Manager Aaron Boone continued to struggle to explain the free fall the New York Yankees experienced in the second half of the season.
But he hoped New York’s 9-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Friday night was a wake-up call.
“It’s an embarrassing loss,” said Boone, the usually suave. “Hopefully, in that worst-case scenario, you should be pissed and embarrassed. We’ve set a better standard here. We’ve got to get better. Period.”
The Yankees’ 9-0 loss was their biggest loss of the season. Those nine losses marked their biggest since Oct. 2, 2021, against Tampa Bay (12-2). Three of the Yankees’ last four losses have come against the Rays in nine or more games.
“It’s just embarrassing when you’re beaten like that and you’re going through the struggles you’re facing,” Boone added. “I’m in charge of this team. I know better than anyone what we’re going through right now, there are going to be tough moments and tough times. I do think the hard work is there, I think the care is there. But we’re in There’s a better standard set in that room, and we have to start following that.”
The Yankees’ lead in the AL East was as high as 15½ games on July 8 and has now dropped to just five games. The last time the Yankees cut their division lead to five games or less was at the end of the game on June 1.
But All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge stressed that their current slimming advantage in the AL East cannot be the focus.
“I don’t pay attention to it. It’s the worst thing you can do in anything and that is stress or feel stressed,” the judge said. “We’re playing kids games. It’s a game we love and we have to go there with enthusiasm every night and not really worry about the standings. Because if we show up and do what we do – have good batting Hands, directing what we need on the mound – we’re going to look up at the end of the year and get where we want to be in the standings. We can’t sit here trying to press. I don’t think anyone in this room Trying to press or look at that kind of thing. We have a lot on our plate.”
Judge was actually one of the few bright spots for the Yankees. After finishing the All-Star weekend with the best record in MLB, the Yankees are 15-25 and have now lost five of their past six games. Many of these results came after an offensive blackout.
The Yankees are 3 or fewer six times in their last 7 games, 2 or less twice, and 1 or less twice; in scoring position during that time. Friday night’s loss was the Yankees’ 12th elimination of the season. They have been shut out by MLB six times since the start of August. The Yankees’ 9-19 (.321) record since Aug. 2 is the worst in the AL, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
But the judge said he still believes the Yankees have all the tools they need to try to overcome their prolonged second-half slump.
“These guys did it. We did it all year, especially to stay No. 1 in this tough department we were in. We had everything we needed in this room. No one out there was going to help us, no People feel sorry for us,” the judge said. “Nobody likes losing. We’ll see what this team is made of. No team has ever slipped into the playoffs and expected to go there and win every day.
“We have to take it every day. So it’s over today, we have to take it tomorrow. It’s simple. That’s what it really boils down to — get mad, instead of getting mad, you have to take it every day.”