The Yankees were clinging to life as division hopefuls even before they went to Boston for the crucial four-game series. But now? After a four-game sweep, during which they lost in a zillion different excruciating ways, those hopes were flushed down the drain. It’s sad, because they began the season so powerfully and were so entertaining to watch. Now? They’ll be lucky if they can secure a Wild Card spot.
Would Judge have made a difference? Can one guy decide the fortunes of an entire team? Certainly, losing him was a blow, but honestly? The team was vulnerable on many levels. Sonny Gray was a problem. CC ran out of gas, as he often does at this time of the season. Severino slumped. Tanaka stepped up, but then J.A. Happ came down with hoof and mouth – I mean, hand, foot and mouth – disease, for God’s sake.
And then there was the defense. The Yankees have been playing sloppy, sloppy baseball. Chalk it up to young kids still learning the fundamentals at the big-league level or assign blame to the coaching staff for not being tough enough in pre-game drills. It doesn’t matter at this point.
The offense? It died in Boston. Just disappeared. Yes, Judge wasn’t in the lineup, but where were the others? AWOL.
And finally, there’s Aaron Boone in his rookie season as a manager. Would someone more seasoned have rallied this team, cracked the whip, fired them up to play better? His post-game comments never inspired much confidence in me. But then I wasn’t a fan of Cashman picking him in the first place.
So here we are. Does this team have anything left? Can they go on a tear and reel off a bunch of wins as teams do when they’re on a hot streak? Or are they done? The next month will tell us everything, but one thing we already know: the Red Sox outplayed and out-classed the Yankees in every way possible this weekend. And it pains me to say it.