The Yankees cannot con themselves, as they have in the aftermath of recent eliminations, that they were a championship team that did not win a championship.
The 2021 Yankees were exactly what 162 games told us they were. An inconsistent club whose flaws nearly kept it from the playoffs, then ushered the Yankees out of the postseason after a few hours.
They never did fix their offense this year, even after moving out a crew of prospects for Anthony Rizzo and, especially, the Sonny Gray of position players, Joey Gallo. Amid the euphoria of clinching a playoff spot on the final day of the season Sunday, it was easy to miss that the Yankees did so being shut out on one hit for eight innings and totaling one run on four hits in all. That was a day after managing two runs on four hits. After a maddening season of big names (and huge bodies) producing small enough to rank the Yankees 19th in runs per game.
So here on yet another elimination day, Gerrit Cole will wear goat horns for not even recording an out in the third inning. And this is no alibi column here; Cole came up small late in the season and in the Yankees’ biggest game of 2021, not the return on investment expected for $324 million. But this was just another day when the Yanks could not get a runner across the plate without a homer and failed to mount much of a threat at Fenway Park.