Yankees won’t bench Gary Sanchez but maybe they should

Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

While Gary Sanchez’s “potential” at the plate typically gives the Yankees a greater chance of scoring runs and in turn, winning balls games, he’s been non-existent during the postseason and is currently doing more harm than good.

Where have you gone, Gary Sanchez? It doesn’t have quite the same ring as ‘Joe DiMaggio,’ a line from the iconic 1968 Simon & Garfunkel song, “Mrs. Robinson.” However, where has the Yankees slugging catcher disappeared to?

Sanchez, who went 0-for-4 in the Yanks 4-1 ALCS Game 3 loss on Tuesday afternoon, is now 1-for-13 with six strikeouts this round and 2-for-25 with zero extra-base hits and 12 whiffs this postseason.

Not that El Gary has been around all that long, but in three years of playoff games (seven series), The Kraken is cracked, as he’s gone 16-for-92 with 34 strikeouts. That’s a .174/.220/.370 slash line.

Naturally, some will point out that Sanchez does have five homers and 13 RBIs during that span, but is that enough to justify his presence in the lineup?

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The answer is no, even if Austin Romine is the backup catcher, who only has two career playoff at-bats, both in 2017. I mean, Romine can’t do much worse than Sanchez, and he calls an exceptionally better game.

Perhaps sitting Sanchez will spark something in his subconscious. We know the 26-year-old Dominican-native is a superiorly talented hitter with a rocket for an arm, but right now he simply isn’t helping the Yankees win playoff games.

Sanchez’s performances, like most athletes, hinges on confidence — and his inability to hit perhaps played a role in his failure to block a seventh-inning run-scoring wild pitch thrown by Zack Britton. Sanchez moved from behind the dish like he was stuck to the ground.

Down two games to one in the best of seven ALCS, every inning matters as time begins to run out on the season. With the news that Wednesday’s Game 4 has been postponed due to inclement weather — pushing it to Thursday and Game 5 to Friday, the day off now, instead of at the end of the week hopefully does Sanchez’s psyche some good.

Because the truth is, Aaron Boone is likely to live or die with Sanchez in the lineup. When asked by Newsday if it was time to sit the struggling catcher, Boone defiantly replied:

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"“No,” Boone said definitively, taking the stand-by-your-man approach that has followed Sanchez since his rough 2018 season. “I’m seeing Gary miss some pitches … I felt like he got another good one to hit today and put it on the net again.he’s got to take advantage of. Especially when you’re facing a team like this with pitching like they have, when you do get a ball that you can handle, you’ve got to make sure it gets in play with authority and not on the net.”"

No, Sanchez is alone in his slump; he, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius and Gio Ursehla have combined to go 7-for-62 (.113) in the ALCS. However, since returning from a groin strain during the final series of the regular season versus Texas, Sanchez is 3-for-27 — so maybe the injury is still an issue.

Am I reaching for straws, who knows?! But someone needs to figure out the underlying issue fast and make an adjustment.