Like Harrison Bader said, if the New York Yankees keep playing their "brand of baseball," they'll be just fine ... except they won't be! Because Monday night's loss to the Chicago White Sox further magnified every glaring problem with this team.
Not hitting with runners in scoring position. Not cashing in on opportunities with one or no outs. Leaving the door open for the underwhelming opposition to make them pay. Complaining about the umpire that shouldn't have an impact on the game if the Yankees simply just did their job. No urgency.
New York lost 5-1 and wasted what should've been a good Gerrit Cole start if he had any run support. Cole finished with four earned runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings. He didn't have his best stuff, but it should have been good enough,.
Meanwhile, the Bombers (can we even call them that anymore?) left 13 runners on base and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They left 15 runners on base the day prior against the Astros and went 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Two winnable games flushed down the toilet as the Blue Jays keep distancing themselves in the AL Wild Card race.
Aaron Boone got ejected. It was funny, but it's also hard to laugh when everything's this disheartening. The Yankees are a .500 team and there's far too much evidence to dispel that notion.
Yankees News: Loss to White Sox, Cashman's insane comment on Rizzo, Luis Severino
The Yankees made a bit of futile history with their inefficiency with runners on base, too. In case you needed another doomsday stat to characterize how far this franchise has slipped, Katie Sharp has you covered.
The loss to the White Sox was especially alarming because Chicago had just gotten called out by new Yankee Keynan Middleton (and new Dodger Lance Lynn) for the team's poor culture. Two days prior, Tim Anderson was the laughingstock of the internet (and still is!) for getting knocked out by Jose Ramirez. Here come the Yankees to the rescue, though, to make the White Sox forget about how embarrassing they are.
Can we also get general manager Brian Cashman to stop talking to the media? He's the absolute worst person to relay information to the fans. Lost in the shuffle of the team's rollercoaster loss to the Astros were Cashman's comments on the injured Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo hit the IL with cognitive impairment last week, which was traced back to his collision with Fernando Tatis Jr. at the end of May. Everyone knew it except the Yankees, of course, which drew endless criticism from the fanbase and media. But don't worry, Cashman's reassuring response to it all made everyone feel better.
What is this guy talking about? This sounds like a response from somebody who was playing along with a hidden ball trick or some game of keep-away. Why wasn't Rizzo periodically sent for tests over the course of the two months when he was enduring the worst offensive stretch of his entire career? Nobody caught that? But yeah, throwing a drunk Domingo Germán in a sauna was an A+ medical decision.
OK, back to baseball. If the Yankees' current plan stands, they already lost the series to Chicago. Dropping Cole vs Dylan Cease was bad enough, but starting Luis Severino for the finale? Might as well take Wednesday and Thursday off to rest up for the tough upcoming nine-game stretch.
Severino is statistically the worst starting pitcher in baseball. He's mentally stuck in the mud and the Yankees have no answers for his mechanics, velocity issues and command struggles. He's been a lost cause for a while now, but for some reason, with plentiful options available, the team continues to wear its complacency on its sleeve and reward a bad player with more chances.
There's no longer any ill will directed at Severino among the fan base. He's just no longer an effective player and cannot be one of the team's key starting pitchers. No other team in MLB trots out somebody with a 7.74 ERA, 6.56 FIP and 1.85 WHIP out there every fifth day. Not even the teams that are trying to lose.
If the Yankees do this again, they can probably kiss the playoffs goodbye as early as Aug. 9. Severino's eight of his 13 starts have featured putting his offense in a massive hole that's been insurmountable to climb out of. And one of them was against the White Sox back on June 8. The opponent doesn't matter. Severino is broken beyond repair and needs a new role or a new home.
But the Yankees will see this one out all the way through, won't they?