August 26, 2023

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

Seven thousand three hundred sixty days ago, I sat in an apartment in upper Manhattan and typed these words into Blogger:

This will be a continuation of a bloggish thing I did at this site. My other website is dedicated to the 1918 Red Sox and the book I wrote about that team and season.

Back in 2001, around the time that "1918" came out, I started a website dedicated to Pedro Martinez. While working on the book, I was unable to root for the Red Sox (because if they actually managed to win it all, no one in the world would give a shit about the 1918 team). It was my good luck to not have my team break my heart by winning and as soon as I could, I embraced my fandom like never before.

It was, more or less, perfect timing. Major League Baseball was just starting to provide access to every team's radio broadcasts. I started listening to Red Sox radio broadcasts via my desktop computer in 2001. MLBTV would soon follow.

I started the Pedro site ( solely for my own amusement -- and anyone that stumbled upon it. One part of the site gathered links to Red Sox articles and a snip from each one. That pre-blog blog started on February 9, 2001, with . The first post of what would evolve into "Schadenfreude: A Continuing Series" appeared on November 5, 2001. With few exceptions, I did not add my two cents to the links/snip format for two seasons. On March 1, 2003, I started writing short posts, loaded with links.  (Who could have imagined that the next two seasons would be the absolute pinnacle of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry?) Also, it's no surprise my complaints about the Boston media and the Red Sox manager were there from the very start. (I was, for a while, forbidden from uttering the words "Jimy" and "Williams" while my partner was home.)

"The Joy of Sox" was the second possibility when I wondered what to call this new forum. My first thought was "Tagging on Evans", a phrase I remember well from listening to radio broadcasts as a teenager in the late 1970s. "The Joy of Sox" is a far superior name, not tied to any era or player.

Posts from the 2004 season were a mix of baseball and 9/11 research. Initially, I offered no option to comment, but I changed that in 2005. Gamethreads emerged rather quickly -- and they were never better than in 2007.

The first (and only) Josapalooza was held at Fenway Park on July 28, 2009. I purchased a block of 20 seats in the left field upper deck. I wanted to have t-shirts made, but I ended up designed a game program with everyone's name/avatar on the back and a scorecard inside.

When the Red Sox fell out of contention early in the 2012 season, I had the brilliant idea to stop wasting three hours every evening watching the Red Sox lose. This would happen again in various seasons.

I have always said that if writing this blog ever became like a job, actual work rather than something I enjoy, I would stop. There have been several winters when I thought it was over, but I always rebounded in the spring. On February 12, 2021, I announced that I would no longer be doing regular season game recaps.

I no longer worry about watching the Red Sox every day, of immersing myself completely in their current season so if they do win it all, I'll have gone through the full experience. I don't need to do that any more and, if I'm being honest, I really don't want to. Fifteen years ago, following the team was a part-time job even on the slowest days. 

My main reason for watching the Red Sox now is because I enjoy watching the Red Sox. There's only one problem. I don't enjoy watching the Red Sox in the manner in which the games are presented to me.

If you have been reading my posts for a while, you are undoubtedly familiar with my ever-growing list of grievances, my numerous complaints, about MLB and NESN. In brief: I have zero patience for gaffe-prone announcers who remain blissfully ignorant of their nightly missteps or who mail it in so often their face should be on a stamp; the incessant advertising makes me sick; and while the slower pace-of-play bothers me, MLB's refusal to intelligently deal with it annoys me much more, because MLB cannot do anything without somehow fucking things up and Rob Manfred's crusade to trash the fundamental competitive structure of the game by adding gimmicky rules better suited to beer-league softball, none of which will solve the problems he claims he wants to solve, and all of which causes me headache-level infuriation, as well as a profound sadness over the clear realization that I've already begun losing one of the few things I've loved for nearly my entire life.

Also: I switched time zones two seasons ago (Eastern to Pacific) and added a fourth day to my work schedule. Now, night games usually begin at 4 PM and weekend day games start before noon. Watching every game is not a priority and these earlier start times don't make it any easier. . . . 

Almost three seasons later, my attitude is unchanged. But in an unexpected twist, it is watching (and accepting) baseball as it exists in 2023 that has become a burden. I truly hate how the rules of the game have been perverted in the last five years.

I have not abandoned baseball. Baseball has abandoned me. I want to watch a baseball game in which managers can position their fielders wherever they want, use their available players in the manner they believe is best, and I want the same rules to apply for the entire game. I watched that type of game for more than four decades. I loved that game. But that game is gone . . . and it's never coming back.

This is my 9,307th post at The Joy of Sox and it should be my last.

Except . . .

I am not about to never read anything about baseball again. There will be times when I need to rant about MLB, or post crazy linescores and factoids, or share my happiness at the Yankees' misfortune. When the writing project I mentioned in 2021 results in an actual physical book, I'd like to have a little spot at which to promote it, where it might be seen by more than a few people. And what if the 2025 Red Sox are blazing their way to a 117-45 record? Could I stay away?

The Joy of Sox has likely run its course OR it might be merely going into a deeper hiatus. I'll still post occasionally, perhaps bring game recaps back for the World Series. I will definitely have something to say as we approach the exact date we greet out Robot Umpire overlords.

My main outlet for writing will be Writer. Reader. Grouch.

August 23, 2023

Schadenfreude 347 (A Continuing Series)

Dan Martin, Post:

Just how bad are the Yankees right now?

Not only can they not win anymore, these days they can't even get a lead.

Heading into Wednesday night's game against the Nationals in The Bronx with a nine-game losing streak – their longest since 1982 – the Yankees haven't even had a lead in the last 61 innings.

The last time they led was when they scored a run in the top of the second inning go up 2-1 in Atlanta on their way to an 11-3 loss Aug. 14.

It's the third-longest such streak in franchise history, according to Elias, and it's just two innings shy of the 63-inning record stretch set in 1906.

The 2000 . . . Yankees oddly own the second-longest streak with a 62-inning stretch without a lead from Sept. 25 through Oct. 1 . . .

That 2000 team also set the franchise record of six straight games without a lead – which it did twice – and the 2023 Yankees team has matched that.

So if the Yankees fail to get a lead versus Washington by the third inning, they'll have set an unfortunate new record and they could be on their way to more unwelcome milestones.

A loss Wednesday would be the first Yankee losing streak of 10 games or longer since 1913, when they dropped 13 in a row.

