The New York Yankees played their worst baseball since April and now must navigate their hardest week of the season.
And why shouldn’t that broad comparison be made? That inaugural Mets team lost 120 games. The Yankees aren’t that bad, right?
Honestly, who knows at this point? The Yankees were winning series left and right in May, even sweeping the young upstart Chicago White Sox. Then, they lost two of three at home to the Blue Jays and then got swept in Detroit by the last-place Tigers.
This will not be your typical State of the Yankees, ladies and gentlemen. We aren’t going to just recap the week and what was good and bad. No video highlights either because, if we’re being honest, the New York Yankees were just that bad, perhaps even unwatchable.
All told, the team has lost five of their last six, and this week is only going to get harder. Unless things change or turn around fast, this very week could prove devastating.
The bats are absent
Just to give an idea of how bad the New York Yankees have been, we need not look further than being swept by the Tigers. New York was outscored 15-5 in three games, an exact 3:1 ratio.
But that’s not even the worst of it. The Yankees were 2 for 22 with runners in scoring position for the entire series. I’m sorry, but are these the New York Yankees or the Muppet Babies?? Seriously, based on Gleyber Torres’ two errors on Sunday, it might as well have been Fozzie Bear in the field. Waka waka, indeed.
And how did manager Aaron Boone sum it up?
Boone: this is a bad ending to a terrible weekend. #Yankees
— Kristie Ackert (@ByKristieAckert) May 30, 2021
There’s really just one appropriate response:
Injuries piling up
I already know what some New York Yankees fans are thinking. Giancarlo Stanton just got back from the IL. Corey Kluber hurt his shoulder and is out indefinitely. Aaron Hicks is out for the season, and Luke Voit is back on the shelf with a strained oblique just days after returning from knee surgery.
News flash, people. Injuries aren’t an excuse anymore. The Yankees had over 36 injured list stints in 2019, won 103 games, and made it to Game 6 of the ALCS.
Not to mention, it’s starting to look like that particular season was an exception. This team sees a player like Stanton or Aaron Judge hit the IL, and suddenly forgets how to play baseball. Everyone loses focus and just plays the game lifelessly, non-competitvely, some would even say badly.
This team, at least on paper, is better than that. Fans and writers alike have to be sick and tired of this vicious cycle and the constant refrain of “We just have to be better” in response.
And guess what? This is the last thing the New York Yankees needed coming out of the holiday weekend. Monday marks the start of a four-game set with the first-place Tampa Bay Rays, who have won 15 of 16. Even worse, Rays pitcher Ryan Thompson says the team is “excited” to play New York because “they hate us.”
And after the Rays, the Yankees have the rival Boston Red Sox for the first time this season. Alex Cora’s return has them overachieving in second place, but you’d never know based on how badly the New York Yankees have played.
There’s really only one way to approach this week. Forget the recent Toronto and Detroit series ever happened and just focus on playing well at home. Even with Voit out, this team is superior on paper to both Tampa Bay and Boston.
Forget the new ball. Forget playing badly. Don’t worry about the new injuries and just play. Yes, New York does hate the Rays, and also Boston. The team has to go out and show it hard this week.
Otherwise, maybe it’s worth it to start a rebuild early and call it a day on this group of players.
Be better, play better, get it together. NOW.