Heading into Fenway Park this week for one final showdown with the Boston Red Sox in 2023, it seemed the Yankees might finally make things interesting. With the finale of their three-game set with the Tigers approaching, they'd won five straight games and eight of nine, including a road sweep of the Houston Astros.
The team's surge was keyed by the Kids, with the dual promotions of Jasson Dominguez and Austin Wells providing an unexpected spark in the dark. It was Dominguez, though, who was doing the tangible heavy lifting, slugging three homers in his first five big-league games.
Since excitement peaked on Wednesday night, things have gone downhill remarkably quickly. Carlos Rodón pitched poorly in a laugher loss to wrap the Tigers series. The Yankees turned consecutive 2-2 games into Brewers blowouts with bumbling defense and bullpen meltdowns.
Now, on Sunday, one day before the four-game Fenway showdown was due to begin, serving as a potential tonesetter for next season (the dream of a miracle playoff run already three days dead this September), Dominguez has been scratched with "right elbow inflammation" just before first pitch.
Yankees rookie star Jasson Dominguez (elbow inflammation) scratched from lineup
They did it. They actually did it. They found a way to give the fans belief, to give them hope, to make them consider a future less bleak than the depressing present. A playoff run would be far-fetched, sure, but at least a new generation was coming, led by a switch-hitter who'd just matched Mickey Mantle's youthful feats of strength.
Nope. Four days -- four measly days -- and three consecutive feckless losses later, and Dominguez has been placed on the shelf, too. If there's a Fenway series on the calendar, you can be sure the fates will align to deliver you a new form of depression.
Stay tuned for updates on Dominguez's medical saga that'll hopefully remind you there's a reason to devote your life to following this team.