Mark W. Sanchez, Post:

The Yankees' defense sparkled Tuesday night. . . .

But sparks go out. An ice-cold offense again cooled off any semblance of good feelings and the Yankees' skid reached another historic low, one not seen in 41 years, with their ninth straight loss, this one 2-1 to the Nationals in front of 38,105 mostly indifferent fans in The Bronx.

The losing streak is the Yankees' longest since 1982, when Dave Winfield led the club in home runs and a pair of firings meant Bob Lemon, Gene "Stick" Michael and Clyde King all had stints managing the team. . . .

The Yankees have scored 13 runs combined in their past seven games.

They finished the latest embarrassment with two hits, both from catcher Ben Rortvedt, whose third-inning home run provided their only run. . . .

Despite the two hits, they still put together the beginnings of threats with six walks.

But they only had three at-bats with a runner on second base (going 0-for-3) and zero with a runner on third.

The offense did virtually nothing against Nationals starter Josiah Gray, a New Rochelle native, who one-hit the Yankees for six innings before a trio of relievers finished the job.

"I thought we had some chances . . .," said Boone, who sounds more defeated by the day. . . .

[T]he Yankees went quietly to another loss in a season in which they usually have gone quietly.

The Yankees (60-65) fell to 10¹/₂ games behind the Mariners for the final AL wild-card spot.

Boone described his club's morale as "pretty down." . . .

The Yankees are battling not just opponents but the numbing feeling that arises from each contest feeling like the last.

The day changes, occasionally the personnel is different, but the punch and the result remains the same.

Matt Ehalt, Post:

Even those being paid to watch can barely watch these disappointing Yankees.

WFAN announcer Suzyn Waldman said, "God, this is boring," on a hot mic during Tuesday night's lifeless 2-1 loss to the lowly Nationals in The Bronx.

Waldman made her comment coming out of the break to start the fifth inning, as captured by Awful Announcing. . . .

Waldman . . . is in her 37th year with the franchise and 18th as a broadcaster. She knows a terrible Yankees team when she sees one.

And these Yankees are about as watchable as re-runs of "Ishtar."*

About the only reason to watch Wednesday's game is to see if these underachievers can lose a 10th straight game. . . .

Again veterans like Giancarlo Stanton – batting a robust .196 – and DJ LeMahieu look like they are finished as productive players, despite multiple years left on their contracts. The catchers can't hit. . . .

The team is slashing an abysmal .229/.305/.398/.703.

The pitching is basically Cole . . . Carlos Rodon is invoking memories of Carl Pavano, Luis Severino may be the worst pitcher in baseball and the rookies are inconsistent . . . And let's not forget Clay Holmes' Miami meltdown that may have been the proverbial nail in the coffin. . . .

At least there's only 37 games left for Waldman to watch.

*: Sportswriter Outdated Cultural Reference: 36 years.

Mike Vaccaro, Post:

George Steinbrenner has been dead since 2010. He ceased having everyday input into the Yankees at least five years before that. Yankees fans who scream and shout about "If only George was still alive …!" are forgetting two very important things. 

1. The version of George from around 1981 through 1990 not only culminated with his second suspension from baseball but featured the most ill will ever between owner and fan base. . . .

2. Just because Hal Steinbrenner is George's son, there should never have been any kind of assumption that he was anything like his father. . . .

And here's the thing about Hal: 

You can (fairly) complain that maybe he's taken his father's famous impatience way too far in the other direction. You can (easily) bemoan that there seems to be a craven lack of urgency throughout the organization right now, top to bottom. You can (certainly) argue that somebody other than the hitting coach should have paid the price for a season that has run so improbably off the rails. 

This is who Hal Steinbrenner is. . . .

Hal is 53. When George was 53, in 1983, the Yankees had stopped winning and had entered into the surreal world of George's Whims. . . .

That said? 

Boone and Cashman both have to understand that even given their owner's genuinely tolerant nature, both of them need to hit the bell lap of this season at full speed, even if the idea of making a miracle run . . . seems more and more fantastical. . . .

Even Hal has to be tempted to occasionally throw his guacamole tray at the TV when Boone starts playing his postgame greatest hits. Something has to change there. . . .

Cashman's status is trickier, if only because he's been so dug in for so long, and everything about the Yankee operation has his fingerprints on it. To cashier the GM is to declare that everything has to be rebuilt from the ground up. 

But it's a critical time to make that call. You can hope that this year is just an aberration, but then you'd be ignoring that the Orioles seem set up for a long ride at the front of the AL East, that the Rays keep losing players yet keep managing to win games, that the Red Sox and Blue Jays look in significantly better shape going forward, that the Astros are still the Astros and the Rangers are learning how to win with deep pockets. . . .

Pining for George accomplishes nothing. But for his heir, the time is rapidly approaching when he has to make some hard choices, ones that may not be in his comfort zone. For better or worse, that kind of thing never bothered the old man. Is that, at least, hereditary?

August 16-19: Julio Rodríguez: 17-for-22, .773
August 15-19: NY Yankees: 17-for-119, .143

Last week:
Seattle's Julio Rodríguez had 17 hits over a four-game span.
The New York Yankees had 17 hits over a four-game span.
      Julio              Yankees
0816  4-for- 6    0815   1-for- 24
0817  5-for- 5    0816   4-for- 31
0818  4-for- 5    0818  10-for- 35
0819  4-for- 6    0819   2-for- 29
     17-for-22        17-for-119
        .773              .143
August 4-19: Over nine consecutive road games, Rodríguez banged out 27 hits, which was one shy of the major league record for hits over a span of nine road games. In 1901, the first American League season,  Nap Lajoie had 28 hits from July 23 and August 10, 1901. Lajoie batted .426 that season; his post-game average never dropped below .411.

August 17 and 19, 2023: Red Sox infielder Luis Urías became the first major league player to hit a grand slam out of the #9 spot in the lineup in back-to-back games played.

August 21, 2023

Red Sox/Astros – Seven Games In Next 10 Days

The Red Sox will play the Astros seven times this season. More precisely, Boston will play Houston seven times in the next 10 days.

A four-game series in Houston begins tonight and then, after three games at home against the Dodgers, three more against the Astros at Fenway.

There are 38 games remaining in the regular season and the Red Sox are three games out from the final Wild Card spot, with only one team to get past. That's not impossible.

