While Brian Cashman was essentially doing nothing as the trade deadline passed, the Yankees were in the midst of a seven-game homestand vs. the Rays and Astros. New York ended up going 3-4, which included splitting four games against Houston. That’s usually nothing to write home about, but don’t tell that to outfielder Harrison Bader.
After salvaging the finale against the Rays, the Bombers came out and took Game 1 from the Astros by a score of 4-3. They dropped Game 2 before giving themselves a chance to win the series by outlasting Justin Verlander in Game 3.
And then came the finale. New York lost 9-7 despite the Astros giving them tons of opportunities to run away with this one. The Yankees collected eight hits and 12 (!) walks, but left 15 men stranded on base while going 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Were there some positives and bright spots to take from this homestand? Yea, I guess so — that’s what ballplayers need to do to keep pushing the needle forward. But as you can imagine, the below answer from Bader isn’t sitting well with a number of people:
Harrison Bader: This Houston series was a "big momentum boost" for the Yankees moving forward. pic.twitter.com/h4cmJgIgBq
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) August 6, 2023
Harrison Bader even threw in the word synergy! Bravo, sir. Bravo. Like I said above, doing this kind of stuff is common among ballplayers. Mets fans hear Pete Alonso be insanely positive more often than they’d probably like.
Facts are facts, though. Prior to this homestand, the Yankees were 55-50 and 3.5 games out of an AL Wild Card spot. Following these past seven games, they’re now 58-54 and 4.5 games behind the final postseason spot. They’re no longer in last place (for now, at least), but that’s the kind of moral victory Yankees fans don’t want to hear about.
There’s nothing wrong with thinking that the team has turned a corner or built some momentum from hanging tough with the Astros. After all, the defending champs are 64-49 and poised for another run into October. But let’s also seem a little more annoyed about not taking three of four, right? This answer made it appear as if New York was satisfied with a split. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
The Yankees start a nine-game road trip on Monday with stops in Chicago to face the White Sox, along with Miami and Atlanta. We’ll see if this momentum Bader mentioned follows them.