In the most important series of the season, the New York Yankees completely faltered. The vigor and spirit that once epitomized the team has quickly dwindled. This series leaves the team with a bleak feeling, a sense of despair looming about the clubhouse.
Everything that could have gone wrong in this series did. The New York Yankees revealed the depth of some of the unresolved issues still lurking on the field. The first game of the series unveiled some pitching (and managing) problems. CC Sabathia lasted a mere three innings. Jonathan Holder replaced him, allowing a whopping seven earned runs. He was unable to record an out. Manager Aaron Boone received substantial criticism for not pulling him sooner. Luis Cessa later replaced him, allowing five earned runs. A strong offensive effort from the Yankees could not salvage this game, as they lost 15-7.
In the second game, the bats went silent, with the exception of a home run off the bat of Miguel Andújar. Though the Sox didn’t completely shake Luis Severino, the Yankees’ ace still looked unlike himself. After allowing four earned runs, Boone pulled him 5.2 innings deep. This start was certainly better than his several previous ones, a step in the right direction. Nonetheless, a loss with Severino on the mound is always tough. The final score was 4-1.
Chance Adams’ MLB debut provided the strongest startup to that point. He allowed three runs in 5.0 innings, impressive for the young starter. The bats, however, fell short once again. Gregorious’ RBI double accounted for the only run. The Yankees had a bases-loaded opportunity in the ninth inning; however, they failed to score any further, yielding another 4-1 loss. This game ensured a series loss.
The Yankees made a strong attempt to salvage the final game of the series. Masahiro Tanaka’s pitched 4.2 innings solid innings. His one earned run gave the Yankees a strong enough start. The offense pieced together a four-run seventh inning, seemingly sealing the deal for a win. In the ninth inning, though, Aroldis Chapman blew the lead. He fell apart in a disastrous outing, allowing three earned runs. His performance completely depleted the momentum. The Sox walked it off in the tenth to complete the sweep.
Currently, the Yankees sit 8.5 games behind the Red Sox. The Yankees have reached their low point of the season because their play has been dull. The team’s usually determined, but the fierce spirit now seems lazy and sloppy.
One of the key players who embodies the passionate spirit is Aaron Judge. The Yankees have lost 15 of 22 games without the star slugger. They are averaging 4.0 runs per game without him and 5.3 runs per game with him, according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.
Though the stretch has been tough for the Yankees, they are fortunate to have a silver lining. They are not playing a single team with a winning record through the rest of August. If this team wishes to recover, they must capitalize on every opportunity to win or sweep these series. With Boston in the midst of a phenomenal run, the Yankees need to make up for missed chances.
With just over 50 games left, the Yankees look to regain their winning energy. Even though expectations for the division have receded, hope stays alive for New York. The team has all the tools it needs to make a postseason run: young talent, trustworthy veterans, and strong team chemistry. These qualities can make the Yankees an absolute powerhouse in baseball. The opportunities and the chances are right in front of the Yankees–it’s up to them to deliver.