
Home field should matter, so should the superior pen (though Minnesota’s is very good). Yankees’ key to the series: Chad Green.

Mike Vaccaro: Twins in 4
these Twins went toe to toe with the Yankees for the AL home run crown and will play this series the same way, and if they can steal one of the two early games in the Bronx, the Yanks could be in for a world of hurt back in Minneapolis.

allan said...

He's not working this postseason, but Fire C.B. Bucknor.

allan said...

I should say he's not working any division series. MLB may be saving him for the World Series.

allan said...

October 5 (The Athletic)
Yankees manager Aaron Boone shows that he’s learned from last October’s missteps

Well, that was quick!