Perhaps you are a fan of the New York Yankees and you, upon watching your team of underachieving dorks cough up a lead to the Boston Red Sox last Thursday by turning to a reliever who threw four wild pitches in one inning, took some cold comfort in the thought that the Yanks could not possibly lose a game in more embarrassing fashion for the rest of the season. You fool! You precious idiot! Why would you think such a thing?
Following that Thursday collapse, the Yankees split the next two games of their four-game series agains the Red Sox. That put them in position to salvage a split if they could scratch out a win in Sunday afternoon’s finale. For seven innings, it looked like the Yanks were going to do a lot more than that. Domingo German no-hit the Red Sox through seven, but was pulled from the game in the bottom of the eighth after giving up a lead-off double. No big deal, though. The Yankees had a 4-0 lead, and all their bullpen had to do was get the last six outs to preserve German’s gem and save the weekend. Aaron Boone could have gone about trying to accomplish this task by calling on one of his more rested relievers—Zack Britton, Luis Cessa, and Chad Green were all decent options—but instead he handed the ball to Jonathan Loaisiga, who had just come off the COVID-19 list a few days prior and had pitched in the previous game.
That decision backfired immediately. Loaisiga didn’t have it, and by the time he had finished throwing seven pitches, he’d given up two doubles and two singles and allowed the Red Sox to cut the lead to 4-3. Britton then came in to try and salvage things, but the Red Sox scored two more runs off him with a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly. The Yankees’ offense got the door slammed in its face in the top of the ninth, and that was that. Over the course of just a few pitches, New York went from coasting through a no-hitter to losing the game 5-4.
A loss like this, coming against the Red Sox and just a few days removed from a similarly deflating defeat, will of course lead to all sorts of grumbling among fans and media about the goddamn bullpen and that goddamn Aaron Boone and how somebody needs to be held responsible for this goddamn mess. Boone certainly didn’t help his case after the game, when he tried to explain why he let Loaisiga pitch to Kiké Hernandez after having given up three straight hits.
But before any of those precious, foolish Yankees fans out there decide that they are going to spend the rest of the week absolutely fuming about this series and telling anyone who will listen that Boone needs to be fired, let me offer an alternate path: Just accept that this Yankees squad kind of sucks. Getting heated about a particularly bad loss or managerial decision is a problem for people whose teams are a threat to actually win something. So far this season, the Yankees have not shown themselves to be a threat to do much of anything other than play slightly above .500 ball. They’re 51-47, nine games out of first, 5-5 in their last 10, and carrying a meager run differential of plus-5. You know what that is? A mediocre baseball team, and, more importantly, not a team that is worth getting all that invested in or upset about. They just kind of suck, and that’s fine. Spend your time thinking about other stuff.