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OUCH.

Should I be happy they kept it close as opposed to suffering a no-no?

Or should I be nauseated I just posed that question in reference to the Washington Nationals?

The New York Yankees just lost 3-2 to a team 20 games back in the NL East. They narrowly escaped a no-hitter at the hands of future Hall-of-Famer John Lannan. The only 2 runs they scored came off 2 solo shots, one from Robbie, following up his 4-4 day yesterday in which he bailed out the sleepy offense, and another from Damon, with 0 outs in the 9th.

When the score got to be 3-2 after Damon's shot, and when Gardner effortlessly zoomed around the bases to get to 3rd, I found myself in anxiety-free mode. Like the Mutts game (aka the Castillo game), I was able to watch the end of the game because it never really occurred to me that a loss was a viable possibility.

And I probably felt this way because I assumed the obvious move here, with your lightning rod 90 feet from tying the game, is a squeeze. And pinch run ARod, who's not as agile on the basepaths yet. And essentially demonstrate that you're not letting this team run on automatic pilot, and that you're employing a modicum of managerial strategy rather than go all in, pinning your hopes to a shallow faith in the club's penchant for the long ball.

Girardi just expected Cano to go long. Or base hit. Or even pop up, which still would have tied the game. The only thing Cano couldn't do here was ground into a double play. And since he went 4-4 yesterday, with an encouraging and determined long at-bat, it was reasonable to assume he'd avoid doing the 1 terminal play.

But that possibility still existed. And at 2 games back, we need to win games. As a fan, I can loftily wish for a loaves and the fishes helping of stadium mystique. I can throw my expectations and confidence onto the shoulders of the magical realism motif of Walk-Off Ghosts.

But as a manager, Girardi doesn't have that luxury. He's managing a ballclub, not watching a screenplay unfold.

The Yankees got shut down by yet another no name pitcher, who probably is owned by about .0006% of all fantasy leagues. Add Lannan to the list of Undiscovered Understudies who the Yankees made famous. He'll now join Nieve and Martis on the playbill.

When a team boasting a roster as talented as the Yankees are getting mystified by fantastically subpar hurlers, it starts to reflect less on the players and more on the scouting. Not unlike how when a kid acts out once or twice, he's a brat. But when it becomes a pattern, you start to assign the blame to the parents.

Girardi, Long, and video scout Charlie Wonsowicz need to dust the cobwebs off the VHS recorder and do a little research before marching into these matchups. If nothing else, they should have assumed that we were going to need a flawless offense with Wang on the mound. There's no justifable excuse for letting these pitchers of limited arsenal to mow down the Yanks.

Lannan threw one sinking fastball after another, and no one could figure out how to connect. It would have been so easy for them to have just prepared better for this game.

And it wasn't just a lack of offesive output that spotlighted Girardi's holes. Because he didn't take advantage of the runner on 3rd, the Yankees lost an absolute heartbreaker to the worst team in baseball, after subjecting us fans to a series of embarrassing punchlines that began the second Adam Dunn knocked the cover off the ball, which landed somewhere along the 4 Train tracks...ON A 3-0 COUNT. There are very few bigger "Fuck yeah, that's what I think of you" moves than swinging at 3-0.

Wang's record goes now to 0-5. And I may have to spoon out my eyeballs if this isn't the final nail in the coffin for Wang's membership in the starting rotation club. How many more "practice" starts does he get? And why does the whole team have to suffer just so this guy can get more innings in? I mean, I've played in softball leagues with less leniency than this. A few years ago, the captain managed to work around having girls bat during close games.

He was willing to bench chicks for the sake of a beer league win, but Girardi won't cut the cord with Wang for a Major League one. Infuriating.

And the icing on the cake of this whole nails-on-a-blackboard type of game...Flaherty was pretty cranky today. He's starting to sound like he loves life about as much as the word reader for the Scripps Spelling Bee. I think he might hate ME even. No matter what Kay said, Flaherty countered with some exasperrated dismissmal. "Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily say he has any better stuff than he has in previous starts. "

I can pinpoint the moment the snarkiness really took flight. Eli Manning joins Kay and Flaherty in the booth, and is predictably adorable, endearing, personable, and humble. Until Kay, being Kay, points out that Flaherty is a Jets fan.

"Well, we can't all be perfect," jokes Eli.

Silence.

And Flaherty has pursed lips for the rest of Eli's stay in the booth.

Although Flaherty had no problem opening his mouth to give us analytical pearls like "If the Yankees come back now, they'll have another comeback win." Well, yes, John. That would be the case.

Fortunately, Kay comes through with the trump card in head-slapping moments:


I was very uncomfortable basically throughout the entire game, and comments like this didn't do anything to remedy that.

Oh, and just for good measure: in games where the opponent scored 3 runs or less, the Yankees are now 23-1.

To be clear, that 1 came from the mishmosh roster of the Washington Nationals, whose collective talent suggests their practices are run by Amelia Bedelia.

2 Comments:

  1. John Lannan said...
    I may not have the sparkling stats, but all I do is keep our pathetic team in games. In 2007, I went all the way from High A to the big show. Granted, part of that is because it was for the Nationals, but still.
    I rarely give up home runs and I have good, if not spectacular stuff.

    If I were you, I wouldn't dwell on one loss to a "bad team", because over the course of 162 games, they will happen from time to time. By the way, soon, the Nationals won't be able to afford me. Do you have Scott Boras' number?
    louise said...
    Washington Nationals should be always competitive enough to keep pace with the others. I really like them; they’ve always been my favourite teams in MLB. Just read about them here:
    http://www.nationalsclub.com

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