The Yankees lost Game 4 of the ALCS last night to the Houston Astros and are now one game away from being eliminated from the playoffs. Yankee fans, like myself are pointing fingers at who they think is to blame. Some say Sanchez, some say Boone, some say the pitching staff as a whole. Those are wrong answers, the team as a unit is to blame. Look at last night's Yankee lineup:

  • DJ LeMahieu
  • Aaron Judge
  • Aaron Hicks
  • Gleybor Torres
  • Edwin Encarnacion
  • Brett Gardner
  • Gary Sanchez
  • Gio Urshela
  • Didi Gregorius

With that lineup, there are no excuses, none. "They ran into the best pitching staff" does not apply. "Things would have been different if Domingo German were on the staff" does not cut it. "Boone is managing all wrong" isn't the answer. "Sanchez can't hit in a big spot" is not the reason.

That lineup last night, can and should beat any opponent. DJ LeMahieu has been one of the few hitting but not to the level he did all season. The guy is in the discussion for AL MVP and the results have not been overwhelming. Aaron Judge has not been what he can be. With the exception of a HR last night, Sanchez has been an easy out, Gleybor has been good but cannot do it alone and Didi has disappeared.

This is a systematic failure and I can only point to the intangibles. It seems they don't have intangibles when the chips are down. It's time to stop comparing this team to the Jeter, Pettite, Rivera, Posada Yankees because they are not in the discussion. This team is no longer the "Baby Bombers" they have plenty of playoff experience by now and that experience, what we have seen, has left a lot to be desired.

No one is screaming, yelling, smashing coolers, showing fire and no one seems willing to pick up the guy next to them. Bats go cold, it happens, but Championship teams will have one or two guys pick the rest up and carry the team on their back. Not one of these guys seems willing or able to be "that guy."

If your argument is that this is Gary Sanchez's fault, you are wrong. He did strike out in a pivotal moment early and kill momentum. He also hit a two run homer in the sixth inning to breathe life into the team. Before the blast it was 6-1, he hits the two run HR and now it's 6-3, Yankees at bat, no outs. The next three men went down in order, you can't win that way. This is not Gary's fault.

This is not a product of the Yankees facing two of the best pitchers in the AL. Gerrit Cole had one of his worst outings in Game 3 and that is a fact. He was wild, he gave up four hits and walked 5. The Yankees stranded 9 runners that game. It was not Cole that won the game, it was the Yankees that lost it.

It was not Verlander's performance in Game 2 that is the problem. The Yankees worked the plan, got past him and could not close the deal.

Last night, it was not Greinke that won the game, the Yankees had ten men on base. In the past three games (losses) the Yankees have had 30 base runners and came up with a total of six runs. That's not dominant pitching by the Astros, it's piss poor hitting by the Yankees, it's an organizational inability to get a clutch hit.

Finally, it's not Aaron Boone's managing. I certainly disagree with a lot of what he does but it's not Boone. Their plan going into the playoffs was the same plan they went into the season with. That plan is plain as day, they were going to lean on their strengths, a killer lineup and the best bullpen in baseball, neither has shown up.

Gutless, Embarrassing, Unacceptable