June 6, 2021

Schadenfreude 294: (A Continuing Series)

Kristie Ackert, Daily News:
The Bombers keep saying they are close to turning the corner, but Saturday night was the second straight loss in a long straight line of losing, nine out of their last 12 games. The Red Sox have won three straight and pushed the Yankees down to 5.5 games back in the division. . . .

[Chad Green:] "I think we're one pitch away. We're one at-bat away. One big hit away." . . .

That has cost them in the division battle, where they are already 14-21 with just two series left against the division-leading Rays and three against the Blue Jays, who now sit in third place in the division, a half-game ahead of the Bombers. . . .

Saturday night, Green, who had allowed just one run over his last nine appearances, was one strike away from getting out of the eighth inning when Enrique Hernandez snapped an 0-for-27 streak and took a high fastball off deep to left field, scoring Rafael Devers from first. . . .

You can also speculate about Boone leaving Jameson Taillon in to face Rafael Devers for a third time in the sixth inning with a 2-0 lead. Taillon, who has a .350 batting average against the third time through the order, had two outs and gave up a single to Alex Verdugo. Miguel Andujar, playing left, misjudged where he was on Xander Bogaerts' fly ball ,leading to a double. And then Taillon left 3-2 fastball fat over the plate for Devers, who tied the game with a double. . . .

It was just the third time in the last nine games the Yankees had scored more than two runs. They have scored the second fewest runs in the American League and an OPS of .685, which is 11th out of 15 teams in the league.

Yet, the Yankees hold on to the belief they are close to being the team they were projected to be.

Ken Davidoff, Post:

You've had it. You booed passionately Saturday night, in person and virtually, as the Yankees lost again to the rival Red Sox, 7-3, their third straight loss and ninth in 12 tries, and fell into fourth place in the American League East at 31-28. By gosh those jeers were merited, as your club faltered all over the field, displaying a glass jaw and poor athleticism and continued to perform as though a team gets charged a fee for every run it scores.

You want change. Many of you desire to channel the late George Steinbrenner, or the alive Donald Trump, and fire everyone responsible for this mess.

I’m not sure whether that would produce anything beyond short-term satisfaction for you. . . .

Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone deserve the opportunity to fix this mess. And then, if they can't prevent this ship from sinking, they'll deserve the consequences. The same goes for hitting coach Marcus Thames. . . .

"Work, compete, trust in one another, understanding that it's going to take everyone," Boone said after the game, when asked to describe the path out of this disaster. . . ."[W]e really have taken it on the chin.  . . . [W]e've got to rally from that." . . .

I know: You hate Boone's news-conference platitudes. Even if you can't revive Billy Martin, you'd prefer Alex Cora's sharpness, or Dusty Baker's unfiltered wisdom, or even Joe Girardi's post-defeat testiness. . . .

While the Yankees did climb out of a 3-2 hole thanks to Gleyber Torres' sixth-inning sacrifice fly . . .the game's most galling moment occurred prior to that, in the top of the sixth, when converted outfielder Miguel Andujar failed to catch Xander Bogaerts' fly ball to deep left field. According to Statcast, the expected batting average on a ball struck thusly is .150. Bogaerts hit 1.000 on it, getting a double off the wall and sending Alex Verdugo to third base with one out and the Bosox trailing 2-0, because of Andujar's inability to properly navigate the wall.

Boone kept in his starter, Jameson Taillon, to go after Rafael Devers, who stroked the game-tying, two-run single. Maybe Taillon should have been lifted for Jonathan Loaisiga, who subsequently served up a Hunter Renfroe infield single and a Marwin Gonzalez double to put the visitors temporarily ahead. They wound up scoring four runs in the eighth off Chad Green for the victory.

Ultimately, this Yankees team is supposed to out-hit its other mistakes, and it hasn't come close to doing that. Giancarlo Stanton, who should be lowered from second in the lineup, is 2-for-23 with 11 strikeouts since returning from the injured list. . . .

Ug-lee. The Yankees need to beautify things soon to quiet the boos, to calm the masses. . . . Under pressure, the Yankees should exhibit grace.

Note: Referring to being down by one run in the sixth inning as being "in a hole" is an indication your offense is seriously fucked.

Zach Braziller, Post:

Less than two weeks ago, the Yankees finished off a sweep of the AL Central-leading White Sox. They had won six in a row and looked ready to take off.

Instead, they really never got airborne.

After Saturday night's dismal 7-3 loss to the Red Sox in The Bronx, the Yankees have lost nine of their last 12 games, failing to win any of their four most recent series. Most concerning, they continue to struggle against AL East rivals, now 14-21 against those teams and 2-4 against the Red Sox and Rays on this seven-game homestand.

