The New York Yankees are not built for October. They simply aren’t and there’s no convincing anybody they are after that hellacious first half of the 2021 season, which has ended with a 46-43 record.
This team cannot roll with even the most of momentum. They had the Houston Astros on the ropes, shutting them out in their first two games and taking a five-run lead into the ninth of the series finale.
But the Yankees’ skeleton crew of a bullpen and their inability to use their $16 million closer (because he’s so bad) doomed them. All it took was Domingo German to surrender two hits after a pristine two scoreless innings and an exhausted Chad Green to try and pick up the pieces.
The result? A six-run ninth for the Astros, ending with a Jose Altuve walk-off home run. 8-7. Deflated heading into the All-Star break. This team is nothing short of comedy at this point.
The sad part is that the Yankees hit the ball well. And they walked a ton. However, the same old problems reared their ugly head. They went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position. They left 14 runners on base. A number of miscues early prevented them from further burying the Astros.
Instead of a series sweep, their series win is overshadowed by a backbreaking loss that they couldn’t afford just hours before the All-Star break.
Fire. Everyone. Start anywhere. It doesn’t matter. Your team lacks even the most minimal amount of gumption if you can’t hang onto a five-run ninth-inning lead after holding the opponent to two runs across the first 26 innings of the series.
There’s no reason to have any hope in the 2021 New York Yankees.
Two straight wins in Seattle. Felt good! Finish the job, though? Nope. Instead, a futile performance from the lineup after the classic “start off the game in a multi-run hole.” Then came two straight wins in Houston as well as some much-needed trolling and trash talk. Finish off the job up five runs in the ninth?
Nope, instead just leave a taxed Green out there to die. Was bringing him in at first the right decision? Sure. But after two batters it was clear he had to come out. He couldn’t locate. His fastball didn’t have life. His breaking ball was flat. Sure, let him face Jose Altuve, though.
The Yankees cannot be trusted with any lead. It doesn’t matter how big. We saw the meltdown vs the Angels. The meltdown vs the Mets. Now arguably the easiest comeback in MLB history orchestrated by an Astros’ offense that was moments away from being pronounced dead.
Time and time again across the first three months, the Yankees have done nothing but embarrass themselves and their fans. There’s next to no reason to have any faith at this point. And even if they were to make an incredible deep postseason run, many of us would be looking back at the first half of the season and asking, “Why the hell did you do that over and over again for three-plus months?”
They had a chance to cut the Red Sox’s lead in the AL East to seven games. They could’ve come within 5.5 games of the Rays. All they needed to do was hold onto a five-run lead in the ninth. But Aaron Boone cannot effectively manage a bullpen and he let one of the most egregious losses of the season (yup, they keep getting worse!) further murder the team’s morale.
Enjoy the second half. There won’t be changes. There won’t be adjustments. There won’t be life. It’ll just be the 2021 Yankees. A season we will never forget for all the wrong reasons.