Not Worth It

I mean, really! Devote a lengthy post to a shoddy, hasty “performance” by an offense that offensively mustered all of 7 hits, 6 against a light-throwing guy in Stamman who entered with an ERA of 5.86?  Wax on eloquently about how the team failed with what few RISP chances it generated–0-4, stranding 7?  Forget it.  Instead, I’ll offer this:

Get well, Little G, who crashed into the wall in left center to make a great grab off Kearns in the top of the eighth, banging his back off the wall and leaving the game.  Especially now, as the Yanks travel to the NL parks and will need an extra OF and bench bat, it may be a good time to summon Shelley Duncan.

For those quick to trash Jorge’s catching skills and the statistics showing the allegedly superior work of others behind the dish, Joba was inefficient at best against a subpar DC lineup, allowing 7 hits and 4 walks in 6 IP, fanning 6 on 100 pitches/60 strikes but allowing 3 runs earned.  He was up in the zone, got behind in counts, and wasn’t that sharp–with Cervelli behind the plate.  That reinforces my point from before–that much of the catcher’s ERA has to do with what the pitchers do and don’t do.  Joba wasn’t by any means great tonight, throwing 32 pitches in the second, walking three, and walking in the second run.  Was that pitch selection or pitch execution?  I’d argue strongly for the latter, as when Jorge catches.

The Yanks should be ashamed of themselves for scoring all of 7 runs in 27 innings against this collection of bums, especially struggling against the motley gang of starters.  Martis?  Lannan? Stamman?  Spare me. Just spare me.

Washington played great defense, with Harris and Hernandez robbing A-Rod and Cano, respectively, of hits.  Harris’s play especially hurt as the Yanks actually got hits and eventually loaded the bases which, had Harris not made a great lunging catch to his right onto the track in left off A-Rod’s shot, would have resulted in at least a run.  As Lou Gehrig once said to Joe DiMaggio, “No matter whether it’s St. Louis or Philly or any place else, just remember they always save the best for the Yankees.” (Jonathan Eig, Luckiest Man (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2005), 208)  The Yankees forgot that in this series, getting outplayed by a bunch of stiffs that had won exactly one in five games on the road before the last two games, and baffled the Yankees with junk ballers who couldn’t get the ball to the plate above 90 if their lives depended on it.  Baffled by the pedestrian.

They should react as the 1949 Yankees did after they lost three straight to the Philadelphia A’s May 14-15. I’ll cite the great David Halberstam’s account in Summer of ’49. Tommy Henrich and Mel Allen were talking on the train out of Philly:

Just then Gus Mauch, the trainer, joined them.  “It’s not so bad,” he said.  “It’s just a ball game.”

“No,” Henrich said, “it’s not just another ball game.  It’s three games we blew to a lousy ball club and we could have won all three,  we blew those three games–we gave them away.  It’s the way to lose the pennant.” (Halberstam, Summer of ’49 (NY: Harper Perennial, 2006), 132).

Though the Yanks lost 2 and not all three this series to the lowly Gnats, they should feel neither less embarrassed nor less concerned than their counterparts sixty years before.  These are games and series that can come back to haunt teams.  These were not just winnable games, but games ready for the taking against a team in Washington that could not get out of its own way at all thus far this year.  Yet they step in, with junk ballers, and win two of three in Yankee Stadium?

It reminds me of 2007, when the Yanks took two of three at home against the Mets, then lost 9 of the next 12 in Colorado (swept in 3), Frisco (2 of 3, including letting that bum Morris off the hook), Baltimore (not showing offensively), and Oakland, at home for this series no less, to go from 35-32 after the Mets series and looking like a team on the rise to 38-41 and looking lost again.  Now the Yanks have nine on the road against Florida, Atlanta, and the Mets.  The Mets are barely above .500 as of now, while the others are not .500 teams.  The Yanks are 8 above .500 at 37-29 but should be better, and have allowed Toronto and the Rays to close the gap, while the Yanks sit 3 1/2 behind Boston pending the outcome of tonight’s game.  Will this disgrace against the Gnats be a motivator for the Yanks as it was for their counterparts in 1949, who won 14 of their next 17 games?  Or will they falter as the 2007 Yanks did on a key inter-league road trip?

It better be the former.

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Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 9:21 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Fabulous reference to 2007. Just great.

    I can forgive one loss to the Nats. After all, the 1962 Mets did win 40.

    Two? No. Especially not the way they lost tonight. Stick a Simpsons stamp on it. Tonight it seemed like the bags were packed and on the plane while they mailed it in.

    Pathetic. Despicable.

    I don’t know what Girardi would have done, but if this were Billy, there would be broken beer bottles all over that Yankee clubhouse.

    Not to mention a turned over food spread and hell to pay.

  2. Thanks, Mike. If it were one loss, I could take it with the knowledge that the Yanks still would have won the series, always important. Losing the series was a disgrace, and I agree with you–they looked like they mailed it in last night. No doubt about it.

    You’re also right in your assessment of what Billy’s reaction would have been–and no doubt a few of his players like Pinella, who was notorious for taking a bat to various items around the clubhouse.

    In a way, I get and respect their public demeanor crediting Washington for their play. But I think they should have been much tougher on themselves in their public statements after last night’s loss. I wanted to read something along the lines of, “We played like garbage and had bad, impatient at-bats.” I didn’t read much that showed the Yanks took accountability for such a wretched effort. That bothers me. Maybe they discussed that privately, but it should have been stated outright.

  3. excellent job jason–you and i keep harping on the 2007 road trip don’t we. I know the san fran series is your particular pet peeve :). i really appreciate the reference to the summer of ’49. so glad you turned me on to that book.

    I don’t know what to make of this team. some days they look like guys that just have no quit in them and then they transform into old vets just mailing it in. on the other hand it might just be one of those contagious team slumps. it’s clear over the last week that tex has cooled down quite a bit. alex, damon and jorge are scuffling. melky is coming back to earth, but i still have hope for him. I dont know what we can expect to get from groundzilla this year.

  4. Thanks, Mike. Yeah, we suffered together through 2007 and a brutal first half–just brutal. The extra-inning loss in Frisco, the whole road trip out West, blowing Andy’s gem in April in Fenway. Many painful losses.

    Definitely true about the team slumping, and there’s no question in my mind that they’re connected, especially Teixeira and A-Rod. Sooner or later at this rate, the Yanks need to replace Matsui as DH. I know his knees are bad, and I fully expect this to be his last year in pinstripes. But if he doesn’t hit more, and he fanned in a big situation against the Gnats, he has to sit.

  5. That first statement just got me thinking of the “Realy!?! With Seth & Amy” skits on SNL, lol..
    This series really was embarrassing.. which is saying something, because I didn’t think it could get more embarrassing than 8 consecutive losses to Boston.
    They’re looking good tonight.. Hopefully they’ll get things together..

  6. Amen all around, V. How are you enjoying your post-high school life? Congratulations on graduating!

  7. I haven’t graduated just yet. I already finished school, but my actual graduation is Thursday. It’s been a long time coming and I’m relieved it’s over with, lol. How have you been?


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