Monday, May 15, 2017


Photo: Getty Images
What a great Monument Park ceremony that was yesterday. See the highlights in THANK YOU, DEREK! on BYB.

Photo: Getty Images
It's always nice to pause and reflect awhile on great players and better days, although I wish they'd keep interviewees out of the broadcast booth during games -- I don't care who they are --and especially for multiple innings and really especially when they don't even attempt to follow the action on the field.

(May 13, 2017 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
Only when Tanaka gave up his fourth dinger in seemingly about four minutes and triggered a crescendo of booing rivaling passengers on an overbooked United Airlines flight were Jeter and his ESPN hosts finally forced to shut the heck up and pay attention to the historic disaster unfolding on the field right under their noses.

And what was happening was a microcosm of not just the Astros series -- which the Yankees lost three games to one -- but of their season and why, without some outside help for the rotation, relying on comebacks and big-scoring innings  won't be enough to carry them  far come October.

May 13, 2017 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America
Our starting pitchers had a tough time in this series,” Joe Girardi was quoted saying by Ken Davidoff in the Post late Sunday, after the Yankees followed an 11-6 victory in Game 1 with a 10-7 loss in the nightcap. “It wasn’t how we wanted this series to go. But to me, we had chances in three of the four games. We’ve had some shots. We keep getting those shots, and we’re going to be all right.”

But as Davidoff went on to say: "Actually, if they keep putting up a 9.72 starting pitchers’ ERA in each series, they’re not going to be all right. Especially after losing their closer Aroldis Chapman to the 10-day disabled list on Sunday.

(Hey, did I call that Chapman thing weeks ago or what?)

(May 13, 2017 - Source: Rich Schultz/Getty Images North America)
"Game 1 starter Luis Severino, unhappy with home-plate umpire Gabe Morales’ strike zone, lasted just 2 ¹/₃ innings, allowing three runs as he threw 77 pitches, before Girardi gave him the hook."

And then with the place packed for the Captain's little coming-out party, "Tanaka took a pummeling to the tune of eight runs, a career worst, over 1 ²/₃ innings, tying the shortest outing of his time with the Yankees."

(May 13, 2017 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
Next up in the rotation on Tuesday, Davidoff notes, will be  "the slumping CC Sabathia to stop the bleeding against the Royals, the majors’ worst offense with 119 runs scored, in Kansas City. Sabathia and Tanaka were supposed to serve as the reliable veterans; instead, at 5.77 and 5.80, respectively, they own the two highest ERAs in the rotation."

Are they still in first place in the AL East? Sure.

Are they leading the league in runs scored? Sure.

But you know where our starting rotation ranks in  in ERA? 14th out of 15 teams.

They'd better keep leading the league in runs scored.

Because with this rotation, they don't have to look behind them to know if someone's gaining on them.

They just have to look to the scoreboard for the answer.

And the answer is everyone.

 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

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