Manager Aaron Boone continues to struggle with his attempts to explain the free fall the New York Yankees are experiencing in the second half of the season.
But he hopes New York’s 9-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night at Tropicana Field was a wake-up call.
“It’s an embarrassing loss,” said the normally mild-mannered Boone. “Hopefully one of those low point situations where you’re supposed to be pissed and embarrassed. We have set a better standard here. We just have to be better. Point.”
The Yankees’ 9-0 loss was their biggest loss of the season. That nine-run loss was their biggest loss since October 2, 2021, precisely against Tampa Bay (12-2). Three of the Yankees’ last four losses by nine runs or more have come to the Rays.
“It’s just embarrassing when you get hit like that and you’re going through the struggles of who you are,” Boone added. “I am responsible for this team. I know better than anyone what we are going through right now, there will be tough moments and tough times. I think the effort is there, I think the care is there. But we’ve set a much better standard in this space that we have to live up to.”
The Yankees’ lead in the AL East, which was 15½ games on July 8, has now shrunk to just five games. The last time the Yankees’ lead dropped to five games or less was at the end of the game on June 1.
But All-Star Outfielder Aaron Judge stressed that the diminishing advantage they currently hold at the top of the AL East can’t be a focus.
“I don’t pay attention to it. That’s the worst thing you can do when you’re pressing or feeling pressure,” Judge said. “We’re playing a child’s game. It’s a game we love and we need to go out every night with enthusiasm and not really worry about the rankings. Because if we show up and do what we do — have good clubs, command the stuff we need on the hill — we’ll look up at the end of the year and be where we want to be in the standings. We can’t sit here and try to press. I don’t think anybody in this room is trying to push or look at stuff like that. We have a lot to do.”
Judge was actually one of the few highlights on the plate for the Yankees. After finishing with the best record in MLB at the All-Star break, the Yankees have gone 15-25 and have now lost five of their last six games. And many of those results are due to an offensive blackout.
The Yankees have had six 3-run max runs, four 2-run max runs, and two 1-run max runs in their last 7 games; The club bats .105 (4-for-38) with runners in goal position at this stretch. Friday night’s loss was the Yankees’ 12th shutout this season; They’ve hit an MLB high six times since early August. According to research from ESPN Stats & Information, the Yankees’ 9-19 (.321) record since Aug. 2 is their worst in the AL.
But Judge said he still believes the Yankees have all the tools they need in their clubhouse to try to overcome their ongoing second-half slump.
“These guys did it. We’ve done it all year, mainly to stay in first place in this difficult league that we’re in. We have everything we need right here in this room. No one on the outside is going to help us, no one feels sorry for us,” said Judge. “No one likes to lose. We’ll see what this team consists of. No team has ever gone into the postseason expecting to go out there and win every day.
“We have to bring it every single day. So today is the end and we have to bring it tomorrow. It’s plain and simple. That’s what really matters — pissed off, not pissed off, you have to bring it with you every day.”
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34512222/new-york-yankees-manager-aaron-boone-heated-team-embarrassing-9-0-loss-tampa-bay-rays New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone heated after team’s ’embarrassing’ 9-0 loss to Tampa Bay Rays