If Josh Donaldson homers early on in any given game, pack it in. The Yankees have no chance. Might as well save yourself the trouble and enjoy one of your favorite streaming shows.
While it should be obvious to everyone by now, sometimes it's got to be said out loud so we can all truly hear it: the Yankees aren't very good. That simple mantra can help answer so many of our Yankees-centric frustration questions.
"Why can't the Yankees hit consistently?!" They aren't very good. "Why can't the Yankees beat bad teams?!" They aren't very good. "Why can't the Yankees do ANYTHING with RISP?!" They AREN'T very GOOD! Hope that helps. Helpful to remember, especially when you're theoretically sitting down to watch the Yankees every day under the assumption that their games matter.
They're going to win some. They're going to lose plenty. With Aaron Judge. Without Aaron Judge. They're alright. Pretty bad. And they're even worse when Donaldson, who apparently needs just a little more runway to get going, launches a dinger.
When Donaldson struggles, the offense dies. When Donaldson powers one up? The offense ... also dies. It's not a very good offense. But the correlation between Donaldson bombs and losses is becoming hard to ignore, especially after the big man's solo shot was the only run in a 2-1 loss to the Athletics on Tuesday night.
Yankees don't win when Josh Donaldson homers. It's science.
Look. Baseball happens. If you're the 2023 Yankees, and you aren't very good, you're going to lose to Paul Blackburn and the A's. You just are. When DJ LeMahieu and Anthony Volpe's batting averages are threatening to converge (.227 and .203!!), you're going to lose some games. When Giancarlo Stanton's on the interstate (.184!!!!), you're going to lose some games.
But when Donaldson goes deep, you're going to lose every game. Every single game.
Currently, the "Homers to Loss Pipeline" is only the second-wonkiest Donaldson trend. Holding the No. 1 spot? Donaldson has seven bombs on the year. Respectable! Even though each bomb indicates a fat L.
Donaldson has ... two other hits.
You can trade Joey Gallo for Clayton Beeter, but you're just going to create another Joey Gallo in his wake. The modern Yankees breed Gallos. They act as weigh stations for Donaldson types on massive contracts, aka MLB's Russell Westbrook, then refuse to spend any money after using their financial power to absorb other team's mistakes. They wait, and wait, and wait on someone two years over the hill to "get going" because they "believe in the player," despite an encyclopedia of reasons not to believe anymore.
And then, when that player finally justifies their faith with a powerful clout deep into the night, they lose anyway. They aren't very good.