This season has certainly sucked so far. Tuesday’s 14-1 dumpster fire game against the Red Sox marks the official low point of the year. The Yankees came into the season with lofty expectations and World Series ambitions. This was a team that had gone the distance in the ALCS and added Giancarlo Stanton to its roster. Did everyone make a mistake? Where are those Yankees hiding? Is the season over already?
On his show yesterday, self-proclaimed “voice of the Yankees” Michael Kay claimed that if the Yankees got swept by the Red Sox this week, they might as well say goodbye to the division. Can we get that voice some hot water with honey and lemon? It’s sounding quite sore. The Yankees won last night, so I guess that means the division is still in play.
Yes, the Yankees have been very annoying to watch for the most part this year, but it’s way too early for anyone to make any proclamations about the division. Let alone the supposed “voice” of the Yankees, even if he does claim to be unbiased on his radio show. There are literally 150 games left. No one has won or lost anything yet, no matter how this week goes.
The Yankees are too talented to be doomed. There’s a reason the expectations for this team were and still are sky high. There’s just too much talent on this team. Especially considering who the main culprits have been. Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton have simply not been good. Even though Sanchez’s experience is limited, they both have enough of a track record to show that they’ll get back on track.
Last night may have given us the beginning of that. Just as I was writing these words, the Yankees started the second game of this three-game series. In the first inning Brett Gardner singled and Aaron Judge walked to start the game. Then Giancarlo Stanton smoked a ball 418 feet off David Price for a two-run triple that only didn’t leave the park because Fenway Park. Stanton also had two hits in the 14-1 embarrassment that proceeded last night’s game. Gary Sanchez also sent a baseball over the dumb Green Monster that left me laughing at J.D. Martinez to give them a 4-0 lead.
The other culprit for the Yankees has been their vaunted bullpen, more affectionately known as their “haunted poopen.” Jonathan Holder was downright awful, but that’s fine. He wasn’t expected to be an important piece. David Robertson had a bad night, Dellin Betances has been up and down, but it’s been Tommy Kahnle who has struggled the most. As Jake Devin noted, Kahnle’s throwing on average a full two miles slower than he was last April and he’s looked shaky as a result.
The good news here is that Kahnle insists he’s feeling fine. Hopefully that’s the truth and not him just trying to be tough. According to Kahnle, it’s just mechanical.
“I’m more trying to figure out what’s wrong at this point,” he said. “I think it’s mechanical. I’ve been all over the place a little bit lately. Just trying to find it.”
Kahnle came along with David Robertson and Toms River native Todd Frazier in a trade with the White Sox last year. He helped bolster a relief corps that had been struggling to that point and was crucial to the Yankees not only making the playoffs but going as far as they did. If he can fix his mechanical issue and get his velocity back up, he’ll be fine.
That’s really the jist of it all. The Yankees have too much talent to be this bad. They can’t sink any lower than they did on Tuesday night. Fortunately, the players they’re relying on and are still struggling will be able to turn things around. Sure, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka struggled this series after being excellent their first two times out, but I’m not going to look too deeply into one bad start each.
By the way, while I’m watching the game, Stanton just came up short of what could’ve been his second home run of the night if he were anywhere else and Sanchez took Heath Hembree aka fake John Lackey to the moon to give the Yankees an 8-1 lead. So who knows? Maybe getting embarrassed 14-1 was just the kick in the bunt they needed. The Yankees hit their rock bottom, they can only go up from here.