June 7, 2021

Schadenfreude 295: (A Continuing Series)

Dan Martin, Post:

The Yankees are quickly going from bad to worse.

Hoping a seven-game homestand against division rivals would help them move up the AL East standings, the Yankees instead got run over, with four straight losses to close it out.

The last one came with some drama, as the Yankees blew a lead — and a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth and fell 6-5 in 10 innings.

The Red Sox scored twice in the 10th on a two-out single by Xander Bogaerts off Luis Cessa and the Yankees couldn't come back in the bottom of the inning.

With Rougned Odor at second, Clint Frazier got hit by a pitch, but Miguel Andujar grounded into a double play turned well by Boston right-hander Phillips Valdez. . . .

[After an infield single scored a run,] DJ LeMahieu grounded to second to end it.

In the ninth, the Yankees came up with a run, but could have won it.

Gleyber Torres tied the game with a one-out double that scored Aaron Judge from first. With runners on the corners, pinch-hitter Odor was called out on strikes on a brutal call from home plate umpire Gabe Morales on a full count to end the inning. . . .

The Yankees made costly mistakes throughout the game, with an especially costly miscue in the top of the eighth, courtesy of the struggling LeMahieu.

Christian Arroyo, pinch hitting for Danny Santana, led off the inning against Wandy Peralta with a pop-up to shallow right that was dropped by LeMahieu, with right fielder Frazier unable to get to the ball. Arroyo got to second on the play — scored a double. He went to third on a groundout and Bogaerts' sacrifice fly to deep center drove in Arroyo to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.

The collapse, though, started earlier.

Holding a 3-1 lead going into the seventh, the Yankees saw Lucas Luetge give a game-tying two-run homer to Gonzalez. . . .

And then there was the lineup, that quickly fizzled again after a promising start.

The end result is a miserable 3-10 stretch since the Yankees had a six-game winning streak seemingly months ago.

The loss also dropped the Yankees into fourth place in the AL East — also trailing Toronto — and a season-worst 6½ games back of front-running Tampa Bay. . . .

Luetge faltered for a second outing in a row. He walked Hunter Renfroe to start the seventh and then allowed a two-run shot to Gonzalez to tie the game at 3-3.

That strike three call on Odor (#7) was certainly . . . incorrect.

Strike 2 (#4) might have been blown by the plate umpire, as well.

Meaning Odor was run up on Ball 6! . . . C'est la vie!

Zach Braziller, Post:

One badly missed call. Two Yankees coaches ejected. Constant derogatory chants at the umpires.

It was a wild finish to the Red Sox's sweep of the Yankees in The Bronx on Sunday night — highlighted by third base coach Phil Nevin and bench coach Carlos Mendoza getting tossed. . . .

After Morales punched out Rougned Odor with two outs and the winning run on third on a pitch that was well wide and high, Nevin let him know about it. Morales threw him out and Nevin went out to home plate to further express himself. . . .

Mendoza joined Nevin after a 3-2 pitch to Bobby Dalbec was called low by Morales to start the 10th. This time, according to Statcast, Morales was accurate. After the pitch, catcher Gary Sanchez began arguing with Morales and Mendoza was tossed by the second base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller . . . Boone called Mendoza's ejection "absolutely ridiculous."

Asked if he was given an explanation by Miller, he said: "not a good one."

Ken Davidoff, Post:

The Yankees lost a ridiculous, 10-inning, 6-5 game to the Red Sox Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, suffering a sweep at the hands of their historic rivals, their fourth straight loss overall, 10th in 13 tries and five out of seven this homestand against the Bosox and Rays.

Remember the disappointment you felt during last year's COVID-shortened schedule when the Yankees wound up 33-27, giving them a lousy draw in the expanded postseason? Well, now they're 31-29, and if this season had ended today, with the more traditional 10-team field, Aaron Boone and company would be headed home for the winter.

This is a franchise in seriously hot water. . . .

The state of the Yankees is so poor that even in this loss, they did show off improvement. They picked up three hits in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position, three more than they combined in the first two games of this series. . . .

