Manager Aaron Boone continues to struggle in his attempts to explain the freefall that the New York Yankees are going through the second half of the season.
But he hopes New York’s 9-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays Friday night at Tropicana Field is a warning.
“That’s a shameful loss,” said the usually polite Boone. “Hopefully, one of the most basic situations where you have to be angry and embarrassed. We’ve set better standards here. We just have to get better. Period.”
The Yankees’ 9-0 loss was their biggest loss of the season. That nine-time losing margin marked their biggest loss since October 2, 2021, against Tampa Bay (12-2). Three of the Yankees’ last four losses with nine runs or more have come against the Rays.
“It’s a shame when you get beaten up like that and you’re having a hard time,” Boone added. “I’m in charge of this team. What we are going through right now, I know better than anyone, there will be hard times and hard times. I think there is effort, I think there is concern. we’ve set a much better standard in that room which we have to start living.”
The Yankees’ lead in AL East, which hit 15½ games on July 8, has now dropped to just five games. The last time the Yankees division lead fell to five games or less was at the end of the game on June 1.
But an All-Star outfielder Judge Aaron stressed that the slimming advantage they currently hold over the Eastern Navy cannot be a focal point.
“I didn’t pay attention to it. It’s the worst thing you can do in any way is press or feel pressure,” Hakim said. “We play a kid’s game. It’s a game we love, and we have to go out there enthusiastically every night and not worry too much about the standings. Because if we show up and do what we do — have a good shot, command things. -things we need on the mound – we’ll look up at the end of the year and be where we want to be in the table. We can’t sit here and try to push. I don’t think anyone in this room is trying to push or look at things -that kind of thing. We’ve got plenty on our plates.”
Judge is actually one of the few highlights for the Yankees. Having finished with the best record in MLB at the All-Star break, the Yankees are 15-25 since, and have now lost five of their last six games. And many of those results came after offensive power outages.
The Yankees have scored 3 runs or less six times in their last 7 games, 2 runs or less four times and 1 run or less twice; the club hit .105 (4-for-38) with runners in scoring positions during that span. Friday night’s loss was the Yankees’ 12th defeat of the season; they have closed MLB-high six times since early August. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the 9-19 (.321) Yankees record since Aug. 2 is the worst in the AL.
But Judge said he still believes the Yankees have all the tools they need at their clubhouse to try to overcome a prolonged second-half slump.
“These people have done it. We’ve been doing it all year, especially to stay in first place in this difficult division we’re in. We have everything we need right here in this room. There is no one outside to help. us, nobody feels sorry for us,” Hakim said. “Nobody likes to lose. We’ll see what this team is made of. No team has ever rolled into the postseason and expected to go out there and win every day.
“We have to take it every day. So today is over and we have to take it tomorrow. It’s clear and simple. That’s the point — upset, not upset, you have to take it every day.”