Bronx, NY- Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he was pissed off after his team lost their sixth straight game Wednesday night in the Bronx, 6-4 to the Toronto Blue Jays. His team was swept in the four-game series and the surging Blue Jays won their eighth straight.
Basically, this is not acceptable for Boone. It’s not acceptable overall, and the Yankees have to look at where they stand in the AL wild card standings. The Red Sox took over the first wild card position Tuesday evening.
The Blue Jays tied the Yankees in the loss column and trail the Yankees by half a game for the second wild card spot. Basically, it’s not good in the Bronx.
And It’s not good also in Flushing with the Mets, who lost their second straight to the last place Marlins Thursday night down in Miami. A five- game deficit pulls the Mets further away from the first place Braves.
So as the second addition of the Subway Series commences Friday night at Citi Field, surrounded around the tragic Saturday 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, the Yankees need wins as do the Mets.
But the Mets have possibly dug their last hole. After finishing a 9-5 stretch against the lower division Nationals and Marlins, that puts them 5.0 games from the Braves and a NL wild card with 21 games remaining, time is against them.
Though, as this September stretch continues the Yankees should continue to battle for a postseason spot, because they have lived to their motto of losing and winning streaks. Despite their lack of hitting, scoring runs, issues with the pitching rotation, and a bullpen that has imploded, it is difficult to conceive the Yankees not in the wildcard hunt down this stretch.
They are too talented, but inconsistency in a tight September pennant stretch will not get you to October.
So despite two New York teams in a tailspin, the three games at Citi Field do have significance and the Mets are a good winning team at home. They could further put a dent in the Yankees wildcard hopes.
“We just had a horrible homestand, it’s not okay,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “ But we’ve been through this throughout the season,” he said about losing streaks.
It was July 4 when the Yankees dropped to .500 and were 10 games behind Boston in the AL East, so they have been through this and are capable of turning this around and securing a wild card. Despite sitting 16 games over .500, they are in danger of seeing that wild card go out the window.
Boone and his team are aware, though, there is more concern about not playing quality baseball since their 13-game winning streak. The Yankees are struggling and this 1-6 homestand against the Orioles and Blue Jays is enough evidence to say they are in a major tailspin at the wrong time of year.
“We;re up against it again,” Boone said. “And we look forward to going out and turning this around tomorrow.”
They never had a lead in four games against the Blue Jays and were swept. The Yankees hit into double plays, Giancarlo Stanton again Thursday night with runners on and trailing by two, and that has also become a theme during this latest Yankees tailspin.
And a team batting average of .212, averaging 3.3 runs per game since the 13-game winning streak, is another reflection as to how things have gone the other way.
Said catcher Gary Sanchez through an interpreter, “We have to turn the page very quickly. We have to focus on our game and make sure that whenever you have an opportunity to score to take advantage of those opportunities.”
He said the Yankees have to focus on the game that is in front of them. But it is getting to try and understand the Yankees and if they can turn this around with so few games remaining to do so.
The Subway Series could be the answer and beginning of a new streak, but the Yankees have scored five plus runs twice in their last 12 games. Gerrit Cole, their ace, will miss a start with a hamstring issue and Jameson Taillon sustained a partial tear to his right ankle that put him on the 10-day injured list.
The rotation is hurting at the wrong time, though Nestor Cortes Jr. provided the Yankees six innings and gave up two runs. It was an effort that Boone was looking for before the bullpen imploded again.
“Everybody’s frustrated, but we’ve got to keep fighting and keep grinding,” Cortes said.
Except the fighting and grinding can take a toll and it showed in four games with the Blue Jays. The Mets will also fight and grind, as they believe and will until the elimination clock says it’s over.
Yes, it will be an interesting weekend in Flushing and a Subway Series of significance because it’s being played down the stretch with implications for both teams. And for the Yankees, they believe they can turn it around.
But can they turn this around? Said Boone,“Obviously it needs to happen. But we’re in control of that.”
Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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