On Sunday afternoon, the Yankees had a chance to win their first rubber match in months and take their first series since sweeping the Kansas City Royals at the end of July. Take the Royals out of the equation (most do), and you're looking at zero series wins since the Texas Rangers came to town at the end of June. That took a late miracle comeback to secure. Bleak.
Leading 4-2 with two outs and no one on in the sixth inning, the Yankees seemed prepared to buck the odds and actually cruise to a much-needed moral victory. Instead, Ian Hamilton loaded the bases before recording the third out, allowed a game-tying bloop that Gleyber Torres maybe should've caught, and watched Wandy Peralta surrender a lefty-on-lefty two-run double to Brandon Lowe to essentially end the game.
Two months ago, this would've made you irate. Now? So it goes.
Instead of being a satisfying victory, Sunday's game was instead another embarrassing loss and chance for the Yankees be cackled at on a national stage. Before the final out was recorded, they invited scorn upon themselves by drilling Randy Arozarena, who stole around the bases and cleared the benches twice. Nobody fought. What, you thought they were going to fight? Why would the Yankees start showing any fight now?
Following the game, Lowe dismissed the Yankees entirely, claiming that while New York's pitchers try their best to injure Tampa's batters, the Rays actually have meaningful games to win.
MLB Standings: Yankees are firmly in last place, aggrieved Brandon Lowe wasn't kidding!
Wondering if Hal Steinbrenner realizes why the fans are upset yet?
Imagine being the Yankees. You spend a half-decade trying to emulate the small-market Rays instead of flexing your financial muscle and winning your own way, and all you get is an embarrassing playoff loss that wrecks Deivi Garcia, a succession of seasons that take you further away from the goal, and a 2023 faceplant where the team you tried to rip off mocks you and ends your existence. Tough.
Lowe is, of course, right. The Rays have meaningful games on the docket, while the Yankees are playing glorified spring training in August. The Yankees have hit 12 Rays batters this season, while Tampa Bay has only struck two Bombers. Purposeful? Probably not. Representative of unhinged and uncontrolled pitching? Absolutely.
The Yankees should be embarrassed for numerous reasons, but first and foremost on Sunday, they should be infuriated that Lowe treated them like the gnat they currently are, buzzing around and playing "spoiler" mainly by injuring people rather than competing.