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Sweeny Murti | NY Yankees Insider

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August 24, 2022 5:51 am

Sweeny Murti | NY Yankees Insider

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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August 24, 2022 5:51 am

NY Yankees Insider Sweeny Murti joins the show from Yankee Stadium to recap the Subway Series & the Yanks' 3-game winning streak.

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We are pleased to welcome Sweeney Murti, who covers Yankees and has been a long time insider for not only the flagship, but our New York affiliate, WFAN.

Sweeney, ever since Aaron Boone got a little explosive and pounded the table and got angry and said the Yankees were underperforming and that they had what it takes to be a better team. They have not lost. What a shame since that moment on Saturday. Yeah, I think he just said it after the game on Tuesday night. He said, you know, we're scoring some runs.

That helps, right? They scored four runs exactly, and they pitched well enough to make it hold up three days in a row. So, they were scoring one and none for a lot of that time.

So, they're not all the way back yet, but you are, you know, they weren't going so bad, Amy. You're just looking for wins anyway you can get them, and that's what they're getting right now. They're getting wins anyway you can get them. Aaron Judge has hit a couple of home runs, they're scratching across some runs, and even with a bullpen that's kind of, you know, out of shape and out of sorts right now, they're managing to hold these leads for the last couple of days.

Things are going right when for a month everything was going wrong. Is it sustainable when you look at the pattern that they've had over the past couple of games? This isn't the best version of them, you know. This is what they're doing right now to win a few games.

The best version of them is a lot more players contributing offensively. It has them in a better state with the bullpen. I think that's the biggest thing is that, you know, their bullpen wasn't kind of disarray to the fact that, you know, it's kind of a good thing they didn't have any leads because I don't think they knew how to hold them.

It really wasn't in good shape. You know, three days in a row they've actually held two red leads which is pretty amazing. So, I think they're getting back slowly. Giancarlo Stanton is due back before Thursday's game in Oakland. Clay Holmes, who was an All-Star this year, is due back next week before the series starts in Anaheim. And if he's, you know, if he's sound mechanically as well as physically, then hopefully that leads them back in the right direction. Stanton back in the lineup certainly helps lengthen the lineup and pushes some guys down to the bottom that maybe put them in with some more comfortable spots. They were remarkably healthy in the first half of the season and everything seems to be going right.

So, when they deal with a couple of injuries, they run into a couple of problem areas and maybe that'll get them back in the right direction again if they get healthy bodies again. Frankie Montas is able to pitch into the sixth and only allows two runs to the Mets tonight. That's certainly a turnaround from what they've gotten from him so far.

How critical is he to their success moving forward? It was a great start for him considering how badly it started when he's, you know, he's probably one pitch away from having a blow up on him in the first inning. And some of these games the Yankees have dealt with in the last few weeks, their starter would have that one bad inning.

You know, Garret Cole, anybody. They'd give up three, four, five runs in an inning and the way the Yankees scored lately, well, that's too much for any team. You know, you fall behind like that, that's too much. Montas had two on and two out and managed to get out of it in the first inning without a single run scoring. And that was huge. He threw 27 pitches in the first inning. I mean, he's literally, you know, a handful of pitches away from just losing the lead and not getting out of the first inning. So major props to him for getting out of that, getting into the six and getting in a position where they could win that game.

Not to mention the double play to end the second, also a big deal that seemed to fire him up. So what are the chances, Sweeney, that the Yankees, Brass or even the Yankees clubhouse are paying attention to what Jordan Montgomery is doing with the Cardinals? Well, they have a pretty long history with them.

I think they obviously know what's happening right there. You know, the thing is, though, let's remember, they haven't been on this crazy losing streak because they haven't pitched well. The pitching has actually straightened itself out from the starting rotation. Starting rotation for about the last three turns now has actually been pretty good. They weren't scoring.

And guess what? When Jordan Montgomery was pitching here, they weren't scoring for him either. So that's not the biggest issue. The biggest issue is scoring runs and relief pitching. They were actually okay lately in the starting rotation. So listen, it's their bad timing and bad luck that they're on this run right now while Montgomery is dealing and the guy that they traded him for is hurt, right? But they knew that going in. Harrison Bader is the center fielder they've been looking for pretty much since last winter.