Wild Card
Rays       75 51  +5.0
Astros     70 55  +0.5
Mariners   69 55  ----
Blue Jays  69 56   0.5
Red Sox    66 58   3.0
Orioles    77 47  ----
Rays       75 51   3.0
Blue Jays  69 56   8.5
Red Sox    66 58  11.0
Yankees    60 64  17.0
YED will be celebrated earlier than usual this year!

August 20, 2023

Schadenfreude 346 (A Continuing Series)

Zach ("King of the One-Sentence Paragraphs") Braziller, Post:

Sunday was the latest indignity, the most recent example of this one-sided rivalry.

Nine times the Yankees and Red Sox have met this season, and the Yankees have won just once.

One out of nine. One measly victory.

On Sunday, Boston found a way despite blowing four different leads. Despite closer Kenley Jansen putting the first two men on base in the ninth inning with a one-run lead.

Nothing seems to matter this year when it comes to the Yankees and the Red Sox.

Boston will find a way to prevail.

The Red Sox dominance head-to-head is a major reason they are only three games behind the Mariners for the third AL wild card and the Yankees need a miracle just to get back into the race.

"They've kicked our ass," manager Aaron Boone said after the Yankees fell to the Red Sox, 6-5, losing their eighth straight game to cap off this three-game sweep. . . .

The Red Sox cruised to wins in the first two games of the series by a combined 16-4.

Sunday was different.

Sunday the Yankees punched back.

But the Red Sox had an answer every time.

It was a fun weekend for them, particularly the duo of Rafael Devers and Justin Turner.

Devers, a Yankees killer batting .429 (15-for-35) against them this year, went 9-for-13 in the series, homered twice and drove in four runs.

Turner was 6-for-11 with six RBIs, four coming in the series finale.

He hit a three-run homer in the seventh and plated the game-winning run in the ninth. . . .

There are still four games left between the two at Fenway Park from Sept. 11-14, four more times for the Red Sox to further crush the Yankees if their nine games so far are any indication.

The Red Sox have won three one-run games from the Yankees and they have also prevailed in blowouts. They have outscored them, 54-24. . . .


Heck of  team you sent out to play this year. Well done Cashman.

0.0% is also the chance that Hal does anything to change this situation.

Here’s the math you need to know—- 20 years 6 billion dollars in direct ML payroll. Nothing at all to show for it. 

"Anthony Rizzo is uncertain to play again this season."
Well, at least he's able to yuck it up in the dugout while his teammates get throttled again

Short of 09, they've had our number for close to 20 years now. What a kick in the nuts.

Funny that those were the Cashman years. He has always been a classless loser.

Please Hal, never sell the team, don't change your ownership style, and give Boone and Cash long-term extensions.  Boston loves you. 

 Zach Braziller, Post:

They're chasing history in The Bronx again.

Except, instead of fans flocking to Yankee Stadium, they may be soon avoiding it at all costs.

Rather than anticipation, there is dread. . . .

[T]his Yankees team may be remembered, but for all the wrong reasons.

With Sunday's latest crushing loss, a 6-5 sweep-sealing setback to the Red Sox in The Bronx, the Yankees equaled their longest losing streak (eight) since 1995.

They haven't led since the second inning on Monday against [Atlanta], a span of 50 innings. . . .

The latest defeat was as painful as any this season. The Yankees rallied four times.

They scored more runs on Sunday (five) than they had in their previous four games (four).

It appeared as though they had gone ahead in the eighth on an Anthony Volpe single only for a close play at the plate to get reversed.

Then, predictably, Clay Holmes allowed the go-ahead run to score on a Justin Turner double in the ninth. . . .

The bad luck continued in the bottom of the ninth, as Greg Allen missed a game-tying home run by inches, settling for a leadoff double off the top of the wall.

Kenley Jansen went on to strand him at second for the save.

The Red Sox went ahead in the sixth thanks to shaky defense from the Yankees.

After Rafael Devers and Turner reached to start the inning, Masataka Yoshida hit a routine double-play ball. There was, however, nothing routine with how the Yankees' middle infield handled the play.

Gleyber Torres' flip was poor, well to the right-field side of second base and Volpe threw wildly to first, well high and toward home. It enabled Devers to score all the way from second base. . . .

Michael King served up a three-run homer to Turner in the seventh after intentionally walking Devers.

Out of nowhere, the Yankees exploded.

It started innocently, a Harrison Bader infield single. Billy McKinney walked and Volpe went deep to the opposite field, eliciting the loudest "Let's go Yankees" chant of the day.

The three-run seventh was their largest offensive output in a single inning since scoring three times against the Marlins nine days ago in the fourth inning of the series opener.

They had a chance to go ahead, but pinch-hitter Giancarlo Stanton flew out, stranding two runners.


At least the Yankees have finally shown some consistency this season.

"Out of nowhere, the Yankees exploded." A 3 run homer is sadly now the Yankees definition of exploded.

Jon Heyman, Post:

Since the Yankees are alleged to love analytics so much, they have to be discouraged by a number that finally appeared on Fangraphs during this weekend's sweep at the hands of the rival Red Sox, the very first sweep suffered at Yankee Stadium this year.

Yes, the Yankees' World Series odds finally hit zero. Yes, specifically, 0.0 percent.

So Fangraphs mathematically validated what we think we've been watching for a while now. . . .

The Yankees' performance on Sunday was energized but ultimately demoralizing. The Red Sox — 6-5 winners of a game in which the Yankees came back three times to tie it — benefited from a surprise overturn of a safe call at home . . .

Yankees manager Aaron Boone . . . stopped short of calling the Red Sox their "daddies." However, Boone did memorably say this . . . "They've kicked our asses."

Boston's dominance is quite upsetting, not that the Yankees are especially great against most anyone else, either. The eight-game losing streak overall represents their longest such streak in 28 years . . .

"We've got to be unbelievable the rest of the way," Boone said . . . "We're so far removed from that. " . . .

Yes indeed, reality has hit them at 161st and River. The aura seems less than confident now, the talk less than bold. . . . 

The team is too reliant on the long ball (all five runs Sunday came via the home run), the rotation is iffy at the moment and the injuries overwhelming. . . .

Boone said before the game . . . that they "definitely" had not given up. But if this is their best effort (and there's no reason to doubt him), that may be even more damning.

The Yankees are now 11-22 since the All-Star break, and even more disheartening, 6-16 since Judge . . . returned from his severe right big toe injury. While barely hitting enough to challenge teams — their .230 batting average only beats the Oakland A's, who shouldn't even be in the league — this one may have been the most disheartening game of 2023.


