LADY AT THE BAT: Core Four Honors Bernie, Watches Yankees Fall Back to .500

Monday, May 25, 2015

Core Four Honors Bernie, Watches Yankees Fall Back to .500

Not even the presence of the Core Four + Bernie Williams could propel the Yankees to a win last night against the Texas Rangers.

Derek Jeter, in his first appearance at Yankee Stadium since his walk off single last September, was joined by the rest of the recent Yankees dynasty in celebrating an all too often overlooked Williams, who had his #51 retired by the Yankees and a plaque dedicated in his honor in Monument Park.

It was just about the only thing to celebrate o in an otherwise terrible night as the Yankees were swept by the Texas Rangers in the weekend series and fell back to .500 for the season.

Just two short weeks ago, the Yankees were 8 games above .500 and riding high on strong, if not lengthy, starting pitching, dominant bullpen and clutch hitting. Since then, they have gone in an absolute tailspin. Of the starters, only Adam Warren has turned in a quality start in their last turn through the rotation.

Coupled with the ineffective bullpen (here’s looking at you Justin Wilson, David Carpenter and Esmil Rodgers) and a spotty offense, everything is going poorly for the Yankees right now. Just a short while ago they couldn’t do anything wrong. Now the season has done a complete 180.

Over the past 10 games, the Yankees are 1-9. One win, Nine Losses. It has been an absolute miserable experience for Yankees fans and, you would have to think, for the Yankees themselves. In fact, the only positives to come out of that stretch are that Carlos Beltran (.293 BA, 2 HRs) and Didi Gregorious (2 HRs, 2 multi-hit games) have started to show some consistency at the plate. Between the two of them, however, it is a misadventure in the field and it is hard to trust them to make even the most basic plays.

So, yes, it has been terrible. As for what do from here, I’m still not willing to call for Brian Cashman’s head. This is the same team (less Jacoby Ellsbury who is down due to a fluke injury) that had us all cheering and applauding just two weeks ago, so this isn’t squarely on the Yankees GM’s shoulders.

He is making changes where he can, including calling up their 2014 first round draft pick, Jacob Lindgren, to fortify the pen. On offense, aside from benching Stephen Drew and calling up the defensively challenged Rob Refsnyder, there isn’t much that can be done.

This may just be a situation of waiting and seeing. The Yankees aren’t as great as they seemed two weeks ago but nothing in me believes they are as bad as they have played since then.

It is still unclear when Ellsbury will return, but he doesn’t need surgery so, hope remains. Masahiro Tanaka and Ivan Nova are on the mend, and the return of one or both will push Chris Capuano to the pen or off the team entirely. Plus the bullpen will have more built-in rest days in June.

As for the offense, aside from Ellsbury returning, there’s really nothing the Yankees can do there, except hope Brian McCann’s injury isn’t too severe and that he, plus Drew and Gregorious, can show more than they have this year.   

The Yankees need to just hold the fort here. It won’t be easy but it is possible. It starts this afternoon against the Royals, and the Yankees need to take it one game at a time.

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