And he just happens to be hurt right now. And they made the deal with a large degree of confidence that they're going to get him back in September. And when they do, he's the last piece in that whole defensive shuffle that the Yankees made when they brought in Jose Trevino, Jose Conifilefa, moved Gleyber Torres back to second base.

They tried to get strong defensively up the middle. When Bader gets healthy again and he's the last piece there, it moves Aaron Judge back to right field where he's a better fit. It will move Giancarlo Stanton back to a DH role where he's a better fit and we'll see if they can get that. Bader believes he can really be a lot closer to being ready when you get close to Labor Day here. Not saying he's going to come back on Labor Day, but he really feels he's going to be in a better position to get himself close to being ready at that stage.

So we'll see how that goes over the course of the next 10 days here. Sweeney Murty is the Yankees reporter for our New York affiliate and the Yankees flagship, WFAN in New York, and he's with us after hours on CBS Sports Radio. The Yankees obviously set this unbelievable pace and standard for themselves in the first half, so maybe it wasn't realistic to expect them to keep that up. However, the fans actually were booing Brian Cashman and other members of the front office at the day in which they're retiring Paul O'Neill's number over the weekend. How were the crowds these last couple nights then? The crowds were actually playoff caliber the last couple of nights. I mean, they're the largest crowd the last two nights for the Mets series that the Yankees have had in nine years.

Wow. They are, and listen, a lot of it's Mets fans too, obviously, right, because their team is in first place. It shows you the excitement. This is playoff atmosphere. You have two first place teams coming here, and they played some tight-tense games. I think it was important for some of the newer players in the Yankees to see that. You know, Frankie Monta, Andrew Benintendi, Benintendi's played in the World Series, played in Boston.

He knows a little bit about it, but it's important to see that perform. John Maronaccio got some big outs, and Juan Peralta got some big outs, and Clark Schmidt got some big outs. These are guys who have not been in that kind of atmosphere, so to be able to play there and perform in that spot I think was helpful.

Good crowds, big crowds, energetic crowds. Yeah, I think that probably helped play a little bit of a part in getting them focused and getting in the right direction. A massive roar there at the end when they get out of that bases-loaded jam to wrap up the game in the ninth. The Aaron Judge piece of this is so intriguing, right, because it seems like once they got into some trouble and only won 10 of 30 games, then people stopped asking about the future because they're more concerned about the present. I like what he had to say on, I guess it would have been Monday night, when he hit a home run and someone asked him about a drought, and he said, home run drought?

I don't know what you're talking about. He continues to handle this all in stride, even though we know a couple months down the road, regardless of what happens, there's this big question looming about their star in the face of their franchise. Yeah, I mean, listen, it's a good retort for him to say that, because I think he's been deflecting from his home run pace and whatever race we want to make it to, 61, 70, 73, whatever we want to do it. He's been deflecting off of that all year, so I think that's probably another way of him deflecting that and saying home run drought. But make no mistake, he knows how many he's hit, he knows how many he needs, he knows how this plays in a contract year. He knows all about that. He knows he went nine games without one. How he portrays it and what he's actually knowing, I think are two different things. But good for him, that's what he needs to get through this and not have to keep answering. Listen, I made my own run, Adam. I had a conversation the other day about chasing home run records, and he deflected Ben, too.

That's what he needs to do, because he knows these questions are here and they're coming, and it probably doesn't do him any good to entertain them, especially at a time when the team has not been playing well. But listen, he hit home runs two days in a row, and guess what, Amy? The Yankees won both of those games.

That's not a coincidence. They need him to get going again. Sweeney Murty covers the Yankees for their flagship in our New York affiliate, WFAN.

It's after hours on CBS Sports Radio. Three straight wins for the Yanks. They now sit at 76 wins, and some of the questions that have been asked about the team would have been just unheard of in the first half of the season, like Aaron Boone's status, but I keep hearing chatter about it.

Let's just say for the sake of argument that they do peter out in the playoffs and don't end up in the World Series. Is he brought back, in your opinion, or would they make a change? He just signed a new three-year contract at the end of last season.