Exit velocity, launch angle, and barrel rate don't mean much when you strike out 41% of the time and hit the ball into a fielder's glove most of the other times. You need RUNS (and more of them than your opponent) to win games.  Yank-alytics has completely lost sight of that.

44k in the stands. What's Hal's motivation to make any changes ,?  he sold the sleeves on the jerseys , YES still has subscribers, and the stands are full. What we see is what we're gonna get until Stanton is off the books and Cashman retires to Connecticut 

Stop attending these games. 
Stop supporting a losing product. 
Stop looking for answers. 
The answers are plain:
Losing club
Incompetent manager
Negligent GM
Absentee Ownership. 
Stop eating your money. 


Tyler Kepner, Times:
The Yankees set themselves apart. . . . No beards. No names on the jerseys. No losing seasons in decades.

That last one is in serious peril. The Yankees lost for the eighth game in a row on Sunday, 6-5 to the Boston Red Sox in the Bronx. They are 60-64 this season, slipping ever closer to the first losing season for the franchise since 1992, the year Aaron Judge was born.

Judge came up in the ninth inning on Sunday, two on and no outs. A big hit would win the game. Kenley Jansen struck him out on three pitches, then got Gleyber Torres, too. The Yankees fanned 14 times before Ben Rortvedt, batting .095, flied to center to end it. . . .

The Yankees are an afterthought, their season now defined by the pursuit of mediocrity. They are ordinary . . . [T]he Yankees cannot even pretend to be pushing for a pennant. . . .

[Giancarlo] Stanton . . . has hit .184 since the All-Star break last summer, striking out in a third of his at-bats. . . .

Stanton is one of five players, all in their 30s, who will cost the Yankees a combined $143 million — again, for luxury-tax purposes — in each of the next three seasons. The list also includes Judge, Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodón and DJ LeMahieu. . . .

[W]hen ranked the farm systems after the trading deadline this month, the Yankees placed 21st overall, with no prospects among the top 75. . . .

The Yankees entered Sunday’s game with a .305 on-base percentage, which ranked 26th among the 30 teams, and a batting average of .230, ahead of only the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees have not hit so poorly as a team since 1968 . . .
Bryan Hoch,

Aaron Boone met recently with managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman, a session that prompted the Yankees manager to describe his front office's mindset as being "frustrated" by the club's performance. 

"[I]t's not going well," Boone said on Sunday. . . . 

The Yankees (60-64) lost their eighth consecutive game on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Red Sox, 6-5. It marks the club's longest losing streak since August 1995. . . .

Justin Turner delivered a go-ahead double in the ninth inning off Clay Holmes  . . . 

Turner hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off Michael King in the seventh . . .

In June, Steinbrenner said that he intended "to be asking some tough questions" if the Yankees did not qualify for the playoffs.

Peter Botte, Post:

Giancarlo Stanton is back beneath the Mendoza Line and firmly back in the target zone for the fans at Yankee Stadium.

Stanton struck out three times with a walk and also was doubled off of first base on a popped-up bunt by Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the second inning of the skidding Yankees' 8-1 loss Saturday to the Red Sox.

Over his past seven games, Stanton is 2-for-21 with 12 strikeouts, dropping his batting average this season to .199.

Fans heavily booed Stanton after he struck out for the second out of the ninth inning against Red Sox reliever Mauricio Llovera. . . .

Brian Lewis, Post, August 20:

At first, it looked like a brain cramp. Then, the Yankees called it a tactic that backfired.

Either way, Isiah Kiner-Falefa's humbling bunt double play Saturday in the Yankees' 8-1 loss to archrival Boston encapsulated their struggles. It was the perfect picture of their putrid performances. . . .

Kiner-Falefa tried to lay down a bunt with the Yankees already trailing 4-0 in the second inning. . . . 

Having immobile Giancarlo Stanton on first base made the move egregious. Stanton is a prime double-play candidate, and that's what the Yankees got.

When Kiner-Falefa failed to get a good bunt down, Boston catcher Connor Wong made a quick move to snatch the weak attempt out of the air and threw to first to get Stanton. The maddening play epitomized the Yankees' lack of execution.


This entire season is a "tactic that backfired".

Yeah, if Boone can somehow say that buntbwas a good thought, a good play, it's clearly time to clean house here, no doubt. That's as stupid and unaware as it gets. IKF has been one of the best offensive performers on this roster of late. So, in an early 4-0 hole once again, with immobile, HGH/steroid goon Mike Stanton on base, a bunt is a good, manager approved play. A bunt with a guy on base who is crumbling before our eyes, can't run, and is obviously allowed to run as slow as he likes by management. Whether Boone called the bunt or is just giving the hostage tape positive blather that his analytic geek overlords in upper management require is immaterial. This is a digrace.


Schadenfreude 345 (A Continuing Series)

Mike Lupica, Daily News:

If the Yankees are going to show up for what is left of this season, they will show up this weekend against the Red Sox. They will do that knowing that even if they sweep the Red Sox, they will still be in last place in the American League East. On Aug. 20. The Yankees.

Since the All-Star Break of last season, when the Yankees were 64-28 and really did have a right to pound their chests and say World-Series-or-bust, they have a record of 95-96. . . . 

Considering the organization's still-lofty opinion of itself and the way it picks its players and develops them — and considering the way Hal Steinbrenner has outspent everybody except Uncle Steve Cohen — they are every bit as much of a disappointment as the Repositioned Mets have been.

If the Yankees really don't show up this weekend against the Red Sox, if they somehow even get swept the way the Red Sox swept them the last time the teams played at Fenway Park, then Yankee fans can start marking time until pitchers and catchers. If they're still interested enough in their team at this point to do that. . . .

"The game is still littered with examples of teams that went on unlikely runs," Aaron Boone, who has to stand there and take it for the people who constructed this team, said . . .

Boone is right about teams that have made unlikely runs. The difference between most of those teams and what we have seen from Boone's Yankees is that those teams were actually good.

We keep hearing about injuries. It always seems as if Yankees injuries are supposed to be so much more serious than everybody else's, as if they still think they're better than everybody else at injuries, too. Even now the Yankees are still kidding themselves — that's at least one place where they still lead the league — that it was injuries that got them swept by the Astros last October. So you know what they did to improve the offense after that one? Nothing . . .

