September 7, 2020

Schadenfreude 272 (A Continuing Series)



 George A. King III, Post:

A very expensive pinstriped bobsled on the way to baseball hell without a brakeman is the best way to describe the Yankees.

Looking to escape the dark wilderness they have been wandering in for too long, the Yankees plunged a lot further into the abyss Monday night when stud relievers Chad Green and Adam Ottavino flushed a four-run lead in the sixth inning which led to an embarrassing 12-7 loss to the Blue Jays at Buffalo's Sahlen Field.

With general manager Brian Cashman making a rare road trip to eyeball his sinking ship, the Yankees' miseries continued even on a night when the lineup emerged from a late-summer nap.

Asked to protect a 6-2 lead after Jordan Montgomery failed to provide length for a second straight start, Green and Ottavino combined to give up a staggering 10 runs in the sixth inning in the latest low moment of a season that has gone completely off the rails for the Yankees who are in danger of completely missing the extended postseason.

The fourth straight loss was also the Yankees' 14th in their past 19 games, continuing their descent from the top of the AL East to third place with no sign that they can halt the free fall. ...

After scoring one run Sunday when they dropped a third straight to the Orioles, it appeared the Yankees had hit rock bottom and had nowhere to go but up.

Instead in the first of 10 games against the Blue Jays, who lead the Yankees by two lengths in the race for second in the AL East, the Yankees continued to falter.

Most alarming was Green and Ottavino torching a game in which Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks hit back-to-back homers off Hyun Jin Ryu in the opening inning, Miguel Andujar homered in the fourth and Clint Frazier delivered a two-run double in the fifth that hiked the lead to 6-2.

Then the sixth rolled around and the beginning of the end surfaced.

Green walked two of the first three batters he faced, gave up a hit and watched Voit botch a ground ball. Enter Ottavino, whose No. 0 on the back of his jersey represented the number of outs he got against six Blue Jays. Most alarming was the grand slam he surrendered to No. 9 hitter Danny Jansen, a .155 hitter.

Mike Vaccaro, Post:

This was a case study of baseball as water torture. A walk. A fly ball. Another walk. Time came to a screeching halt inside Sahler Field. They ratcheted the crowd noise up a little. And then a lot.

They started playing this horrendous white-noise sound effect, and the parade of base runners continued unabated. A single. A fielding error. A pitching change.

Even all the way out here, in the western corner of New York, you could hear the murmuring and the muttering and the mumbling emanating from the southern district, and from the neighboring territories of Connecticut and Jersey. A single. A steal. Another single. Another steal.

The trickle had become a flood. The Blue Jays somehow looked like a hockey team on an endless five-on-three power play. They could do nothing wrong. The Yankees could do nothing right — nothing. Another walk. Another single. Another walk …

Grand slam. ...

Six-two up had become 12-6 down, and would become an unsettling 12-7 loss. That was your average 10-run inning right there for the Blue Jays, and it came against Chad Green and Ottavino, who are supposed to be two of the more reliable Yankees relievers and on this night looked like the Islanders goalies in Edmonton, unable to stop the fusillade. ...

Forget all the losses that have preceded this one: this was the Mona Lisa of misery, the Pieta of poor. This was bad baseball elevated to an art form, and it came with GM Brian Cashman in the house to get an up-close peek at the bad and the ugly, and it dropped the Yankees two full games behind the Jays for second place in the East (with the Rays, even off a loss, galloping off into the horizon like Secretariat).

And now, you can begin to think the unthinkable. Because even as the Yankees’ season has cratered, there was always solace to be taken in the fact that as long as they earned a spot in the playoffs it was still possible — likely, even — to turn the narrative around. ...

Only the Yankees awaken this morning 21-20, No. 8 out of eight in the AL playoff race. They are only a game ahead of the Orioles and the Tigers in the loss column. They are only two ahead of the surging Mariners. ...

We have proceeded well past the point where the only concern in their universe was Tampa. ... And now, in the most important baseball series played in the city of Buffalo since at least 1915, the Yankees dropped Game 1 in the most deplorable fashion possible. The Jays right now are everything the Yankees aren’t: exciting, carefree, bursting with confidence, flush with swagger. They are a joy to watch.

The Yankees are not. They dare you to change the channel on them, game after game, night after night. This one lasted 4 hours and 2 minutes. It felt longer than that.

Kristie Ackert, Daily News:
The Yankees tried to say all the right things again Monday night. Adam Ottavino came out in front of the cameras and took the blame. So did Chad Green. Aaron Boone quickly tried to find the positive and talk about turning the page.

But, there was not much right to say about the Yankee bullpen's 10-run implosion in their 12-7 loss to the Blue Jays Monday night at Sahlen Field. ...

The Yankees' (21-20) season is in danger of bleeding out now.

It was their fourth straight loss and their 14 in their last 19 games. The Blue Jays (23-18), who overtook the Yankees for second place in the American League East this weekend, just put another game between them. The Yankees are 6.5 games behind the division-leading Rays and two behind the Blue Jays, who they still have to see nine more times in the next 17 days.

It was the seventh time in the Yankees' last 12 losses that the bullpen blew a lead. The Yankees' bullpen however, had not given up 10 runs in an inning since 1932 against the St. Louis Browns ...

Over the weekend, losing three out of four to the Orioles, it was the offense, starting pitching and defense that was suspect. The Yankees committed two errors Monday night, with Voit's in the sixth inning being very costly.

George A. King III, Post:

Gary Sanchez didn't start for a second straight game Monday night and it is not a lock the slumping catcher returns to the lineup Tuesday either.

"We will see ..." Aaron Boone said ... "how we want to move forward."

Forward hasn't been a direction Sanchez has been moving this year. He took a seat Monday night with an embarrassing .130 average and 48 strikeouts in 100 at-bats, and fanned in his last seven plate appearances before being benched Sunday in Baltimore. ...

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