He's not going anywhere. This team does not operate that way anymore. Few teams do. You don't pay a guy not to manage with two years left on his contract, three years left on his contract. There aren't very many teams that operate quite in that fashion, and the Yankees have them for a very long time. They decided last year, when they got bounced in the first round in the wildcard game, that they still liked the direction they were in with Aaron Boone as their manager. And I think everything that they've said has backed that up, that the overall record and some of the reasons behind why they have slumped lately, they have legitimate reasons behind them, not simply, this guy is not the right manager. Now, we're trying to say, what happens if they lose here?

You have to get there first. Listen, if you're going to tell me they're going to lose the next 40 games in a row, yeah, I think maybe they might fire their manager. But are they really going to lose the next 40 games in a row?

No. So, I think that we can paint these things and say, what do you think is going to happen? I don't know, but I can tell you that there is not a lot of momentum for the Yankees to fire a manager after the first year of his contract, because they decided to bring him back after what they went through last year, a season in which they did not hit all season long and lost in the first and only playoff game. So, when they are looking like they're at a pace that, okay, it's a reduced pace, they maybe will only win 98 or 99 games. But there's nothing that tells me that that is going to signal to them that they need to change what has been their course of action history for the last couple of decades now.

And, like, tell me that they think, you know, you have to paint the bleak picture for me. I have to see it play out before I tell you, oh, yeah, this guy's job is in jeopardy because nothing indicates that it is. So then the questions must amuse you, or the chatter, because it certainly comes up almost every time this team stubs its toe. Well, I understand, because, like, it's from a generation who watched George Steinbrenner do this, and, but, you know, frankly, how Steinbrenner talked about this a year ago, you know, when he explained, you know, not everything my dad did back then worked or was well received. He got criticized for it. Let's remember that there was, when the announcement was made, and you saw this if you guys watched episode one, I think, of the captain, you saw some of the history of George Steinbrenner in the era leading up to Derek Tear and the rest of that, you know, dynasty team. When it was announced in 1990 that George Steinbrenner was going to be suspended for baseball, the crowd at Yankee Stadium cheered. He was the problem. They cheered that he was going to be suspended.

So I think we forget about that. His way of changing managers and changing everything didn't work. It was stability that worked, and that, you know, I think that gets lost nowadays, but it's not Watson House Steinbrenner who said, very frankly, last year that he doesn't respond the way his father did for a variety of reasons, and included, you're just reminding us that it didn't always work, and he was often criticized for it. Sweeney Murty is with us here after our CBS Sports Radio. Before I let you go, what are a couple of other storylines, either individual or team, around the majors that you're really interested in seeing play out the next five weeks of this regular season? The Orioles trying to make the playoffs.

You know, I think that's an interesting thing here. Where does, you know, the American League with Houston currently holding the best record. The Yankees can jump up there again and figure out how to wrestle home field away.

I think that's very important. The Central is really interesting right now with Minnesota, Cleveland, and Chicago really fighting there, and only one of them making the playoffs at this rate with, you know, two AL East teams and maybe three. Seattle all in the wild card mix.

You know, that's all pretty interesting here. The National League is interesting because the Braves are starting to play like defending champions again and posing a little gap on the Mets. The Dodgers, you know, the Dodgers are ignoring this idea that you can't play at 115 win pace, right?

So they're going at that right now. But listen, there are extra rounds and extra games to play in the playoffs. It doesn't mean that you're, you know, that you're advancing straight to the World Series. So there's a lot, it changes, you know. There's still so much that changes as soon as you get to the playoffs and start facing other good teams in these, you know, win or go home kind of games.

That part is kind of interesting here too. Sweeney Murty covers the Yankees for their flagship in our New York affiliate, WFAN. And the Yankees have now put together this modest three-game win streak and 49,000 plus on hand, along with Sweeney at Yankee Stadium to watch Tuesday night's victory over the Mets.

You can find him on Twitter at Yankees, WFAN. It's always good to grab a couple minutes, Sweeney. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me, Amy. Appreciate it.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-30 12:56:54 / 2023-01-30 13:03:33 / 7

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