Karpin’s Korner: Pivotal Time For Yanks and Mets. Dial M for Surprise Team

Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

Maybe the Yankees will get things turned around but, from what they’ve showed so far, it’s a valid question to ask, “Will they get things turned around?”

The Yankees improved to 7-11 with their 6-3 win in Cleveland. Last night’s game was the first in a pivotal portion of their schedule. Why is it pivotal after only 18 games? It’s pivotal because the Yankees have put themselves in a hole and the next 11 games (including last night) gives them a chance to get things turned around.

The Yankees have four in Cleveland, four in Baltimore and three at home vs. Detroit. 11 games which I refer to as “opportunities,” in like opportunities to get themselves righted. You can’t expect to win all 11 games, (Yanks will see Shane Bieber on Saturday) but a nice 8-3 or a 7-4 run would really stabilize things.

Maybe Gleyber Torres had a turning point in his season after his inexcusable lack of hustle the other night. He’s looked a little better at shortstop and with three hits, including a huge hit to tie the game in the third after the Yankees got behind 3-0, could finally get him going.

The same flaws will continue to haunt the Yankees. An unbalanced lineup, a thin bench, and until proven otherwise, a poor defensive team. Luke Voit is a nice player but he won’t come riding in on his “white horse” to save the day.

The other night when Gio Urshela was injured, the bench players were Rougned Odor, Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman and Kyle Higashioka. The back up catcher was only going to be used in an emergency, Odor went into the game when Urshela got hurt and that left Gardner and Tauchman as the only potential pinch-hitters. Not exactly a stellar bench. In case you haven’t noticed, Gardner cannot get around on a good fastball anymore.

Higashioka has earned more playing time. Gary Sanchez continued to look like a player who’s offensive skills have somehow faded and he’s not exactly knocking you dead with his defense. In all fairness, he has improved, but it’s still nothing to write home about. Until proven otherwise, Higashioka should be the starting catcher. Even if he’s not hitting, Higashioka is a better defender than Sanchez.

I never understood why they brought both Gardner and Tauchman back. To me, they’re the same player. I don’t understand why they didn’t pursue left handed bats like Micheal Brantley and Mitch Moreland, two players who would be an upgrade of what the Yankees have now on their roster.

The pitching has not been as bad as some have said. Last night was the 12th game where the Yankees gave up 4 runs or less. They’re 6-6 in those games. A team that supposedly has a dynamic offense should be better than .500 in those games. The bullpen has been solid and the rotation is not a lost cause beyond Gerrit Cole.

Some telling offensive numbers: The Yankees are the only team in major league baseball without a sacrifice fly. The next worst is two sac flies for the Pirates and Giants. Talk about a lack of situational hitting. Also, the Yankees #3 hitters are batting a combined .109 with 1 HR and 5 RBI’s.

Will they overcome these flaws? It’s a valid question to ask.

The Mets fell to 7-7 after being swept in Chicago, but the sky is not falling over CitiField.

The schedule has not been kind to the Mets in the early going. It’s been like baseball’s version of the Iditarod, but the goal should be to get through this month without falling into a hole in what figures to be the most competitive division in baseball.

I think this team will play better when they’re able to get into an everyday rhythm with less frigid weather conditions.

It didn’t take long for the fans to get frustrated with Francisco Lindor, who is off to a slow start. Anyone who is a baseball fan in New York knows that it can be difficult for a big star to get off to a fast start here. Mike Piazza, and Reggie Jackson are just two players who fit that profile.

Lindor has already made a positive impact on the Mets and he’ll pick it up offensively.

The Mets have a five game home stand beginning tonight with three against the Nationals and then the surprising Red Sox come in for a short two game set. At the very least, the Mets could use three out of the next five, if not four.

Have you noticed what the Seattle Mariners are doing?

Last night in Boston, the Mariners, who had only three hits, scored four in the top of the 10th for a 7-3 win. Seattle is tied with red hot Oakland atop the AL West at 12-7.

When Fox Sports’ Kevin Burkhardt joined me on Karpin’s Korner before the season, I told him that my surprise team in the American League is the Seattle Mariners.

Seattle is getting production from their pitching staff, both starters and relievers.

Their defense is underrated, led by gold glover Evan White at first base. Dave Sims, Mariners TV play-by-play voice put White’s defense right in there with some of the best to ever play the position when he was my guest the other night on Karpin’s Korner. Sims named Keith Hernandez, Don Mattingly, Wes Parker and J.T. Snow, just to name a few.

They’re just getting back the AL ROY Kyle Lewis, who has been out with a shoulder injury. Mitch Haniger (3 HRS, 8 RBI’s in last ten games) has put himself in the MVP conversation as he is off to a great start with some big hits, including his 3-run HR last night in the tenth inning that blew the game open.

Every time I see a game in extra innings, I can’t help but think that the rule should be implemented after 12 regular innings.

If they’re going to use this rule on a permanent basis, it’s got to be amended.

Tune into Karpin’s Korner. Every Tuesday night at 7 pm, eastern time on 365sportscast.com

About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media