The New York Yankees had a chance to win their first series in over a month and kick one of their division rivals back in the playoff race Sunday ... but what do you think they did instead? That's right, they blew a two-run lead, let a completely average hitter destroy them, and made themselves look like fools during two benches-clearing incidents.
The Yankees lost to the Rays in Sunday's rubber match by a score of 7-4. They made two errors (and two more in the two previous games). They logged six total hits over their last 18 innings of play. They lost to whoever Zack Littell is. It's an embarrassing team.
It'd be nice if they could just go down quietly, though. Each and every loss is spectacularly more embarrassing than the last.
Before the dust settled on the series loss, the Yankees and reliever Albert Abreu ticked off the Rays to the point of an on-field brawl because of the amount of batters they hit. Four Rays were plunked on Sunday and Tampa had enough.
Randy Arozarena was the last to get drilled and his frustration understandably boiled over. Then the benches cleared. What could've been a moment of pride and gumption for the Yankees quickly morphed into "more of the same," as reliever Tommy Kahnle tripped up the dugout steps when running out to the field to support his teammates while Harrison Bader sauntered in from center field when he saw all hell breaking loose.
Tommy Kahnle tripping while trying to fight Rays shows how broken Yankees are
Props to Kahnle for running out of the clubhouse like a bat out of hell to back his teammates. A for effort, F for execution. Frighteningly emblematic of how this team constantly trips over its own shoelaces, though.
Then you have Bader, who has gradually become disillusioned with whatever's poisioning the vibes in New York this season. He stared down Jake Bauers not too long ago for a miscommunication in the outfield. He did the same to Isiah Kiner-Falefa. He largely hasn't been present as a front-facing dugout energizer even though that's what made him a beloved Yankee last year.
Now, he seemingly couldn't be less concerned with a near-all-out brawl occurring that involves the rest of the roster.
Can you blame him, though? The Yankees had one opportunity with runners in scoring position over the final two games of this series. They went 0-for-1. Oswald Peraza couldn't handle an easy one-hop throw from Bader earlier in the game, which allowed Arozarena to steal second, third and home in the same play. It's brutal for us to watch. It has to be even less enjoyable to be on the field for it.
It's far too easy to brush off this team, as the Rays proved shortly after their win. Kahnle and Bader provided more ammo for that argument, too, but it shouldn't be this easy.