The Yankees are 10-6 but have hit a slide the past few games. Now, the Bombers must right the ship before it’s too late.
Before I state my point, let me say one thing: baseball is a beautiful sport, with a multitude of twists, turns, ups, and downs that take place for teams and players over the course of 162 games. I’m aware of this, and I know slumps are not only common but expected, too.
Having said that, in the course of a 60 game season, teams should be doing whatever they can to limit or even prevent these slumps from happening. Yet, here we are, with the New York Yankees beginning to stumble through their first 16 games of the season, taking two out of four from the Philadelphia Phillies and dropping three out of four from the Tampa Bay Rays.
They Were Riding so High…
On Monday, the New York Yankees were 8-1 and in the midst of a seven-game winning streak. They swept the Baltimore Orioles in a brief two-game series and then out-did themselves against the Boston Red Sox, winning the first two games handily and coming from behind in the finale on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN.
Aaron Judge was and still is on an absolute tear, hitting .283 with eight homers and 19 RBI through 65 plate appearances. His on-base percentage is only .328, but his slugging percentage is a whopping .717, putting him at a 1.045 OPS.
…But They’re Beginning to Fall so Far
Since the seven-game winning streak, the Yankees have hit a speedbump, as they’re 2-5 since Tuesday. Now, let me be clear. A 2-5 stretch isn’t nearly as bad as I’m making it out to be, and I understand that. With a nice two-game win streak, the Yankees will be back on track and fans will begin to forget about this mini-slide. But not only are they 2-5, but the Yankees have dropped winnable games during this stretch, which, in a 60-game season, is far from ideal.
On Friday night in Tampa, the offense was non-existent, as the Bombers got two-hit and shutout in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Rays. Sunday afternoon, the Yankees seemed to be poised to split the four-game set, but in the blink of an eye, a near win turned into a heartbreaking loss. A lack of offense against the immortal Trevor Richards caused issues while James Paxton, who was dominant for 6.1 innings, got absolutely crushed by Michael Brosseau and Brandon Lowe. Fast-forward to the bottom of the ninth, where Michael Perez came through with a walk-off single against Zack Britton to win the game and end the Yankees’ miserable road trip.
What’s Next for The Yankees?
If you’re trying to find a positive (trust me, I am), the starting pitching this weekend really wasn’t bad at all. Tanaka threw five scoreless innings on Friday, Gerrit Cole, although his day ended on a sour note Saturday, struck out 10, and Paxton was dominant for 6.1 innings before the longball ruined his outing.
Now, The Bombers will have the opportunity to take advantage of a tired Atlanta Braves team at the Stadium, who played four games from Saturday through Monday. After that, the Yanks will host the Red Sox again, playing a four-game set that starts Friday and ends Monday.
There’s no doubt things aren’t great right now, but the Yankees still have plenty of time to right the ship and get back on track before things get too out of hand.