October 8, 2020 | 2:29pm
Chris Shearn and Jeff Nelson are not happy. Almost all Yankees fans are not. It was time to rant about it on the latest “Pinstripe Pod” Yankees podcast. I tried to calm Shearn and Nellie down, but to no avail. They were still boiling on Thursday’s podcast after Aaron Boone and the Yankees decided to pull Deivi Garcia after just one inning Tuesday for J.A. Happ. No guest was needed for this episode. This was a Yankees therapy session.
The Yankees are down 2-1 in the ALDS to the Rays and are on the brink of elimination Thursday when they try to save their season and send it to a win-or-go-home Game 5 for both teams. Shearn and Nellie open the podcast examining the wild decision to pull Garcia after giving up just one run on Tuesday night. Nellie says “you can’t script a postseason game” and analytics have certainly started taking over. The guys talk about Alex Rodriguez’s strong comments on the Fox postgame show Wednesday night about GM Brian Cashman and the front office getting involved and how they tried to outsmart their opponent. “Don’t play Jeopardy, play baseball,” he said. A-Rod, who the guys have critiqued a bit for his color commentary during games, was spot on and is really good as an analyst in the pre-and-postgame role. It’s been discussed many times before, but guys relying on analytics and looking into their hats for how to face a guy has gotten out of control.
The guys talk about it going from an expectation of winning to now an expectation of losing for the Yankees in the playoffs. Nellie believes there is no reason to bring Masahiro Tanaka back next season. They get into Gary Sanchez’s struggles at the plate and behind the dish and the need for them to move on from him in the offseason. “I’m tired of seeing Gary Sanchez behind the plate. Please move on. Go trade him in the winter time. He is not going to have success as a New York Yankee,” Nellie says. “He’s been in the organization 11 years and is still learning how to catch,” Shearn says.
After getting into all the negativity, the guys had to get into some positives. That would be Gerrit Cole, Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton. If the Yankees move on, it will be on the arm of Cole in a Game 5 and his performance in Game 1. Hicks has been putting together good at-bats and thriving in the Yankees offense. Stanton, who has been criticized for injuries and lack of clutch hits in a Yankees uniform, has been a home-run machine in the playoffs, blasting six home runs in five games so far. We wrap up the show with me trying to reassure the guys that the series is far from over, despite all the concerns and mismanaging so far. The guys are not confident in Jordan Montgomery leading them to a Game 4 win, but believe if they do win, that they will end up winning the series with Cole on the hill in a potential Game 5.
Catch up on all episodes of “Pinstripe Pod,” a New York Yankees podcast, by subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Follow Chris Shearn on Twitter @ChrisShearnYES and Jeff Nelson @NYNellie43. The next episode of the podcast drops Monday.