Aaron Judge free agency
Gary A. Vasquez | USA TODAY Sports

At long last, the Yankees’ forgettable August is over.

New York went 10-18 this month and has just stopped hitting. Only Aaron Judge has been productive, or Anthony Rizzo when his back isn’t ailing him. The YES broadcast noted during Wednesday’s game that the Yankees had eight games in August where they had four or less hits and lost them all. A crushing and disappointing 3-2 loss to the Angels marked nine.

What was once a 15.5-game lead over the rival and then-third place Rays has shrunk to six games. Oh, and next on the schedule is a weekend series at Tropicana Field.

Some takeaways:

Where is DJ LeMahieu? If the man at the top of the lineup isn’t getting good pitches to hit, then nobody else in the lineup is. DJ LeMahieu went from hitting .344 in July to a pathetic .217 in August. Even with a lingering toe injury, that’s not what you’d expect from a two-time batting champion.

His batting average has dipped to .271 and that six-year deal signed in 2021 is looking more and more like a bad contract. LeMahieu has a month to turn things around, and hopefully the Yankees’ lineup follows.

No room for failure in Tampa. The Rays are nowhere near as strong a team as they were last year. Yet, the Yankees’ regular losses have become Tampa Bay’s greatest gains. It’s now hard to feel confident in the Yankees this weekend despite their going 4-2 at the Trop this year.

Simply put, the Yankees have no excuse, especially with Cy Young contender Shane McClanahan hitting the injured list. This is a very winnable series, but only if New York starts finding its base hits at the plate again.

The Yankees failed the road trip. Four games with Oakland and three with the Angels should have been a pair of cupcake series for the Yankees. A bad extra-innings loss Saturday and a snapped five-game winning streak later, the bats have disappeared again.

Forget working good at-bats, how strong the pitching looked, any silver linings. Even if the Yankees sweep the Rays in St. Pete, this was a bad, bad trip. They won’t lose first-place in the division, but could come dangerously close.

If so, this team deserves whatever finish it gets. They could reverse course and finish strong but after such a forgettable month, does it really matter?

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Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.