What exactly is going on with the Yankees lately?
It’s a question everyone is asking, as the team is 3-9 in August after a trade deadline that was supposed to shore up their minimal needs – and it’s a question Jerry Recco and Sal Licata, filling in for Boomer & Gio on Monday, answered in one Major League-esque statement: they’re lousy.
“The Yankees are a problem right now,” Jerry said. “The last time we did this, the Yankees were running away with the division, the American League, and all of baseball – and all of a sudden, they haven’t been an average team…they’ve been lousy in the last 11 games.”
Truly, the last time Jerry & Sal had the morning show was July 5, a day the Yankees entered 58-22 as they headed to Pittsburgh for a two-game set. They’re 14-19 since then, however, including 2-9 over the last 11, and they’ve gone from having the best record in the AL by 10 games to 2 ½ back of Houston.
“In the last five games, they’ve scored three runs or less in all five and have been shut out twice. They had 13 straight innings in Seattle where they didn’t put a run on the board, and last night, they were two-hit by Michael Wacha, who hadn’t pitched in two minutes,” Jerry lamented. “They look anemic…I understand guys have missed time, but they’re still capable enough of scoring runs…they stink right now!”
“Maybe the reality is that this team is just not that good?” Sal asked. “They have a problem because they’re losing series left and right, and I think the big difference is that they have a 10-game cushion in the AL East…if not, it would be panic city around here, but nobody pays attention to it because they’re running away with the division and nobody can catch them.”
But besides injuries, what is Sal’s biggest problem with the Yankees? Perhaps one way to put it: apathy to reality to inconsistency?
“Stanton being hurt, yeah, it’s part of it, but he’s always hurt!” Sal replied. “That’s what they invested their money in, but it’s the same thing: this team is inconsistent, and I don’t know what this Yankees team is! Are they the team that dominated baseball in the first half, or are they the team that has struggled the last six to eight weeks?”
Later in the show, a caller decided to call Aaron Boone a “second-place manager” and Sal & Jerry lamented that he’s more of a “data applicator” than a lineup maker – and Jerry is hopeful that the data isn’t trending the same way a New York team did last year.
“Last year, a lot of people were talking about the Mets at the beginning, and it felt like Fool’s Gold with the Mets last year – and as it turned out, it was, and it fell apart,” Jerry said. “I never once, until this stretch began, thought it was Fool’s Gold with the Yankees, and I still don’t. Is the roster perfect? No, but it is lose nine of 11 and be mediocre for a month? No.”
Credit the Yankees for being so good for three months…but like the 2021 Mets, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
“Did you ever think a few weeks ago the Yankees would be surpassed by not only the Astros, but also the Mets?” Sal asked. “The Mets now have three up on the loss column on the Yankees, and that’s hard to believe the way the season started. This team has problems! The Yankees are not as good as we thought they were – that’s not good enough for a team that was expected to make it back to the World Series for the first time since 2009.
Follow Sal Licata on Twitter: @sal_licata