Brian Cashman said, and famously, after the trade deadline, "We're in it to win it." How about his Yankees — and who else's are they? — try to win a series first?

Greg Joyce, Post, August 17:

The beaten and battered Yankees [returned] home on Friday, trying once again to resuscitate a season they still believe is salvageable. . . .

Since the Yankees last played in The Bronx, they have lost seven of nine games, falling further out of the playoff race and under .500 for the first time in more than two years.

An agitated fan base awaits, especially if the Yankees are not able to quickly turn things around this weekend against the Red Sox. . . .

They are 1-9-3 over their last 13 series, the lone series win coming in a three-game sweep of the lowly Royals last month. That series was also the only time the Yankees have won three straight games since winning four straight from May 27-30. 

Instead, the only streaking they have done lately is of the losing variety . . .

The Yankees' issues have been in plain sight for some time — led by their lineup's maddening inconsistency, along with a rotation that has taken its hits especially of late . . .

 Jon Heyman, Post:

Many folks around the game will tell you the Yankees' problem is that they abandoned their scouting roots and swung too far into the analytics arena. . . . 

That they will take a 60-62 record into the second game Saturday against their archrival Red Sox after an 8-3 series-opening defeat Friday is disturbing by any standard. . . .

Remarkably this year, they are still given a 2.4 percent chance to make the playoffs on the internet. That must be another computer error. . . .

This team is not only mediocre, but also painfully boring. It's uncertain why fans continue to pack Yankee Stadium. . . . [S]omehow, the Yankees rank second in attendance behind the Dodgers, who win every night. The Yankees are averaging 41,516 fans, which is more than most years this decade despite being dull — slow, too little contact, too dependent on the long ball. (From where I sit, it's also too loud at The Stadium. It's as if they're trying to replace quality with decibels.) 

Red Sox - 430 000 001 - 8 12  0
Yankees - 001 000 020 - 3 10  1

Mark W. Sanchez, Post, August 18:

The first sounds heard were groans. As the Red Sox began to hit Jhony Brito, a here-we-go-again, collective sigh spread around Yankee Stadium. 

Next came the boos as the game became a blowout minutes after it started Friday night.

The loudest early cheer was a mock round of applause when the Yankees finally recorded an out. . . .

The soundtrack that dominated the night was the quiet of resignation that filled the Stadium, 44,566 fans accepting what the Yankees, publicly at least, have not: This season seems gone before September, much less October, has arrived. 

The Yankees might not have waved the white flag . . . but their whiffing bats might as well have had pale flags affixed to them. 

In a season of rock bottoms, the Yankees dug a bit deeper when they were dusted, 8-3, by the Red Sox, losing a season-worst sixth straight game — and dropping a season-worst two games under .500. . . .

They were down 4-0 after one inning and 7-0 after two, and they only showed a sign of life . . . in the eighth inning. Their first two batters reached base in the ninth, but the Yankees left them stranded. . . .

The Yankees have scored a total of six runs in their past four games. . . .

The Red Sox were up, 4-0, after four batters, the last of which, Masataka Yoshida, smacked a three-run home run on his first pitch from Brito after a lengthy PitchCom delay. 

Boston scored three more runs in the second, on an error and four straight singles. . . .

Boone said this stretch will "reveal a lot about us," and the players insisted they still have faith. . . .

"We're all super dialed in, we're just waiting to turn this around" [Rortvedt said of the attitude in the clubhouse].

If they truly believe, they are among the last ones.

Gary Phillips, Daily News:
Happy to be home . . . the Yankees lost their sixth consecutive game on Friday.

It didn't take long for onlookers to realize that the pinstripers were on their way to another defeat, as the Red Sox jumped on Jhony Brito and scored four runs before the Yankees ever recorded an out. The first came off the bat of Justin Turner, who picked up an RBI single before Masataka Yoshida lined a three-run homer to right field.

The second inning then saw Gleyber Torres make an error on a routine grounder. That mistake preceded RBI singles from Rafael Devers, Turner and Yoshida. Just like that, Boston had far more runs than it needed in a 8-3 win.

Brito only lasted 2.1 innings. The right-handed rookie allowed nine hits and six earned runs over 46 pitches. . . .

Brayan Bello continued his run of dominance over the Yankees in his sophomore season.

The righty had already allowed just three earned runs over 14 innings against the Yankees this year. On Friday, Bello twirled six innings of one-run ball while striking out four over 98 pitches. He permitted six hits and one walk. . . .

The Yankees, fresh off a 2-7 road trip, have scored just six runs in their last four games, a span that includes two shutouts and a one-hit evening in Atlanta. The Yanks are now 60-62 . . .

Boone has repeatedly said that the Yankees have the personnel, will to fight and work ethic to turn things around. Yet they haven't. Asked what's been missing, the manager left that up to reporters to figure out.

"You know what? I'll let you guys define that," Boone said.

Red Sox - 040 200 011 - 8 12  1
Yankees - 000 001 000 - 1  2  1
Mark W. Sanchez, Post:

In the midst of a disastrous skid during what has been a disastrous Yankees season, manager Aaron Boone had a private chat with his team Friday night. . . .

After Boone's statement, his players made one of their own: This season likely is done.

Gerrit Cole, the Yankees' stopper, was stomped.

Their bats were buzzed.

Boone could not breathe life into a flatlining offense as the Yankees were smacked around in an 8-1 loss to the Red Sox in front of 42,599 mostly apathetic fans in The Bronx on Saturday afternoon.

The spiral continued for the Yankees (60-63), who have lost seven straight, are a season-worst three games under .500 and were 7½ games out of an AL wild-card spot . . .

The Yankees are beating no one . . . They certainly are not beating their chief rivals. They have dropped seven of eight games against the Red Sox this year. . . .

Hours before the game, Boone said he believed a "turnaround" was coming. What followed was Yankees batters stepping to the plate and repeatedly turning around to head back to the dugout.

Boston starter Kutter Crawford recorded 16 outs before the Yankees recorded a hit . . . The Yankees managed just one other hit, a meaningless single . . . in the seventh.

"We're sick animals in a lot of ways," Boone said of a club with a collapsed offense that has scored seven runs combined in its past five games. . . .

Sometimes they took too many pitches. Sometimes they tried too hard to make something happen, as when Isiah Kiner-Falefa attempted a bunt with lead-footed Giancarlo Stanton on first base in the second inning, but popped the ball up. Catcher Connor Wong caught it and doubled up Stanton at first. . . .

