There are occasionally nights in the course of a long sports season when you wonder why a team didn't just forfeit.
Forget about the real reasons why it doesn't happen -- earning your salary and not giving paying customers a reason to ask for a refund -- and you can find it hard to imagine what forced a team to actually show up from time to time. Wednesday night's Yankee effort was just such a time.
Derek Jeter was getting a night off as part of Joe Girardi's rest an aging player philosophy, a decision that took the team's most consistent hitter out of the lineup one night after the Yankees failed to muster any kind of offense against Wei-Yin Chen in Baltimore. So it's no great shock to learn that they mustered even less against Kyle Drabek in Toronto.
The Yankees got just three hits on Wednesday night with a Robinson Cano double standing as the only time that they even bothered to hit the ball hard. Drabek is the son of a good pitcher (former Yankee prospect turned Pirate ace Doug Drabek), was traded for a great one (Roy Halladay) and the Yankees made him look like he was the combination of both on Wednesday.
Or maybe it had nothing to do with Drabek at all. Wednesday was the eighth time in the last 16 games that the Yankees scored two or fewer runs in a game and it is the eighth time in the first 37 games this season that they've been held to one or no runs in a game.
The last time the Yankees managed something like that was in 1990. As a general rule, you don't want to share records with teams that were once managed by Stump Merrill.
Of course, the offense was just half of what went wrong for the Yankees in an 8-1 loss. Seeing as how the Yankees trailed by five three innings into the game, Hiroki Kuroda's work didn't offer the bats much of a chance to get into this game.
Kuroda had pitched fairly well in his previous four starts, but Wednesday still felt like the continuation of the one good start/one bad start pattern that he was working at the start of the season. That inconsistency could be symptomatic of something within Kuroda or it could just be part of the process of transitioning to a new league, but it would be awfully good for the Yankees if they could figure out a way to cut down the deviation from one start to the next.
Of course, the same could be said of the team as a whole. We've yet to see the Yankees fire on all cylinders for a winning streak of any significance as erratic play in all phases of the game has kept them from doing much more than treading water.
Wednesday night was as bad as they've looked this season which, perversely, might signal good things ahead for a team this inconsistent.