The New York Yankees once again were eliminated from the postseason on Friday. Four straight years of heartbreaking endings for this team. We’ll have plenty to talk about this offseason, but here are a few of my immediate thoughts.
The lineup fell flat once again
The Yankees’ bats going quiet at the wrong time has happened in each of the last four postseasons. It isn’t a coincidence at this point. Outside of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks, I wouldn’t say anyone had a particularly good series. One has to wonder if it’s time for significant changes.
DJ was not himself
We’ve seen the Yankees lineup fall short before, but never DJ LeMahieu. He had just a .593 OPS this series. I’m not trying to knock the guy. He’s been nothing but great for us up until now, and re-signing him should still be priority No. 1 this offseason. But it was weird to see him struggle like this. Maybe he re-aggravated the thumb sprain he suffered in August?
Chapman fails in the big moment
I’m not putting this game on Aroldis Chapman. You can’t expect to win any games in which you score one run. But man, it’s frustrating to see this guy shrivel up in the big moment every time. The fact that I’m gonna have to see the clip of him throwing over Mike Brosseau’s head followed by the Game 5 homer all the time for the next few months makes me sick.
In the last calendar year, Aroldis Chapman has given up 4 HR.
We’ve pretty much known this since the day we signed him, but Gerrit Cole is worth every penny. That dude absolutely did his job that postseason. He showed up big time pitching on three days’ rest in Game 5. The offense just let him down.
From replacing Deivi Garcia with J.A. Happ after just an inning, to pinch-hitting Mike Ford instead of Clint Frazier twice, the Yankees let lefty/righty splits factor into far too many decisions in this series. Garcia and Frazier are two guys I would’ve loved to see more from. Happ couldn’t even get lefties out. Ford probably shouldn’t have even been on the roster.
Not replacing Kahnle came back to bite us
The Yankees sorely missed Tommy Kahnle in this series. With Kahnle injured and Ottavino being a shell of himself all season, they really needed to either add a reliever at the deadline or hope that someone else would step up. Neither happened. Chad Green, Zack Britton, and Chapman were clearly the only relievers Aaron Boone trusted. That caused all three of them to be heavily used in Game 4, leading to them being ineffective/unavailable in Game 5. That could’ve been avoided if Kahnle was healthy, or had somebody replaced him. If only somebody had the foresight to know that the Yankees needed another reliever.
(Hader wasn’t realistic but there were a few trade targets in there that would’ve made a lot of sense).
Gary’s future is in serious doubt
I’ve really soured on Gary Sanchez. He looks nothing like the world-beater we saw in 2016/17. Aside from the first half of 2019, Gary’s been terrible since the start of 2018. I seriously didn’t think it would get to the point where Kyle Higashioka would start five of the Yankees’ seven playoff games, but here we are. You have to wonder what the long-term plan is for Gary.
Don’t expect any major changes
Expect people to call for Cashman and Boone to be fired, the Yankees to sign Trevor Bauer and J.T. Realmuto, trade for Francisco Lindor, etc. Don’t expect any of it to happen. I think we’ll hear something like “it wasn’t the result we wanted. But it was a strange season, and we never really found our groove. We still took the No. 1 seed to a Game 5 that came down to the wire. We were down a few impact pitchers, and getting some of those guys back next year are better than any move we could make.” Maybe they’ll surprise me and fire Boone or make a big splash in free agency. I just don’t see it happening.
We’ll have plenty to talk about over the next few weeks and months. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section, or on Twitter @ncostanzo24. We’ll all get through this together.