Yankees: Adam Ottavino and Chad Green basically ended 2020 season
By Adam Weinrib
The New York Yankees have 19 more games that they don’t really need to bother with after Chad Green and Adam Ottavino did their thing on Monday.
No, the Toronto Blue Jays aren’t the special kind of “good” team that you really have to worry about putting up a 10-spot in any random sixth inning. But yes, the New York Yankees really are that special kind of bad team that you can count on to provide just that.
This was supposed to be the stirring victory that roused the spirits of the city and the moribund team that represents it. They were up 6-2 in the sixth after an Aaron Hicks bases-loaded walk, momentarily satisfied, and handing the ball to their top bullpen arms after Jonathan Holder’s excellent work. The Jays seemed happy to pass the baton and attack JA Happ the next day, equaling the series anyway.
Until, of course, Chad Green and Adam Ottavino handed them an equalizer and then some. Not a single Green fastball was anywhere close. Not a single Ottavino pitch wasn’t lofted to the batter on a platter. Add in a single Luke Voit crank (off the glove, not the bat), and a 6-2 game with one out in the sixth inning had become 12-6 in the other direction. Remember when we all wanted to see the high-leverage guys against the Orioles on Sunday instead of Luis Cessa? Um, that was them. And it was great!
Every 162-game season, for even the best teams, comes replete with a few losses the devoted fan will unfortunately never forget. The four-hour losses you stay up way too late watching. The last-second momentum-turners that leave you bewildered. Ask me about the Adam Warren Game from 2013. Unfortunately, they’ll stick with you.
But this 2020 Yankees season has compacted a seemingly endless number of chokes, pratfalls, head-scratchers, and eye-rollers into a 60-game schedule, making an already-joyless slog perfectly awful. There aren’t many conclusions to be drawn from this small sample size, but it’s safe to say that Ottavino is a gleaming red question mark, even for the largest optimist.
0.0 innings pitched, four hits, six earned runs, two walks, a grand slam to a .155-hitting catcher, and the large, black seal on the contest that should’ve removed anyone’s final, lingering bit of emotional attachment to this truncated campaign. 3.55 ERA to 7.82. It never, ever ends.
There is no coming back from this. There is no more regrouping to be done. The happiness in the opposing locker room and the confidence oozing out of it cannot be quantified — and they don’t even get to go home at the end of their home games.
Add Toronto to the list of rivals that have stared the Yankees in the face in must-win matchups over the past few seasons, and not only beat them, but laid their soul bare. The 2017 Astros threw 24 consecutive curveballs to end the ALCS because they knew the Yankees didn’t have it in them to solve the puzzle. The 2018 Red Sox won a 16-1 game in the Bronx to swing the ’18 postseason. Michael Brosseau was so “intimidated” that he drilled two home runs last week and ran the Rays’ record to 8-2 against this chronically punchable roster.
If Toronto maintains their momentum — and there’s no reason to believe they won’t — they’ll be another Tampa Bay, with their entire season slate still to go. If the Yankees make the playoffs, you won’t trust any positive they produce without being 100% assured that a negative is sure to follow.
I’ve seen enough. I’ve seen it all. I’ve said too much. It just keeps happening, and it probably won’t stop.