Effectively no, not for you and me. Chances are high, until you’re within the tri-state space or grew up there, you possibly can give a flying fuck whether or not the Yankees’ six-week stretch of “meh” actually means something. However contemplating how the world works, you virtually definitely know somebody from the tri-state space who, in some unspecified time in the future, has bothered you with issues like “Bernie Baseball must be within the Corridor!” and “You’ve by no means actually urinated till you’ve carried out it on the concourse on the outdated Stadium!” And that particular person in your life spent the primary three months of the season being essentially the most obnoxious Yankees fan you’ll be able to keep in mind (a real declare).
So it’s a tough gear shift to now watch them need everybody fired, writing off the Yankees’ probabilities in October once they’re nonetheless on tempo to win 101 games in a division that would sport 4 playoff groups and a fifth simply barely miss out. They don’t even have the vitality or verve to brag about sauerkraut. You most likely dismiss it as regular pinstripe habits, and it’s, the place both the world is ending or nobody ought to ever hassle to look at every other workforce. That’s the way it goes in Universe Boogie Down.
However sure, the Yanks have been MEDIOCRE for six weeks now. Since July 1, they’re 16-24. There’s some noise in that document, as their run differential in that point continues to be +47. And so they’ve gone 4-10 in one-run games, which isn’t actually greater than luck. Typically they go your means and generally they don’t, and for the previous few minutes they most decidedly haven’t gone the Yanks means. However going from a chase of 116 to watching them sort of simply be there and tripping over their dicks is a tough look ahead to the devoted.
There will probably be some who will let you know that these one-run losses are an indictment of the bullpen, lengthy the identifiable energy of the Yankees, maybe the primary workforce to go entire hog in simply loading up with relievers who breathe fireplace and begin coming into games within the 4th or fifth. And sure, the pen is a matter. Michael King’s and Chad Inexperienced’s accidents have left it a bit of gentle. Aroldis Chapman can’t discover the plate (4.60 BB/9), and Clay Holmes has turned odd colours within the solar taking up in Chapman’s nearer function (8.03 ERA). Current addition Lou Trivino has been good however has solely coated 5 innings on this stretch, and the opposite addition Scott Effross has solely had one tough outing since arriving. However Aaron Boone doesn’t have the bevy choices he’s used to. With the deadline gone and King and Inexperienced down for the rely, it’s no surprise Yankees followers are retaining the Tums close by each time a starter arms the ball to Boone.
About these starters. They haven’t been nice both. Gerrit Cole has an ERA over 4.00 since July 1, although he’s been unfortunate in seeing one in 5 fly balls go away the premises in the summertime warmth. He’ll even out. Jameson Taillon alternatively has an ERA over 5.00 and that’s with a BABIP towards of simply .202. Nestor Cortes has already thrown extra innings this season than he ever has as a professional, so if there’s some urpiness about how a lot he can present within the playoffs, that’s utterly comprehensible. Frankie Montas has been clubbed in two begins, although was getting back from an harm layoff. Nonetheless, he solely has one full season of being a plus-starter.
Which leaves their October plans a little foggy. They can’t do a Mets thing where they hand the ball at the start of most games to some Greek God who’s going to throw up zeroes for six or seven innings and only have to figure out a handful of outs before getting to a lights-out closer. They don’t have enough guys in the pen to do the Astros thing, which is take three or four solid innings from a starter and carry the rest of the way with a host of lockdown relievers. That is a worry.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this six week hangover shit is that the Yankees offense has been unimpressive. Aaron Judge is still kicking a hole in the world, Anthony Rizzo is still out-slugging his lack of average, and DJ LeMahieu has a .384 wOBA. But beyond that? WOOF. Josh Donaldson has looked every bit of the aging assshole that he is. Gleyber Torres has an 85 wRC+. Aaron Hicks might as well go up there without a bat, because all he’s interested in doing is walking. Keiner-Falefa and the catchers were never meant to hit anyway.
The Yankees will point to Matt Carpenter’s injury, as well as Giancarlo Stanton’s yearly breakdown, as a major issue. And they are, but Carpenter was a whole lot of smoke and mirrors in the first place. He was outperforming his expected slugging by 300 points and his expected average by 100. Were the Yankees really thinking he’d still see a third of his fly-balls end up as homers all season? Stanton and Carpenter will likely return before the season ends, but the Yankees offense is not going to go 1-9 unless someone unexpectedly goes supernova. Which can happen!
The fear for the Yankees is that any team loaded with right-handed relievers will mow through this lineup when the chips are down, just skipping over every Judge AB and Carpenter deflating like a whoopie cushion won’t make him a stopper to that. The Astros certainly fit that bill, and the Rays could also in the first round. The Jays are something of a mess before Jordan Romano though and their rotation past Gausman has questions. The Orioles are somewhere in the middle.
But still, the questions on how the Yankees will solve all the innings on the pitching side, and the hit-and-miss nature of the lineup make that big bad in the Astros waiting in the forest even more dark and scary than they were. The Yankees will need Cortes to find an endurance pill to get through the next two and a half months, and they may need Montas or Taillon to be a third starter who can get through a lineup two and a half to three times in the playoffs. And Paralta, Effross, Loáisiga, and Trivino are going to have to throw multiple innings on multiple days if Holmes and Chapman continue to be kabuki theater.
So yeah, Yankees fans can be worried, but only because of their own standards, which is you win the World Series or you’re a bunch of asshats. This doesn’t look like a team that can negotiate the Astros and then the Mets or Dodgers, but then October is rarely sensical. There are enough questions though for a lot of clenched teeth amongst the pinstriped rabble.
Daniel Elton, senior editor at Wahu Times, writes about politics and policy with a focus on climate advocacy. Daniel previously at the New Republic and, and Self. Daniel can be reached by email.