The New York Yankees are in a tailspin that is quickly putting their postseason hopes into the rearview mirror. For this writer and Yankee fan, it is totally perplexing how a team can go from the winningest team in baseball just a week ago to a lifeless team that now has a season-high five losses in a row.
Luis Gil is human; after all
New York Yankee pitching prospect sensation Luis Gil was the first pitcher since 1901 to not give up a run in his first three starts as a Yankee. But now, Gil has proved that he is indeed human. Although he started last night’s game allowing a walk, and even though catcher Gary Sanchez allowed a passed ball with the runner advancing, Gil still got out of the inning unscathed. But that walk would be telling.
In the second inning, Gil struck out the side, and it looked like Gil was back into control. Then, in the third, Gil walked two and loaded the bases but showed the guts of a veteran by working into and getting out of a bases-loaded jam scoreless. But in the fourth, everything went south for Gil. He walked two more Jays. At the end of the half, the Rays had scored three runs against the 22-year-old.
At the end of the night, which came after just 3.1 innings for Gil, he had stuck out an impressive 6 Jays, but that was spoiled by walking seven which was his demise. After the game, manager Boone basically said that players and pitchers alike have bad days. However, it should be noted that no matter how well he pitched in his first three starts, in the minors, Gil had one of the worst walk records.
The Yankee’s rollercoaster is scary!
This 2021 baseball season for the New York Yankees has been a rollercoaster that would make Kingda Ka at Six Flags in New Jersey seem like a kiddie ride. Even though the first half for the Yankees was horrible, they did have their moments. But since July 4th, the roller coaster has gone into overdrive. With no hope of reaching the postseason, the Yankees became a new team becoming the winningest in baseball.
At one point, the Yankees won 13 games straight that landed them in the number one wild card berth. Now with losing five consecutive games, a season-high, the Yankees have lost that berth. If they lose again tonight, they will only have the second berth by .5 games.
Last night in an otherwise boring and disheartening game for Yankee fans, there was a bright spot. In the fifth inning veteran, Brett Gardner hit a three-run homer. For those that thought it might spark the Yankees, the bright spot quickly faded.
Chapman still doesn’t have it while the rest of the bullpen is completely worn out
At this point in the season, Aroldis Chapman’s struggles are well known, but his struggles have been systemic for the team. Aaron Boone forced to use other pitchers to close in close games has caused undue stress on a bullpen already struggling with missing members and overworked arms.
The plain and simple fact is that the Yankee bullpen is completely blown out. Overwork has caused normally dependable relievers to be undependable in many instances and many situations. So comparing Mariano Rivera to Chapman is unfair. But to illustrate the problem with Rivera on the mound, you knew the Yankees would win. With Chapman on the mound, you usually know it’s going to be a nailbiter at best.
Last night was no different; Boone called him in in a non-save situation to hold the Jays. He didn’t; he walked two and gave up another run putting the game out of reach for the Yankees before being pulled. The other relievers not named J-Rod also gave up runs. The usually dependable Chad Green and Clay Holmes couldn’t keep the Jays scoreless, just showing how tired the pen is.
The Yankee’s wild card dilemma explained
The dilemma for the New York Yankees is that they are not winning games and slipping back in the AL East. After the winning streak, the Yankees had clawed their way back to just five games out of the AL East lead, but that was then, and this is now. They have slipped back to 9.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays and would be even further back, but the Rays have helped losing a few games recently.
At the end of the winning streak, the Yankees found themselves the number one Wild Card game owner with home-field advantage. Now, after the losing streak that doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon, they are about to be out of the wild card picture altogether. What is even scarier is that with just 23 games left in the season, the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners are surging while the Yankees are in the dumper.
With this New York Yankee team playing as they are, with only one dependable starter, injured and may miss a start at best, a lifeless lineup, and a worn-out bullpen, the Yankees are going to have to find a way to reverse things and start winning again. But, with time fleeting, they need to do it sooner than later.