The eighth inning featured a double on a Cristian Arroyo pop fly to right field that has an expected batting average, as per Statcast, of .010; DJ LeMahieu couldn't keep it in his glove and Arroyo came home on a Bogaerts sacrifice fly. In the ninth, after Gleyber Torres delivered a game-tying double, driving home Judge from first base, home plate umpire Gabe Morales called an inning-ending, full-count third strike on Rougned Odor so far outside that two coaches, first Phil Nevin and then Carlos Mendoza, got ejected (robot umpires, please!). Finally, the game ended in the 10th when LeMahieu, with tying run Tyler Wade on second, continued his rather seismic struggles by grounding out to Gonzalez at second.

How low can they go? They head next to Minnesota to take on the Twins, the only American League team more disappointing than them. . . .

[Judge;] "We can't sit here and listen to outside noise telling us we're this and that."

Fair enough. I wouldn't want to listen to outside noise like this column if I played for the Yankees, either. . . .

These Yankees must face the reality that they're worse off than 60 games ago. That they're trending in the wrong direction, even if the reasons aren't identical. They are not maximizing their roster, and perhaps they grossly overrated their own roster.

They're now 64-56 in their last 120 games, a touch above mediocrity, nowhere close to greatness.

Matthew Roberson, Daily News:

It took five pitches on Sunday for the Yankees to find themselves in a familiar position: losing.

Domingo German's fifth plateward toss became a 446-foot missile from Alex Verdugo into the right center field seats. Before the Yankees even picked up a bat, they were down a run, instantly playing from behind in a game they needed to avoid getting swept at home.

[W]ith an assist from the umpires — the Red Sox beat the Yankees 6-5 in ten innings Sunday night. It's the first time the Yankees (31-29) have been swept at the Stadium by their hated rivals since 2011. . . .

[In the seventh] Hunter Renfroe walked on four pitches, none of which gave the home plate umpire any trouble. Marwin Gonzalez was lurking in the on-deck circle, and with [Lucas] Luetge on the mound, Gonzalez flipped to his preferred right side of the plate. The switch hitter watched the first slider land for a strike, perhaps baiting Luetge to throw another one. When he got his wish, Gonzalez deposited the ball just inside the left field foul pole, tying the game that the Yankees had ample opportunities to put away.

Instead, it was the Red Sox who took a late-inning lead, capitalizing on a Yankee brain fart. The eighth inning began with a bloop double that nine out of ten scorers would have ruled an error on DJ Lemahieu. . . .

A simple 12-hopper to the right side moved the runner over to set up Xander Bogaerts' go-ahead sacrifice fly. That gave Boston a 4-3 lead that felt insurmountable, withstanding a Giancarlo Stanton pinch-hit appearance that ended with another swinging strikeout. . . .

The losing feeling was driven home like a stake by that Bogaerts guy again. He socked a double in the first extra frame for two more RBI. This time, the lead really was insurmountable, as the Yankees went down scorelessly to close the book on this maddening three-game set.

"A lot of good things happened tonight," Boone remarked. . . .

Boston's postgame handshake line punctuated a game that so perfectly displayed the differences between these teams through their first 60 games. A Sunday gathering that had so much Yankee promise in its first half gave way to Red Sox fundamentals and resilience, first on the small ball clinic that knotted things up following LeMahieu's should-be error, then when they snatched momentum for good in the waning hours.

It's fitting that the Yankees final rally was prematurely extinguished by yet another double play.

Zach Braziller, Post:

Last year's American League batting champion was already a shell of his prior self at the plate and Sunday night a rare defensive miscue contributed to yet another Yankees loss.

DJ LeMahieu's inability to get to a shallow pop-up in right field off the bat of pinch-hitter Christian Arroyo contributed to the Red Sox completing the sweep in The Bronx with a come-from-behind 6-5, 10-inning victory in front of 19,103 at the Stadium.

LeMahieu also had a chance to pull the Yankees even in the 10th, but grounded out to complete his miserable night.

Leading off the eighth inning, Arroyo got under a Wandy Peralta sinker. LeMahieu backpedaled into right field, and right fielder Clint Frazier was slow to the spot, forcing LeMahieu to try to make the acrobatic grab. It fell to the grass and two batters later, the Red Sox had the lead on Xander Bogaerts' sacrifice fly.

