Editor's Note: Rasmussen was placed on the 60-Day IL with a flexor strain between his dominant start and Friday's game.
The New York Yankees have no clue how to solve one of their rivals' aces, but what else should we expect from a team with a hitting coach who "doesn't give a sh*t" about offensive production?
The Rays threw Drew Rasmussen to open a crucial four-game set at Yankee Stadium on Thursday evening. Predictably, he shoved.
Rasmussen is one of the AL's top hurlers, and is a safe bet to dominate on any given night. That said, after a certain amount of dominance against one opponent, the losing team has to adjust their approach. Failure is one thing. Complacency is another.
The Yankees pick up Rasmussen worse than anyone else league-wide, and after Thursday's effortless dominance, are still riding a scoreless streak against the righty that dates back to the summer of 2021.
After the loss, Aaron Boone rallied the troops, reminding them of how they once turned their rivalry with Pedro Martinez from mastery into fatherhood and charted a course for -- nah, just kidding. He shrugged and went, "Hey, that's just how it be sometimes."
Yankees should probably try to hit Rays starter Drew Rasmussen at some point. Ah, well. Nevertheless!
"Damn, we're baffled. Anyway, onto more losses!" Boone added.
Rasmussen isn't an easy solve, but you'd like to see the Yankees make tangible progress in their endeavors. While some downers were focused on Boone "punting" the game with his bullpen choices after going down 4-0, the team's inability to make any sort of dent in Rasmussen's pristine plan was much more concerning.
This is a four-game series with another following behind it in Toronto. Ron Marinaccio entered first and only brought more pain. Is Wandy Peralta supposed to come in down four runs after the offense has already declared they're packing it in?
The white flag from the lineup was far more concerning than the appearance of Ryan Weber, and a lack of urgency clearly comes from the top. The Yankees don't care about April. They don't care about May. They haven't cared in years -- or, at least, they won't alter a long-term plan based on short-term scuffles.
They intend to make the 2023 postseason, and they intend to do so with anywhere between 88 and 100 wins. 89 means just as much to them as 98, as long as it gets them over the threshold. Fine. But what happens when they actually get there and Rasmussen rocks them to sleep yet again? The lineup is missing Giancarlo Stanton, but it's no longer half-Scranton. This is close to the finished product, and a hot knife would receive more pushback from butter than what the Yankees gave Rasmussen in the opener.
Ah well, though. It'll get better. Things always do! Until they don't. The 2023 Yankees can't replicate the 1998 Yankees' depth, but under Joe Torre, this team took to the field scratching and clawing for a win every single day. If they fell off their 120-win pace in early September, they were embarrassed.