[The Yankees] did not take an at-bat with a runner in scoring position. . . .

With this offense, any slip from the pitching staff gets magnified, and Cole found a few banana peels.

The ace . . . picked a poor day to have his worst outing of the season. It was not the Big, Bad Red Sox who stymied Cole, but the little-known Nos. 8 and 9 hitters.

In the second inning, Cole loaded the bases on two hits and a walk. With one out, last-place hitter Luis Urias swatted a first-pitch cutter for a grand slam, stunning the crowd and burying the home team. It only Urias' third homer of the season, though it was his second grand-slam in two at-bats, after he hit one Thursday at Washington.

Two innings later, Wong blasted a two-run home run — just his eighth career homer — over the right-field wall. . . .

Hours before the game, Boone acknowledged the Yankees' clubhouse was worn but said, "We're OK."

Yankees players then did their best to contradict him.

Gary Phillips, Daily News:

Hours before the Yankees played the Red Sox on Saturday, Aaron Boone spoke about correcting course and teams that have gone on unlikely runs. . . .

"[We] compete every day with a mind that today's the day we turn it around," said the manager . . . Saturday was not the day the Yankees turned it around. Instead, Boston won, 8-1, as the pinstripers dropped their seventh straight game . . .

Gerrit Cole . . . found himself in trouble in the second inning, when a couple of singles and a walk set the stage for a Luis Urías grand slam. . . .

Urías, Boston's No. 9 hitter, had just two home runs prior to the at-bat against Cole, but he also hit a grand slam in his last game on Aug. 17. Urías became the first Red Sox player to hit a grand slam in back-to-back games played since Jimmie Foxx did it in 1940, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The Red Sox got to Cole again in the fourth inning when Connor Wong hit a two-run homer to right. Cole's afternoon ended with that inning. . . .

The Red Sox scored again in the eighth when left fielder Greg Allen appeared to lose a flyball in the sun. Rafael Devers then hit a solo shot into Monument Park . . . in the ninth. . . .

Cole hasn't had many clunkers this season, but the Yankees' lineup certainly has. Such was the case on Saturday, as the aptly-named Kutter Crawford didn't permit a hit until . . . the sixth inning. . . .

The Yankees have scored just seven runs in their last five games. They totaled two hits on Saturday after getting one-hit on Tuesday. . . .

[In the second] Giancarlo Stanton drew a leadoff walk. But Kiner-Falefa, one of the Yankees' most consistent hitters, tried to bunt for a single. . . . Kiner-Falefa popped the bunt up to Wong. The catcher then doubled Stanton off at first.

The Yankees were already facing a four-run deficit . . . And even if Kiner-Falefa had laid the bunt down, Stanton is incredibly limited in his mobility. . . . Boone said Kiner-Falefa made the call to bunt . . . Boone called the bunt a "good play" because Rafael Devers was playing back. Devers was actually at the edge of the grass. . . .

The Yankees have won just one series since the start of July, and that came against the lowly Royals. Still, Boone has continued to insist that a run is possible. . . . [Why?] "Because." . . . Boone, irritated at the question, said . . . "I don't not think a turnaround is coming." . . .

Having already been swept by [Atlanta] this week, the Yankees will try to avoid more brooms on Sunday with a win over the Red Sox.

Peter Botte, Post:

As the baseball axiom goes, managers often make themselves look smart by calling a team meeting right before a game started by their unquestioned ace. 

Gerrit Cole, however . . . was shelled for a season-worst six runs in four innings Saturday in The Bronx in a 8-1 loss to the Red Sox. 

He was tagged for a second-inning grand slam by No. 9 hitter Luis Urias and a two-run shot by No. 8 hitter Connor Wong one inning later as the sinking Yankees suffered their seventh consecutive defeat to fall three games under .500 (60-63) with 39 remaining. . . .

Cole has had a few [bad starts] against the Red Sox since joining the Yankees in 2020.

Counting two playoff games, he is now 5-6 with an ERA over 5.00 in 14 starts against Boston in that span. 

Brian Lewis, Post:

The Yankees haven't been this bad this late in over a quarter-century. . . .

Before [this] latest loss, it was the first time the Yankees were been two games under .500 this late in a season since Aug. 31, 1995. . . .

Boone insisted . . . "I feel like we're ok. And I do feel like the turnaround is coming." . . .

The Yankees came into Saturday having lost a season-worst six straight games – their longest skid since dropping seven straight from Sept. 4-10, 2021 . . .

Even the return of Aaron Judge hasn't helped, the Bombers are now 6-15 since the star's July 28 return from a toe injury. . . .

Mark W. Sanchez, Post:

Carlos Rodon is more frustrated than anyone about a season he termed a "pile of s–t." 

The Yankees left-hander spent the first three-plus months of 2023 on the injured list with a left forearm strain and bouts of back stiffness.

He returned in July, posted a 7.33 ERA in six starts and left an Aug. 6 outing early with a left hamstring strain that forced him back to the IL. . . .

Rodon has yet to complete six innings in a start, and he has fought both opposing hitters and his own wildness, with 18 walks in 27 innings. 

The 30-year-old, coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons that landed him a $162 million pact, has not yet shown the Yankees and their fans what kind of pitcher he believes he is. . . .

Rodon answered questions about the Yankees' and his own pasts . . .

"It just hasn't been good," Rodon said of his season.

Dean Balsamini, Post:

Ticked-off Bronx Bombers superfan Jon Borowski has had enough of the team's freefall — on pace for its worst season since 1992 — and is rallying the "hardcore fans" on social media to oust the team's embattled general manager Brian Cashman.

Borowski . . . has declared the Sept. 22 home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, "Fire Cashman Night." . . .

[H]e decided to step to the plate and plan the protest when Cashman did virtually nothing to improve the floundering last-place club at the Aug. 1 trade deadline. . . .

"Bring your Fire Cashman signs, shirts, paper bags, voice! All game long, we make our voices heard!" Borowski wrote in a post on X, already collecting more than 700,000 views. . . . [He] added that if the GM goes, so should others beneath him, including . . . Boone — who he said is "drinking the Kool-Aid."

August 16, 2023

Schadenfreude 344 (A Continuing Series)

Matt Ehalt, Post, August 16:

Pedro Martinez Mocks Yankees With Sad — And Fitting — 'Chihuahua' Comparison

Famous rival Pedro Martinez said the 2023 Yankees have gone from top dog to a bunch of yappers.

