Something is rotten in the Bronx, and the New York Yankees are having a problem finding out how to fix it.
For a third-straight weekend series, the Yankees were swept — the latest coming on Sunday when the Philadelphia Phillies ran them out of Citizens Bank Park in a 7-0 win to take the two-game set.
The loss drops the Yankees to 33-32 — their slowest start through 55 games since the 2008 season, which just so happened to be the first year of former manager Joe Girardi. The same Joe Girardi who led his Phillies to two straight wins over his successor in pinstripes, Aaron Boone.
With roughly one-third of the season having already been played, the Yankees are 8.5 games out of first-place in the American League East. It’s their largest deficit since September of 2018.
Since May 25, the Yankees have lost 13 of their last 18 games — which has tempers starting to flare as Boone was asked if his team has become complacent or used to losing.
“I know them too well and I don’t think there’s any getting used to freakin’ losing. Hell no,” Boone said. “Get the hell out of here with that.”
The question is an understandable one, however. This is a Yankees team that was expected to roll through the American League East and make a serious challenge for the pennant and a 28th World Series crown.
But an offense that features an embarrassment of riches has yet to hit its stride. In fact, it’s one of the worst units in baseball, ranking 26th with 3.88 runs scored per game.
“We’re going to find out what character we’re made of. We’re clearly in the midst of incredibly tough times,” Boone said. “We’ve faced it throughout this season. And we’re going to find out what we’re made of and if we’re the team we think we are.”
Next up for the Yankees is a series in upstate New York against the Toronto Blue Jays, who have the third-most potent offense in the majors and the league’s home run leader in Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
“It gets no easier as we have to go to Buffalo and play an outstanding offensive club in Toronto [on Tuesday],” Boone said. “And we need to step it up. Period.”
The Blue Jays sit in third in the AL East, one game ahead of the struggling Yankees — making this series a vital one for at least turning things around for a team that is the largest disappointment in Major League Baseball.
“It starts with me in setting the tone, in setting the culture here that’s hopefully putting everyone in a good position to go out and perform at their highest level,” Boone said. “We clearly have not done well enough at this point.”