September 10, 2021

Schadenfreude 315 (A Continuing Series)

The 2021 Yankees did something this week that no Yankees team had done for 97 years.
They were swept in a four-game series and never led in any of the four games.
June 23-25, 1924, the Yankees lost four games to the Senators without ever having a lead.

Ken Davidoff, Post:

No more recommendations.

No more rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic that currently is these New York Yankees.

No, the industry's gold-standard franchise comes to Citi Field on Friday night facing the most basic and confounding of dilemmas:

Do they have anything more in them?

Can they steer away from what would be one of the most disastrous finishes in their rich history?

The Yankees completed a "horrible" homestand, to quote their manager . . . [with] a 6-4 loss to the surging Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, their sixth straight defeat as they fell a game behind the dormant Red Sox (80-62) in the race for the top American League wild-card slot. The Jays (77-62), meanwhile, in registering their eighth straight victory, crawled within a half-game of the Yankees (78-62), who are now 2-10 since their 13-game winning streak ended, including 1-6 this past week in The Bronx. . . .

The Yankees never so much as held a lead in this series, the first time that has happened to them in a four-game set since 1924 against the Washington Senators, and ample evidence exists to wonder whether Boone's bunch, with only 22 games left on their schedule, have lost their mojo. . . . Either they stop this mudslide or they don't and face the consequences.

Thursday's script proved depressingly similar to Wednesday's for the Yankees and their fans: Fall behind early, catch up, fall behind again. . . .

Sal Romano, of all people, the just-recalled reliever who took the mound for the seventh inning . . . gave up the tie-breaking run. Asked why he turned to Romano in such a high-leverage spot, Boone said, "Sal was up here. We like the matchup, him against righties," and he added that Chad Green, who warmed up in the bullpen and didn't reach the game, would've closed. That, I don't get. Green can pitch at any time without ego ramifications (unlike Aroldis Chapman). Why not slot him there, giving yourself a better chance to keep the game tied, and hope that your offense (struggling, stipulated) creates some breathing room later for Romano?

Wandy Peralta gave up an unearned run in the eighth, and then fiasco trade-deadline addition Andrew Heaney continued his impressive tribute to Steve Trout by allowing two more runs — which mattered, fully, when Gary Sanchez and pinch-hitter Luke Voit clubbed back-to-back homers with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Yeesh.

You want Heaney out, a demotion he has earned, before the Yankees and equally beleaguered Mets face off . . . You want Gleyber Torres . . . benched . . . You want Joey Gallo . . . to go away, too, and gosh . . . Greg Allen? Adam Warren? A couple of maybes.

This season has felt so very long . . . We've declared them serious October players, only for this latest dumpster fire to rage.

Mike Vaccaro, Post:

There will be little question how much meaning to attach to this latest version of the Subway Series. There is zero doubt that both teams come to the three-game series at Citi Field beginning Friday night not only desiring the same thing but requiring it:

Two out of three.

Win the Subway Series.

Just win a series.

Both teams need this. The Yankees have lost six games in a row . . . The Mets . . . are nearing the place in their season when they simply have to win every night. . . .

[O]nly about 15 minutes ago it seemed like [the Yankees had] built enough of a cushion where they could treat these games however they pleased. But then [came] a 2-10 stretch . . . They aren't catching the Rays and now have to worry about being caught by the Jays as they run neck-and-neck with the [Red] Sox.

Kristie Ackert, Daily News:

Time to turn it around is running out. The Yankees bats continued to struggle as the Blue Jays . . . [swept] the Bombers in a four-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Bombers are free falling with 22 games left to play. . . .

"It's time to roll," [Aaron] Judge said. "We know what we're capable of."

It was a season-high sixth straight loss for the Yankees (78-62).  It was the first time the Yankees were swept by the Blue Jays (77-62) in the Bronx since 2003 and the first time they were swept in a four-game series in the Bronx since 2011. . . .

On August 27, the Blue Jays were 9.5 games behind the Yankees, they are now just a half-game back (and tied in the loss column) for the second American League Wild Card spot.

It looks like the postseason is slipping out of the Yankees' grasp.

"No, no, absolutely not" . . . manager Aaron Boone said. . . . "We expect to get it rolling. Obviously, it needs to happen soon . . ."

The Yankees, 2-10 in their last dozen games, are fighting for their playoff lives . . .

In the last 12 games, they've [averaged] 3.25 runs per game . . .

Mike Puma, Post:

Trevor May is just glad the second installment of the 2021 Subway Series will be played in Queens and not The Bronx. . . .

"Fortunately we are playing in our graveyard of a park, so that is helpful. We will keep the 314-foot homers to a minimum."

The last part of that comment was a shot at Yankee Stadium's short dimensions in right field. May accurately recalled Gio Urshela helping the Yankees avoid getting swept in the last Subway Series by hitting a three-run homer against Corey Oswalt that barely cleared the right-field fence in the nightcap of a doubleheader.

"It was a homer nowhere else but there, which happens a lot," May said. . . .

The banged-up Yankees have lost six straight and 10 of 12 . . . Recent pitching staff casualties have included Gerrit Cole, Zack Britton and Jameson Taillon.

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