Week 9 Record: 3-3
Season Record: 33-16
Week at a Glance: Houston Astros at Yankees (3 Games), Yankees at Baltimore Orioles (3 games)
Recap it!: It was bound to happen sometime. No, I don’t mean paying taxes, losing your virginity or getting into an argument with a parrot. I mean the Yankees losing a series for the first time in over a month. That’s exactly what happened, as the Yankees lost 2 out of 3 to the Texas Rangers at Arlington Stadium, an absolutely infuriating turn of events, considering that aside from Cole Hamels doing Cole Hamels things, the Texas Rangers are essentially the AL West’s equivalent to beige wallpaper, languishing in a mélange of below-.500 mediocrity in a division that is essentially a two-horse race between the Astros and Mariners. Say it with me, fellow readers: UGHHHHH! The Yankees were able to take 2 out of 3 from the Angels in the Bronx, which is a good thing considering that the holes in the rotation and staring lineup are starting to show up. To wit:
* The bad Sonny Gray showed up Saturday night, and he was ready to party like it was 1989, getting tattooed again for 5 runs in a game the Yankees lost 11-4. The game was fun from the other perspective, as Mike Trout went 5-for-5 with 4 RBIs. Good for you, fishboy. CC Sabathia was no better earlier in the week, getting staked 10 runs, only to flush it down the commode with the help of the Yankees bullpen.
* Parts of the Bombers’ offense continues to produce, with rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres showing tremendous power, bashing 5 home runs and 9 RBIs over the last 7 games. Which is good, because Didi Gregorius is in a showmanship-level slump, going 1-for-42 heading into the series with Texas. He hasn’t done any better over the last 7 games, hitting to a .103 average. Giancarlo Stanton continued his frankly-heroic strikeout pace, going 0-for-4 Sunday afternoon. Of course, it isn’t time to push the panic button as of yet, though its shininess is tempting to my chimp brain. You may think a rest for Didi is in order, but that won’t happen, because:
* Backup infielder/travel-sized hit machine Ronald Torreyes was optioned to Triple-A on Saturday to make room for returning first baseman Greg Bird on the 25-man roster. Man alive, Cashman. Show some heart. Never mind the fact that he is beloved in the Yankees clubhouse. Never mind that he always contributes on the days that he plays. It just seems spectacularly cruel to send him down. What’s next? Drowning a sack full of cats? Tying John Sterling to railroad tracks and leaving him there?
Look Out For: What do we have in store for Astros/Yankees, round 2? Will Ken Giles kick himself in the face this time?
Hey, That’s New!: Hey, Greg Bird is back! Quick, somebody wrap him up in bubble wrap before he hurts himself existing.
Rant of the Week: There’s no more sidestepping the issue. If the Yankees want to compete, they need better starting pitching. The fact that no starter on this staff that isn’t named Luis Severino has been able to consistently pitch at least seven innings is not only hilariously bad in the short term, it’s going to cost them in the long term. Who do they think they are? The Mets? At this pace, it won’t be long before the bullpen fatigues in noticeable ways, blowing leads left
and right. Call me crazy if you must but having Chasen Shreve and Chad Green ride in on white horses every time Sonny Gray is painting a Jackson Pollack with his pitch control seems like a bad idea.