Home News Amid familiar skid, Aaron Boone reminds Yankees ‘It’s all right there in...

Amid familiar skid, Aaron Boone reminds Yankees ‘It’s all right there in front of us’

With a 3-0 loss to the Red Sox on Sunday night, the Yankees lost for the 16th time in their last 22 games.

While Luis Gil’s return to dominance offered a silver lining during dark times, the Yankees’ offense hardly made Kutter Crawford sweat. The Boston righty needed just 68 pitches over seven scoreless innings while two home runs from Yankee killer Rafael Devers and one from Ceddanne Rafaela dropped the pinstripers to 55-37 on the season.

The Yankees, off on Monday, have now failed to win seven straight series.

“It feels terrible,” Aaron Boone said of a skid that has seen his team transform from one of baseball’s best to one of its worst. “You gotta be a little sick to be in this game, though, and you gotta be able to weather it. You’d like your stretch to where it’s a bump in the road to not be this kind of stretch. You’d like to weather it a little bit better, which we need to do, obviously.”

Then the manager brought back a phrase that he’s used throughout his tenure with the Yankees.

“It’s all right there in front of us,” Boone insisted.

He said the same thing when he pounded a table in 2022 and when the Yankees made it clear they weren’t a playoff contender in 2023.

Boone’s use of familiar language coincides with the Yankees playing familiar baseball.

While the team is in second place after opening the year with a 49-21 record, this 6-16 stretch is reminiscent of the previous two seasons, as the YES Network’s Seth Rothman pointed out.

In 2022, the Yankees looked like a juggernaut, starting off 61-23 before ending the year 38-40. That team went 13-13 in July before going 10-18 in August. Those Yankees finished strong and in first place, going 17-8 in September before getting swept by the Astros in the American League Championship Series.

In 2023, the Yankees weren’t quite as good early on, but a 36-25 start had them in striking distance. The club then went 46-55 and missed the playoffs after recording losing months in June, July and August.

Granted, the Yankees endured a large number of injuries in each of those seasons; Aaron Judge’s torn toe ligament essentially ended the team’s 2023 campaign two Junes ago.

This year, the Yankees are dealing with some injuries again, with Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo and Clarke Schmidt among the notable current absences after the team’s rotation managed just fine before Gerrit Cole’s return.

But good teams find ways to overcome injuries and adversity in timelier manners than the Yankees have in each of the last three seasons. Why, year after year, does it take so long for the Bombers to snap out of these funks?

Lately, the scuffling has been aided by careless play. Such was the case in Friday’s 10-inning loss to the Sox, as the Yankees made two errors in the field while Anthony Volpe and DJ LeMahieu lacked hustle and fundamentals on the basepaths.

“We gotta play better than that, no question,” Boone said after that game. “We certainly understand that and invest a lot in that. We have to play clean baseball, especially when it’s hard and things are hard to come by. So we gotta be better, period.”

The Yankees did get better on Saturday, scoring 14 runs thanks in large part to Ben Rice’s historic day. The rookie, one of the Yankees’ few consistent hitters since his debut, belted three home runs.

Afterward, Rice expressed confidence that the afternoon, full of great at-bats, “was a step in the right direction for us.”

Then the Yankees looked lifeless against Crawford in Sunday’s series finale.

“It’s tough,” said Juan Soto, who is experiencing a Yankees summer swoon for the first time. “But everybody’s aware of what we’re going through. But I think the energy is still up. We’re still believing. We’re still grinding every day. We come in with the same energy. I think that’s really positive.”

As bad as things have been lately, there’s currently no reason to believe this team can’t make the playoffs, though aspirations are higher than that. Upgrades should be coming with the trade deadline approaching, and there’s still a whole second half of a season to play.

There is still a lot of time left to make sure 2024 doesn’t end up like 2023 or 2022.

Before the Yankees wrap up the first half, they’ll take on two more division rivals in Tampa and Baltimore. Boone is hoping those series can get his team back on track, though the first-place Orioles have had their number all season.

“We’ve got a tough road trip coming,” Boone acknowledged. “This is not the time to feel sorry for yourself. It’s time to try and get guys going, get guys moving and hopefully head into the All-Star break on a good note.”


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