At the plate, LeMahieu went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, as his lack of production continued. He has just nine extra-base hits in 221 at-bats and a .656 OPS that would be his lowest in seven seasons. Lately, it's been even worse. LeMahieu has just three home runs this season, and hasn't gone deep since May 7. His last extra-base hit was a double on May 18, a drought of 62 at-bats.

Ken Davidoff, Post:

Giancarlo Stanton, the man to whom the Yankees committed $265 million just a few months after they wrote A-Rod his final check of his $275 million contract . . . is incredibly boring compared to [the "thrills, spills, suspensions, lawsuits, breakups, makeups, brawls, feuds" and Page Six mentions of Alex Rodriguez,] his nine-figured forefather. Yet the 31-year-old brings sufficient drama to his pinstriped existence, and it's the kind that imperils his team’s chances of success in a way that A-Rod almost never did.

For Stanton, signed through 2027, the drama concerns his availability and his productivity, or lack thereof on both fronts. It is considerable.

The designated hitter didn't start Sunday night's series finale against the Red Sox . . . manager Aaron Boone made clear that Stanton still isn't all the way back from the left quad strain that sidelined him for two weeks. Of course, we could have guessed as much, given that the behemoth had slashed .087/.222/.087, striking out 11 times in 23 at-bats, in the seven games since his return. . . .

The team went 9-4 during Stanton's time on the injured list. Hot Stanton, you very much want on your squad. Cold Stanton can perform so poorly — he slashed .158/.238/.333 in 15 games as the club stumbled out to that 6-11 start, to boot — that you might prefer Absent Stanton. . . . Trading him for any meaningful talent or relief seems like a fantasy.

Boone originally professed a hope that Stanton, after resting for Thursday's series finale against the Rays, could play in all three games this weekend. . . .

[A]fter all of his work with Yankees second-year director of player health and performance Eric Cressey, Stanton couldn't make it upright to mid-May, and after a short stint (for him) of inactivity, Hot Stanton looks farther away than Masahiro Tanaka in Japan. . . .

A-Rod of course gave the Yankees two American League Most Valuable Player awards, a championship and countless milestones in return for his theatrics. Reality being what it is, the Yankees probably would accept that trade-off over the Stanton conundrum, which keeps trending in an undesired direction for both the player and his employer.

"Signed through 2027" and "$265 million" and "Trading him for any meaningful talent or relief" all in the same story! Hilarious!

Dan Martin, Post:

Giancarlo Stanton is back on the roster, but . . . [h]e wasn't in the lineup Sunday with the Yankees looking to avoid a sweep to the Red Sox and was limited to a pinch-hit opportunity in the bottom of the eighth of the 6-5, 10-inning loss.

Stanton struck out — his 12th whiff in 24 at-bats since his return.

Aaron Boone made it clear that Stanton continues to deal with lingering issues. . . .

But he didn't hesitate to use him in the eighth, and Stanton was booed after ending the inning.

Matthew Roberson, Daily News:

Giancarlo Stanton will get another day of rest on Sunday, taking him out of the starting lineup for the nationally televised finale against the Red Sox. . . .

Since coming back to the active roster on May 28, Stanton has sat out twice in nine games. . . .

As his offensive well keeps running dry night after night, Boone also knows that one person will not magically fix things. . . .

August 2 cannot come soon enough for the Yankees.

That is the next time they will play the Baltimore Orioles, a team they’ve handled with tremendous ease in recent years, and the only AL East team they have a winning record against in 2021.

The Yankees are 14-20 against their divisional foes this season. That includes a 6-4 record against Baltimore, but losing ledgers versus Boston (0-2), Tampa Bay (5-8) and Toronto (3-6). In their 34 games within the division, the Yanks have been outscored by 20 runs.

Following the All-Star break [July 12-14], 11 of the Yankees' 13 games are matchups with the Red Sox and Rays.


PK said...

It was quite cruel of us to let them think they could win this one. Must have been demoralizing to lose in extras like that.

FenFan said...

I was surprised that it's been TEN years but worth the wait for more Schadenfreude!

laura k said...

This series was the first baseball I watched since 2019, and I didn't see many games of that season. I picked a good weekend to come back, eh? Nicely done, Sox!