But now, after losing the opener against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis last night, the same problems are rearing their heads, and a new one has gotten worse.
I didn't want Aaron Judge participating in the Home Run Derby. It has traditionally been bad luck for the winner and a gigantic waste of time for everyone else. This season is no exception: Judge is 1-for-21 since. That's .048. His only hit has been an infield single.
Meanwhile, Joe Girardi blew another game last night with his idiotic handling of the Yankee pitching staff. He started Bryan Mitchell, and after 5 innings, Mitchell had allowed 2 runs, only 1 of them earned, on 6 hits and 2 walks. Sounds like he'd earned a 6th inning. Maybe a 7th. Maybe even an 8th.
But because Joe Girardi is an idiot who does not know how to handle a pitching staff, and Mitchell had already thrown 90 pitches -- not 100, not even 95, but 90 -- he took Mitchell out, and brought in Caleb Smith.
Who? Caleb Anthony Smith, a lefthanded pitcher from Huntsville, Texas, about to turn 26 years old. It was his major league debut. If your major league debut happens near the end of your 26th year on this planet, chances are, you're not going to become a major league star.
Smith would appear to have earned his promotion: He was 8-0 with a 2.07 ERA at Triple-A Scranton. He's one of those Brian Cashman "prospects" we've been hearing so dang much about.
What did he do in his major league debut last night? He got the Twins out 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 6th inning. He did it again in the 7th. So far, so good. But in the 8th, he fell apart: Single, single, strikeout, RBI single, RBI double.
Rookie 1st baseman Garrett Cooper went 3-for-4 last night, including 2 doubles, 1 for an RBI. Another of Cashman's much-hyped "prospects," Clint Frazier, also had 2 doubles. Austin Romine had an RBI single. Other than that, all we got was singles by Matt Holliday and Chase Headley, and walks by Judge and Starlin Castro. Not good enough.
Twins 4, Yankees 2. WP: Taylor Rogers (5-1). SV: Brandon Kintzler (26). LP: Smith (0-1).
The series continues tonight. Luis Cessa starts for the Yankees. Bartolo Colon, newly-acquired by the Twins, starts for them, provided he can fit into a uniform.
Colon is 44 years old. He is the last remaining active player to have played for the Montreal Expos. He pitched against Twins manager Paul Molitor during Molitor's last major league game in 1998. When he made his major league debut on April 4, 1997, Cessa was about to turn 5.
How -- or, more precisely, in what inning, will Girardi fuck this one up?