"It's unbelievable. It's hard to watch the Yankees go that way," Martinez said on TBS after the Yankees' 5-0 loss to [Atlanta]. "I remember watching the Yankees early in the season and when they were going well, they looked so confident. It was like watching a bulldog beat up on a chihuahua when they were playing those teams. Now, they look like the chihuahuas to any other team, especially a good team like  [Atlanta]. It looks like no match."

While it may be insulting for chihuahuas to be compared to this lifeless Yankees team, Martinez certainly has a point.

The Yankees are now a .500 team (60-60) with a three percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Fangraphs. The same playoffs that 40 percent of each league makes each season.

They are just 24-35 since reaching their season-high mark of 11 games above .500 on June 4 . . . [T]he Yankees are now 1-9-3 in series dating back to the start of July. The lone series win coming against a Royals team is a 39-82 rebuilding disaster. . . .

These last two nights have shown just how far the Yankees have fallen behind baseball's elite class. . . . The Yankees actually mustered more errors (two) than hits (one) in Tuesday's loss.

The lineup packs all the bite of a toothless canine, and the rotation is essentially a one-man show in Gerrit Cole. Tuesday's starter, Luis Severino, is now 2-8 with a 7.98 ERA after suffering the loss. . . .

Add in sloppy play in the field, especially on the bases, and it's not hard to see why these Yankees will be spending their offseason in the dog pound.

Talkin' Yanks

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Yankees - 011 221 000 - 7  6  1
Marlins - 001 001 015 - 8 11  0

Bottom of the 9th. Marlins Batting, Behind 3-7. Clay Holmes facing 7-8-9.

Yuli Gurriel (fbcf) doubled to deep right-center.
Jon Berti (cc) struck out swinging.
Nick Fortes (b) singled to shortstop.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. (bbcsbf) walked, Gurriel to third, Fortes to second.
Josh Bell (bb) reached first on pitcher's throwing error, Gurriel scored (4-7), Fortes scored (5-7), Chisholm to third.
Luis Arraez (cf) tripled to right, Chisholm scored (6-7), Bell scored (7-7).
Tommy Kahnle replaced Clay Holmes pitching; Oswaldo Cabrera replaced Billy McKinney in left.
Bryan De La Cruz (bbsb) walked.
Jake Burger (b - De La Cruz to second, defensive indifference - fb) singled to deep left, Arraez scored (8-7).

Greg Joyce, Post, August 13:
Mathematically, the Yankees only dropped one game in the playoff race Sunday with 44 games to go.

In every other way possible, it felt like a much more damaging blow to the gut — and possibly their season.

Desperate for any kind of momentum to make a run with less than two months left in the season, the Yankees were three outs away from gaining some, only to throw it all away in an epic collapse.

In a season that has been too crowded with brutal losses, Clay Holmes and the Yankees blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning as they lost to the Marlins in stunning fashion, 8-7 . . .

One inning away from claiming their first series over a team with a winning record since late June, the Yankees (60-58) fell flat on their faces. They dropped to 1-8-3 over their last 12 series . . .

In a game they once led 7-1, the Yankees entered the bottom of the ninth leading 7-3. . . .

Yuli Gurriel led off the bottom of the ninth with a double on a 1-2 pitch but Holmes struck out the next batter. Nick Fortes then hit an infield single up the middle before Holmes walked Jazz Chisholm on a full count to load the bases.

Josh Bell came up next and hit a comebacker to the mound that Holmes tried to make a play on but fumbled. Having lost a chance at a potential game-ending double play, Holmes collected the ball and made things worse by rushing a wild throw to first, allowing a second run to score on the play. . . .

Luis Arraez followed with a triple down the first-base line that rolled all the way to the right-field corner to tie the game at seven. Kahnle then entered and walked a batter before Burger lined a single to left, over a five-man infield, to end it.
Greg Joyce, Post, August 14:
The Yankees arrived at the third and final leg of their road trip Monday hoping to bounce back . . . But beyond their own self-inflicted issues, it proved difficult for the Yankees to find much bounce when they ran into the brick wall that was [Atlanta's] lineup. 

Clarke Schmidt had his worst start in three months, getting shelled by a relentless offensive attack as the Yankees lost their third straight game, 11-3 . . .

Schmidt was clobbered on Monday for eight runs on nine hits in just 2¹/₃ innings. . . .

The Yankees had early opportunities to cash in . . . but settled for taking a pair of slim leads at 1-0 and 2-1 before it all fell apart for Schmidt. . . . [T]he Yankees also hurt themselves, highlighted by Harrison Bader getting picked off first base with two outs in the sixth inning of an 8-2 game. 

In the process, the Yankees lost for the 10th time in their last 15 games as their runway to finally go on the hot streak they have been talking about gets smaller and smaller. . . .

[T]he Yankees didn't give Schmidt much time to rest between innings . . . [seeing] just nine pitches in the top of the third . . . [Atlanta] wore down Schmidt in the bottom of the third, at one point recording four straight hits — despite the Yankees right-hander having count leverage in all four at-bats — to extend their lead to 8-2.
Greg Joyce, Post, August 15:
A team that has played mediocre baseball for most of the season finally has the record to match it after a fourth straight loss sank the Yankees to 60-60 on the year.

On another night when Luis Severino put the Yankees in an early hole . . . their offense hardly showed up in a one-hit effort while falling to [Atlanta], 5-0, on Tuesday . . .

The Yankees are now back at .500 for the first time since May 1, when they were 15-15, and fell to 6½ games behind the Blue Jays for the final AL wild-card spot.

It marks the first time the Yankees have been .500 this late in a season since 1995. . . . They have not dipped under .500 all season, but will try to avoid that and a sweep in the series finale  . . . on Wednesday night. . . .

The Yankees had a miserable night all-around, recording more errors (two) than they had hits (one). . . . 

[Atlanta's] right-hander Bryce Elder . . . turned in seven dominant innings in which he allowed only four base runners (three on walks), three of which were erased by double plays. . . . [T]he Yankees grounded into four double plays in total. . . .

"It sucks. We're just simply not playing well enough," Boone said. . . . "That's a broken record, right?"
Greg Joyce, Post, August 15:
The Yankees' baserunning has cost them on a number of occasions lately, with Harrison Bader being the latest offender on Monday night. 

In a game the Yankees trailed by six runs, Bader singled with two outs in the sixth inning against [Atlanta] left-hander Max Fried.

