With Gerrit Cole toeing the rubber, the Yankees had a tremendous opportunity to win their four-game series (and third straight game) against the Rays on Thursday.
A victory would’ve had New York on a real high entering their weekend series against the overachieving Red Sox. However, Cole’s worst start of the year coupled with another lifeless showing from the offense spoiled those hopes and resulted in a 9-2 defeat.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, that loss seemingly spilled over into Friday’s series-opener against Boston, because their performance was largely unwatchable.
A hot start would’ve done wonders for the Yankees’ confidence, but Rafael Devers sized up a Michael King fastball and sent it into the second deck in right field to give the Red Sox a three-run advantage before Nathan Eovaldi even threw a pitch.
It was simply the same old story for the Yankees on Friday night: a well-pitched game (for the most part) that was undermined by a few costly mistakes and a failure to come through with runners in scoring position on countless maddening occasions.
The Yankees fell on their face against the Red Sox on Friday night.
You know what’s really sad? The Yankees had 18,040 fans in attendance (a sellout and season-high) and they, outside of a sixth inning rally in which Aaron Judge homered to right and Gio Urshela scored on a throwing error, gave them zero reason to get out of their seats.
Actually we take that back. In the top half of the fourth, King, who fell to 0-3 for the season, pulled a literal rabbit out of his hat when he twirled an immaculate inning, meaning he fanned all three batters using the minimum number of pitches possible (nine).
You’d think that’d be enough to spark a comeback, but the Yankees’ offensive output halted after their two-run sixth. While eight hits would normally be enough to propel New York to a win on a night where they were mashing home runs left and right, this loss further proved that racking up singles (seven of their eight hits were singles) doesn’t equate to winning with this team.
Was Devers’ three-run laser deflating? No doubt, but only because the Yankees’ offense is in shambles right now and a three-run deficit feels like a five- or six-run deficit. That simply wasn’t the case in year’s past, including when they were ravaged by injuries.
There’s no reason to continue slamming this club any further. Regardless of what we write, what Aaron Boone says in the locker room postgame or what the players say about their collective hitting approach, nothing we’ve seen suggests that a change is imminent.
If that isn’t enough reason to be embarrassed, good luck finding something that is.