The Yankees have lost three straight series in a row. They look far from the dominant team they were earlier this season.
Getting swept by the Cardinals last weekend triggered a team meeting and a big win in Seattle on Monday. It was a blip on the radar thanks to Tuesday’s mistakes-littered extra innings loss and a blown lead Wednesday.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Yankees, who have played sub-.500 baseball since the All-Star break and still have some tough series ahead.
The Mariners are Astros Lite. Think of how the Mariners took two out of three from the Yankees both in the Bronx and in Seattle. They drew key walks and made big swings, much like another AL West team that’s given New York fits. The Yankees, meanwhile, almost cowered in the face of great pitching from Luis Castillo and Robbie Ray.
Seattle are in the Wild Card and it’s not farfetched to see them as a potential ALDS opponent. In which case, the Yankees have a lot of work ahead of them.
The Yankees can’t finish games. What’s most frustrating about this series loss in particular is that the Yankees easily could have won it. Juvenile baserunning errors not only cost New York Tuesday’s game, but burned out its bullpen. Albert Abreu surrendering a go-ahead home run to the streaky Carlos Santana shows just how much Aaron Boone improvised his relief corps on Wednesday.
The Yankees also struggled holding leads in St. Louis despite hitting well. It was the reverse in Seattle and strong outings by Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes were wasted. The schedule is only getting tougher, so it’d be a shame if the bats went cold.
Giancarlo Stanton is missed. It’s almost a given at this point. If either Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton goes on the IL, the Yankee lineup hits a tailspin. This year is no different. The Yankees are 5-10 since Stanton went down with Achilles tendinitis last month.
Stanton upped his baseball activities this week and will hopefully be back soon. New York needs a power boost, especially with Matt Carpenter essentially out for the season.
Better in August than October. It also helps that as I write this, the Yankees hold a 10-game lead over the Blue Jays in the division. They’re still a good team just going through a rough patch at an inopportune time. After all, better to lose now in generally meaningless games than in an actual postseason tilt.
But the Yankees can ill afford more bad games for the next couple of weeks. Thursday’s off day will be a reprieve before a weekend at Fenway with the Red Sox. After that, however, it’s a nine-game gauntlet at home with the Rays, Blue Jays, and Mets.
It certainly isn’t time to break the glass in case of emergency but know this. Over the next 12 games, the Yankees will show exactly what kind of team they are.
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