But Bader then took the bat out of DJ LeMahieu's hands by getting picked off at first by Fried, who is known for having one of the better pickoff moves in the game. 

"That can't happen there," manager Aaron Boone said . . . Asked if he thought Fried balked since he called it a "balk move," Bader said he didn't know.  . . .

The Yankees have now been picked off 12 times this season, which is the fifth-most in the majors. 
Greg Joyce, Post, August 16:
Gleyber Torres . . . has now hit into six double plays over his last six games — the most by a Yankee in any six-game span in franchise history, according to Stathead . . .

Through his first 113 games this season, Torres grounded into 11 double plays. But his six in his past six games suddenly have him tied for the fourth-most double plays in the majors with 17 this season.

Both of Torres' twin killings on Tuesday came after Aaron Judge led off an inning with a walk.

MLB Pipeline Ranks Red Sox's Farm System #16

MLB Pipeline's mid-season farm system rankings places Boston in the middle of the pack (#16 of 30), which is a bit of a drop from where the Red Sox had been ranked in the previous two seasons.

"Hitters dominate" the Red Sox's system, while their pitching talent is "as thin as any organization".

16. Boston Red Sox

2023 preseason rank: 16
2022 midseason rank: 11
2022 preseason rank: 14
2021 midseason rank: 12

Top 100 prospects: Marcelo Mayer, SS (No. 11); Roman Anthony, OF (No. 37); Ceddanne Rafaela, OF/SS (No. 77); Kyle Teel, C (No. 87)

Hitters dominate Boston's system, with Mayer, Anthony, Rafaela and Teel on the Top 100 and outfielder Miguel Bleis and second baseman Nick Yorke falling just short. The Red Sox spent their first three picks in the 2023 Draft – totaling $8.5 million – on Teel and a pair of prep infielders in Nazzan Zanetello and Antonio Anderson. They're as thin as any organization in terms of pitching talent, though the international scouting department has helped by finding right-handers Wikelman Gonzalez, Luis Perales and Angel Bastardo.

Not as good as the Orioles –

1. Baltimore Orioles

2023 preseason rank: 1
2022 midseason rank: 1
2022 preseason rank: 1
2021 midseason rank: 1

– but better than the Yankees:

21. New York Yankees

2023 preseason rank: 13
2022 midseason rank: 12
2022 preseason rank: 13
2021 midseason rank: 19

The rest of the East:

7. Tampa Bay Rays

2023 preseason rank: 6
2022 midseason rank: 8
2022 preseason rank: 3
2021 midseason rank: 6

25. Toronto Blue Jays

2023 preseason rank: 25
2022 midseason rank: 20
2022 preseason rank: 21
2021 midseason rank: 14

August 8, 2023

Schadenfreude 343 (A Continuing Series)

Greg Joyce, Post, August 7, 2023:
The fury that Aaron Boone unleashed on home plate umpire Laz Diaz on Monday night mirrored how many Yankees fans feel about the state of the team — specifically the offense. . . .

On a night when they were no-hit through 5.1 innings and loaded the bases three times, the Yankees continued to squander opportunities as they fell to the White Sox, 5-1 . . .

After stranding 15 runners in Sunday's loss to the Astros, the Yankees (58-55) left 13 men on base in Monday's loss to the lowly White Sox (46-68) . . . 

They also went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position as they dropped to 5½ games out of the final playoff spot with 49 games to go. . . .

While Diaz did not lose the game for them, the Yankees were unhappy with his strike zone all night.

It built to a crescendo in the eighth inning in what was then a 2-1 game, when Boone was ejected — after Diaz made a called strike three on a pitch in the zone to Anthony Volpe — and subsequently lost it on Diaz, including mimicking his strikeout call and drawing lines in the dirt to demonstrate pitches missing the plate.

"I was pretty upset," Boone said after his sixth ejection of the season. "Like Gleyber [Torres'] first at-bat, he ends up walking on what I felt like was about six balls and it just continued all night. . . ."

Boone also pointed to DJ LeMahieu's at-bat in the seventh inning with one out and runners on the corners after Billy McKinney had pulled the Yankees within 2-1 on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.

LeMahieu struck out on three pitches, two of which he watched go outside of the zone for called strikes, on the way to the Yankees stranding the tying run at third. . . .

The Yankees did not record a hit against Dylan Cease until there was one out in the sixth inning, at which point they had drawn seven walks but stranded all of them.

Jared Schwartz, Post, August 7, 2023:
Aaron Boone made sure Laz Diaz knew the exact spot the latter blew two crucial strike calls. Then he made sure to mock him on his way back to the clubhouse. . . .

Boone blew a fuse on Diaz . . . over what appeared to be an egregious strike zone. After quickly being ejected, Boone got his money's worth and continuously barked at Diaz, who shouted right back at Boone.

"You f–king stink," Boone could be heard yelling in Diaz's face on the broadcast.

He then walked over to the plate and crouched down to draw a line in the lefty batter's box, seemingly marking the spot Diaz mistakenly called pitches strikes.

After screaming again at Diaz, Boone then got into an umpire's stance behind the plate and pretended to call a batter out on strikes before pointing in mockery. . . .

[Boone] returned to berating Diaz before he was pulled away by the rest of the umpiring crew and bench coach Carlos Mendoza.

"I hear about it every f–king day," Boone appeared to yell. "You're s–t." . . .

Harrison Bader struck out swinging to end the seventh inning before Anthony Volpe began the eighth inning getting called out on strikes. That was the final straw for Boone, who began his tirade after Volpe's at-bat. Volpe saw four pitches, although the called strikes did not appear out of the strike zone.

Greg Joyce, Post, August 7, 2023:
Carlos Rodon is back where he started the season: on the injured list.

The Yankees placed Rodon on the 15-day IL Monday with a "low-grade" left hamstring strain . . . The hamstring issue is the latest setback for Rodon, whose season was delayed by a forearm muscle strain and back discomfort.

After signing a six-year, $162 million contract in the offseason, he did not make his Yankees debut until July 7. Exactly a month later, he is back on the shelf. In his six starts between IL stints, Rodon posted a 7.33 ERA . . .

Rodon's latest injury further exposes the Yankees' shallow starting pitching depth.

They did just get Nestor Cortes back from the IL, but only a few days after announcing that Domingo German would miss the rest of the season to get treatment for alcohol abuse.