Game 7 of the World Series will be played tonight, and one team’s fanbase will be celebrating. It could have been us. It’s been over a week since the Yankees went down the tubes to the Astros in Game 6 of the ALCS and I’m still not over it. Especially when I know the Yankees could have knocked off that Nats. There’s plenty of blame to go around for the ALCS loss, but most of it falls on the “Savages in the Box”, who were anything but that.
No point in pointing fingers of blame at anyone. Just have to move on. Oh, screw that.
A Savages-less offense
With the exception of DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres, the Yankees offense was anemic in the ALCS. These guys all fizzled:
Edwin Encarnacion 1-18, No parrots, 11 Ks
Brett Gardner 3-22, 10 Ks, 1 run, 1 RBI
Didi Gregorius 5-23
Aaron Hicks 2-13 (But one helluva Game 5 blast.)
Aaron Judge 6-25, 1 xbh, 10 Ks
Gary Sanchez 3-23, 12 Ks
Gio Urshela 5-21
For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 25-145, or a .172 batting average. There’s no point in doing a deep dive into their on-base and slugging percentages. Savages? Not so much.
Once Giancarlo Stanton was injured in Game 1 of the ALCS, the Yankees should have replaced him on the roster. They hesitated because then Stanton couldn’t have been on the World Series roster. Well, guess what? Stanton only played 18 regular-season games.
The Yankees won 103 regular-season games, most of which Stanton was not a part of. With Stanton being less than 100%, the Yankees could have used a Luke Voit or Mike Ford, or whoever, for the rest of the postseason. It might not have changed the outcome but it could have given the team a different look.
CC Sabathia. This is a tough one. How can you not love the big man? He made a career out of being one of baseball’s savages on the mound. But, Carsten Charles didn’t belong on the ALCS roster.
CC gave his complete body, heart, and soul, for the game. He was one sneeze, or as it turned out, one pitch from falling apart for good. Since he couldn’t be used often, the Yankees could have even added another hitter rather than carry 13 pitchers.
The Front Office
Yankees’ General Manager Brian Cashman did a tremendous job all season plugging in parts to get the Yankees to the AL East title. But, when it came down to the trade deadline, Cashman didn’t add depth to the Yankees’ starting rotation and that helped to bite the Yankees in the Big Apple.
With Sabathia’s health issues, Luis Severino’s uncertain status, and an erratic J.A. Happ, the Yankees needed another pitcher to add to their arsenal. To make matters worse, the team also lost the services of Domingo German due to his bad behavior/decision-making. (If the accusations are true, I have no problem with the Yankees getting rid of him for next to nothing.)
The Yankees pitching held down the Astros’ potent attack, but the excessive use of the bullpen came back to haunt them. Had the Yankees had another starting pitcher that could’ve given them a start in Game 4, perhaps things could have turned out differently.
For reasons unbeknownst to all of us, manager Aaron Boone fell in love this summer with free-agent signee Adam Ottavino. While Ottavino earned Boone’s praise for most of the season, Ottovino fell apart down the stretch and continued his decline in the playoffs.
And, it was Ottavino’s pitch in Game 2 that was the turning point of the ALCS. James Paxton made a terrible start and Boone had to go to the bullpen early.
While the Yankees took a 2-1 lead, Chad Green pitched two dominant innings after replacing Paxton in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Boone then went to Ottovino, who kept the lead for zero pitches. His first pitch to George Springer resulted in a game-tying home run.
The Astros went on to win the game in extra innings and tied the series at a game apiece. And, the rest was misery.