Yankees, Severino, thumped, Tanaka on DL, misery drags on
Yankees fans, if you saw that headline and still clicked on it to read further congratulations, that marks you as a true fan of the team. Because drilling down through the negatives is the only way to find positive ways to fix it.
45,000 Yankees fans entered Yankee Stadium yesterday afternoon filled with hope and promise of Luis Severino, the team’s ace of late, shutting down the Boston Red Sox and ensuring a Yankees win in the three-game series while creeping to within 2.5 games of first place in the AL East.
When they left, the only thing they were assured of is Cy Young contender, Chris Sale, taking the mound tonight with the same opportunity to snatch the series from the Yankees, and hoping beyond hope Sale will match the clunker delivered by Severino.
Lately, it’s not easy to watch this team. It’s not fun, for instance, to watch Aaron Judge go 0-4 with two more strikeouts, getting to within three games of Adam Dunn‘s record for most consecutive games with a strikeout (32).
The Yankees are not what you would describe as flat. Girardi still has them prepared and playing hard.
And it’s not fun to watch Severino get knocked around, even though you know a day like the one he had was in in the cards. But why did he have to draw that card now and not later?
Positives? There were a few. Brett Gardner threw two strikes to second base nailing Rafael Devers and Hanley Ramirez. Giovanny Gallegos, in relief of Severino, threw 2.2 perfect innings while striking out four. And Chase Headley delivered two more hits and a RBI, continuing his hot hitting and solid play at first base.
Yankees resilience tested again
The adage saying misery loves company doesn’t help much either. But there is some comfort in seeing the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs going through the same lull the Yankees are in. It happens in baseball.
But at some point, the Yankees need to spring out from the trend engulfing the team. The news of Masahiro Tanaka landing on the DL, in any other season, would be termed a disaster. Except, in this case, it could be a blessing in disguise, if only because it prompts Brian Cashman to make a move to fill his spot in the rotation.
His first option is to keep a close eye on the waiver wire which, by the way, Justin Verlander has cleared, and the clock is ticking for him to be traded or kept by the Tigers. The Yankees can afford the $52 million Verlander is owed over the next two years, but it would mean a premature move to spend that money before free agents hit the market in November. Still, it’s an option.
Cashman could also, despite his intentions again, call on someone in the farm system, the most obvious choice being Chance Adams.
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Aaron Judge is another matter and a genuinely conflicting one for the Yankees to decide on. Everyone connected to the organization, and most especially Joe Girardi, believe it’s only a matter of time before Judge figures this thing out. The only thing is, of course, they don’t have an answer as to when that will happen.
I happen to disagree on that one, taking the view that a brief stint in the minors would do wonders for Judge if only to afford him the chance to clear his head for a few days. Golden Boy to Golden Goose is not the end of the story for Judge’s season. Or at least, the Yankees need to make sure it isn’t and sometimes, radical problems demand radical solutions.
A good time to regroup
The Yankees are not what you would describe as flat. Girardi still has them prepared and playing hard. And they’ll show up tonight ready to play. It’s just that the results are contrary and the team continues to play sub .500 baseball since they zoomed off to that 21-9 season start.
Hopefully, Jordan Montgomery has adjusted to the whirlwind of the last week. Starting pitchers are creatures of routine and Montgomery’s experience this week has been anything but that. The rookie gets to challenge the Red Sox best in Sale, but in fact, he’s facing the hitters and not Sale.
It’s likely Girardi will start Austin Romine again as his catcher instead of Gary Sanchez, who will be moved to the DH spot. Romine had little or no trouble blocking Montgomery’s twelve to six curveball that purposively lands in the dirt.
The Yankees will be challenged tonight. That’s a good thing because a win tonight against one of the top pitchers in baseball could be just the thing that jump-starts the team again.
Next: Five Questions The Yankees Need To Answer - Pronto!
If not, join me again tomorrow for another in the series of lamenting, but still hopeful, tales of misery.
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