Bad News Bombers
The American League-leading Yankees morphed into a crappy Little League team on the base-paths against the Mariners
While the 2021 New York Yankees did make the "playoffs" and did win 92 games, the team was, in retrospect, a bit of an embarrassment. They couldn't figure out the damn 52-110 Baltimore Orioles, their ace constantly came up small in a big spot, they had absolutely no idea what a clutch hit was and, perhaps worst of all, they were a horrific fielding team and they were even worse on the basepaths. Fundamentals were clearly not a high priority.
After wholesale changes in the off-season from general manager Brian Cashman, the 2022 version of the Yankees had seemingly righted all those wrongs during an incredibly fast start to this regular season. But they've recently hit a "skid" by their lofty standards, going 7-12 in their last 19 games. And still, they remain tied for the lead in the American League, and they still have a 10.5 game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East. Not time to panic ... yet ... right?
Wrong. I speak for all Yankee fans when I say the panic button is being smashed after Tuesday night's loss to the Seattle Mariners, which, on paper, is not a bad loss. They went to 13 innings and lost on the silly ghost runner rule and, as we mentioned above, still hold a commanding division lead. But it was the manner in which they lost in the late innings that was particularly alarming, as they reverted to their 2021 selves with a handful of baserunning errors you wouldn't expect a sh---y Little League team to make on their worst night. Here's a compilation of all of them:
Holy hell, that was putrid. Each one was more gutting than the last, but the top of the 10th gaffe was most concerning. After starting with the ghost runner on second, Josh Donaldson was beaned with a pitch and took first, giving the Yanks first and second with zero outs. We are not exaggerating when we say the top half of that inning ended about 60 seconds later, starting with a boneheaded move by Andrew Benintendi, who was caught trying to steal third, then with a weak Gleyber Torres groundout back to the pitcher and a Miguel Andujar whiff. It was only fitting that Andujar was promptly doubled up the next inning as the ghost runner, capping off a solid 1-for-5 night with three strikeouts for No. 41.
And then there was the final double play, which is so inexcusable I can't even fathom how it happened. Again, the Bronx Bombers are 10.5 games up in the division, so the sky isn't exactly falling. But this pathetic loss means they have the exact same record as the Houston Astros, who have owned them in the regular season and the playoffs for the last five years. A loss like this could be the difference in home field advantage throughout the playoffs this coming October, and there's no doubt that Yankee fans are already having nightmares of a Game 7 in Minute Maid Park. Not great, bob.