They couldn't hold an early lead and one of their strengths — the bullpen — was flattened by Boston. Chad Green was lit up for four runs in the eighth inning and the offense remained underwhelming. Giancarlo Stanton heard boos after falling to 2-for-23 with 11 strikeouts since coming off the Injured List as the Yankees (31-28) fell to fourth place in the AL East and 5.5 behind the division-leading Rays.

Enrique Hernandez's two-out, eighth-inning double off Green started the game-deciding rally. With Rafael Devers in motion, Hernandez turned around a 95 mph Green fastball lacing it into the left-field corner as Devers came all the way around from first to score the game-winning run. To add insult, Christian Vazquez poked a double just inside the first-base bag to score Hernandez and Brian Dalbec followed with a monstrous two-run shot that traveled 453 feet according to Statcast.

Upon contract, a gasp was heard from the crowd. Boos soon followed, as Green was lifted following his worst outing of the season that saw his ERA skyrocket from 1.93 to 3.14.

Mark Cannizzaro, Post:

The Yankees' offense is spiraling towards an historic low point. Saturday night's 7-3 loss to the Red Sox at the Stadium was further evidence of that.

No player in their lineup is scuffling more than Giancarlo Stanton. The former NL MVP, who was 0-for-4 Saturday night with two strikeouts, has looked lost since returning to the active roster from the injured list on May 27.

The Yankees slugger is now 2-for-23 since coming back after the quadriceps injury that knocked him out, and the boos from the home crowd are growing louder with each at bat.

The boos, of course, are nothing new to Stanton, who has spent most of his career in New York as a target for Yankees fans' frustrations. . . .

In his first 15 games this season, Stanton struggled with a .158 batting average and the Yankees went 6-9 during that stretch. . . .

In the past seven games . . .Stanton's average has dipped below .100 and the Yankees are 2-5 in that span.

Kristie Ackert, Daily News:

Brian Cashman had worried his winter would come back to bite the Yankees in these games. In a rare inter-divisional trade, the Yankees GM dealt right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino to the Red Sox and worried that he would come back and make the Bombers pay for that. . . .

He has rebounded from a poor 2020 season with the Yankees, which actually dated back to September 2019, to become the second best reliever in the Red Sox bullpen.

After a rough initiation in Boston, Ottavino has allowed just one earned run over his last 12 appearances (11.1 innings pitched). Dropping the cutter from his pitch mix and relying on his fastball and slider, Ottavino recorded 15 strikeouts in that span.

Bill Madden, Daily News:

Since Aaron Boone continues to insist his real Yankees are going to start showing up any day now (even though we're into June and that still hasn't transpired), every succeeding series is becoming a referendum for Hal Steinbrenner's $204 million juggernaut.

It is happening this weekend which began with the Yankees striking out 15 times against Alex Cora's somewhat surprising second-place Red Sox making their first trip to the Bronx this season. And it was especially true with the preceding series in which Boone's Yankees split four games with the feisty, always competitive, first-place Tampa Bay Rays — and looked bad even in the games they won. What's already been well documented is that this is a badly constructed Yankee team, heavily right-handed when there's never been a championship Bomber team without at least two legitimate middle-of-the-order left-handed power hitters. . . .

This team is 13th in the majors in both OBP and homers. So they're not performing offensively like a championship team and they've even been worse defensively with below average defenders at catcher (when Gary Sanchez is behind the plate) shortstop (where Gleyber Torres has struggled all year) and on too many occasions in the outfield, especially with Clint Frazier.

The other day a prominent baseball scout who's seen a lot of the Yankees this year made this observation to me: "You know the one thing that strikes me about the Yankees is that they have what I would consider only three real 'baseball players' in that lineup — the third baseman [Gio Urshela], [DJ] LeMahieu and the backup catcher [Kyle Higashioka]. I would include [Brett] Gardner, but he's clearly at the end."

For sure the Tampa Bay series at the Stadium last week revealed some glaring and troubling flaws, particularly the baserunning, where the Yankees had two runners thrown out on the bases in the seventh inning in Wednesday night's win and Sanchez was thrown out running from second to third on a hard hit ball in front of him in another game. When these sort of unacceptable things happen, you've got to ask: What are the coaches working on in spring training and in the minor leagues? The same with the wild overthrow by Frazier (who continues to earn a reputation as the most annoying Yankee) from right field in the fifth inning of Thursday's 9-2 Rays rout which helped turn a 2-1 game into a 5-1 game.

The fact that the Rays, with the 26th lowest payroll of just $67.6 million, went into the weekend with the best record in baseball, ought to have gotten Steinbrenner's attention, especially after much-traveled 41-year-old lefty Rich Hill shut the Yankees down on three hits over five innings to earn his fourth win in the series opener last Monday. . . . Indeed, the Rays are paying their entire starting rotation: Hill, Wacha, Tyler Glasnow, Ryan Yarbrough, Josh Fleming and rookie Shane McClanahan a combined $12.94 million as opposed to the $11 million Steinbrenner gave Corey Kluber alone.

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