2. The Yankees Don’t Have Enough Pitching
The Yankees have enough pitching, they were just crushed by injuries again.
At the end of the day, injuries cannot be used as an excuse. The Yankees were very much in this series until the final pitch, and if the pitching staff had featured Luis Severino, James Paxton, Tommy Kahnle, and a functional Adam Ottavino, we’d bet they’d be in the ALCS right now.
This team was built on home runs and pitching. To say there isn’t a sufficient amount of the latter is just wrong. We just talked about the Rays missing three key arms … just like us! Kevin Cash and the front office just did a better job of filling in the gaps and getting their guys ready, it seems.
Manager Aaron Boone was working with a lot less than he signed up for, but that’s part of his job. One could argue he should’ve done better with his pitching decisions. We don’t disagree with that. One could argue he didn’t prepare some arms (like Ottavino, Jonathan Loaisiga or Jonathan Holder) for high-leverage action as much as he should’ve. One could argue Clarke Schmidt would’ve been a tremendous addition to the ailing bullpen. None of that is wrong.
But this team does not need more pitching. They still had three closer-esque pitchers on the roster when this season began in Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, and even Ottavino before he became a garbage time middle reliever. A lot of teams don’t even have one of this guys.
Untimely injuries, questionable roster moves, and former top arms falling into obscurity resulted in the dearth of pitching, if you want to call it that. This team still had enough to get by, but the front office tried to get cute in Game 2, Tanaka didn’t show up for Game 3, and Chapman blew Game 5. We don’t know what else to tell you.