Numbers Don’t Add Up For Yanks


The reality has really started to set in on this crucial nine game road trip in which they’ve gone 2-5 so far. That long awaited Yankees run for a Wild Card spot is just not happening.

It’s not a knee jerk reaction to say the playoffs are out of reach after the most crushing loss that the Yankees have experienced in a real long time on Sunday, but the signs were there way before “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

Following their 11-3 loss to the MLB best Atlanta Braves last night, the Yankees are 60-59 and trail the Toronto Blue Jays for the third and final AL WC spot by 5.5 games (5 in the loss column) with 43 to play.

That number in the “games behind” column is a mirage. This Yankee team is just not good enough to climb out of this hole that they’ve put themselves in. Roy Hobbs is not going to show up to save the day.

Some of the narratives going around include this gem. “The third AL Wild Card will play the Central winner,” making an assumption that if the Yankees did make the playoffs, they would certainly beat the Central winner, most likely the Minnesota Twins.” Did anyone take into account that Minnesota won the season series for the first time in awhile and that all three games in the Wild Card round would be on the road?

The road has not been kind to the Yankees this season (25-31). Including two more games in Atlanta, the Yankees have 25 road games remaining. That schedule includes three in Houston and four at Fenway where they have yet to win this season.

There have been too many embarrassing losses this season, more than in recent memory. The roster is extremely flawed and there are large holes to fill at two key positions, third base and left field. Some other underlying issues could surface as well. The Yankees get very little offensive production from their catchers. If Harrison Bader walks at the end of the year, who plays centerfield and Gerrit Cole has an opt out after next season, which he will most certainly exercise.

I can’t emphasize enough the need for the Yankees to find an impactful left handed bat. Throughout their history, the Yankees’ championship teams have featured impactful left hand hitting.

Manager Aaron Boone is on the hot seat and I don’t know if he’ll survive if the Yankees miss the playoffs, much less finish under .500 for the first time in over 30 years, but he made a cryptic comment in his post game presser last night.

When he was asked about the Braves lineup, Boone said, “They have a lineup that’s really rugged and balanced.” The key word there is “balanced” because that is hitting the nail on the head when assessing the Yankees lineup, which lacks balance and has for the past six years. Where is that left handed bat in this Yankee lineup? That is one of the main issues that will need to be addressed in what promises to be a pivotal off season for the Yankees.

Of course the players cannot give up on the season, nor should they, until they’re mathematically eliminated but they have not had more than a five game winning streak all season so where is this run coming from? It’s not happening.

The Yankees need to utilize the remaining 43 games with an eye towards 2024. Here are some suggestions:

Anthony Volpe has started to show some progress. The 22-year old has had better at bats of late, but he desperately needs to cut down on the strikeouts. The Yankees may want to consider moving him to the top of the lineup and live with it. Take off the training wheels because Jake Bauers or Isiah Kiner-Falefa are not what you would call a prototypical leadoff hitter.

Clarke Schmidt was due for a clunker and was hammered last night on what was an emotional game for him. Schmidt has shown he can be consistent. If he is pitching well through five innings and has thrown 80 or so pitches, stretch him out and let him navigate a tough sixth inning, if necessary. Let him learn to grind.

If Aaron Judge is going to need off season surgery on his toe, why keep playing him in meaningless games. The quicker he gets his toe repaired, the better. There has to come a point where the Yankees tell Judge to shut it down and get taken care of. The injury at Dodger Stadium in early June sent the season into a downward spiral for Judge and the team.

This Yankee team needs a whole lot of work if they intend to contend in 2024. The issues are front and center, but can they fix them?

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