New York Yankees: 3 Takeaways from a bad end to a disappointing season

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

It’s all over for the New York Yankees as they lost the wild card game in Boston. A long and primarily painful season is now behind them as they bombed out in another postseason. The Yankees, with the most championships in all of the sports, haven’t won a World Series in twelve years. In that span, the phrase Bronx Bombers once meant a powerful team that slaughters its opponents now seems to mean a team the bombs out at the end of every season. The Yankees lost the wild card game 6-2 to the Boston Red Sox.

Gerrit Cole bombs big time

At the beginning of this season, having Gerrit Cole on the mound usually meant winning another game; that is no longer true, as evidenced in his last four games when he gave up 18 earned runs. That is not the signature of a pitching ace; it’s not even the sign of a mediocre pitcher. Steinbrenner and company paid huge bucks to acquire Gerrit Cole to come up big in big situations. Instead, he has failed and failed badly.

Last night in a winner-take-all ticket to an eventual World Series, Cole only lasted two innings giving up three earned runs, two of them homers, and walking two Red Sox. That’s a 13.50 ERA, hardly a stat that will win games. Cole, after the game, didn’t give any excuses like that mound wasn’t proper or my hamstring was bothering me; he simply said he didn’t make his pitches.

In his usual manner of protecting his players rather than holding them responsible, Manager Boone actually said I think he made some good pitches. If he meant that he threw a few pitches that weren’t hit out of the park, that is true, and if he wanted to suggest that Cole pitched well, he doesn’t understand baseball. At the very least, an ace should be able to keep a team in the game even if they don’t have their best stuff. Unfortunately, Cole did not do that last night.

Yankee bullpen gives up three runs

This season, the mostly good bullpen has suffered somewhat because the starting pitching hasn’t been stellar, causing them to be overused for most of the season. But, for whatever reason, the bullpen did not respond and lift the Yankees out of the hole that Gerrit Cole created. Instead, they gave up three more runs making it extremely difficult for a poor-hitting team to crawl out from.

Some of this is Cole’s responsibility; to expect any bullpen to get 21 outs scoreless is a tall order. After Cole was removed, manager Boone called in Clay Holmes to pitch two innings of one-hit ball. It will be questioned why he didn’t Boone leave him in longer when he only used  26 pitches. Luis Severino, returning from Tommy John surgery, replaced Holmes and gave one run in 1.1 innings of work. Jonathan Loaisiga, also coming back from a stint on the IL, gave up two more runs. Chad Green pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless ball, but it was too little, too late.

Hitting was a microcosm of the whole season

The New York Yankees have been plagued all season long by long stretches of no-hitting. Droughts that put them in a wild card showdown instead of a division win. Unfortunately, after crawling back to postseason contention, they went on another one of those droughts. Hitters four through nine last night went one for twenty putting all the weight on the lead-off hitters. Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo hit home runs, but it wasn’t impactful with no baserunners ahead of them. The Red Sox had only one hit more than the Yankees, but there were runners on base when their sluggers hit.

The New York Yankees have only scored eight runs in their last five games. It was undoubtedly a very inopportune time to go on a hitting drought. Nevertheless, this is the season the Yankees have had, was so inconsistent that it caused them to miss another try at the elusive 28th World Championship. For the Yankees, it’s time to lick their wounds and when they get tired of the taste, try to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it before the start of the 2022 baseball season.


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