Who's the worst team in the National League? That would be the Colorado Rockies. Who needed to beat the worst team in the NL in order to keep pace in the tight AL playoff race and make a convincing argument to buy at the trade deadline? That would be the New York Yankees.
But on Sunday in the series finale of a rubber match, they didn't score until the sixth inning. They let Chase Anderson blank them over five innings of work. Two nights ago it was Austin Gomber allowing two runs over six innings in a win for Colorado. Even Saturday's win for New York wasn't enjoyable. They scored six runs in the first two innings, failed to score again, and left the door open for the Rockies to do damage.
On Sunday, they fought back, though. They went down 5-3 in the eighth after Clay Holmes allowed a grand slam (thanks to Tommy Kahnle's poor showing) and then scored two in the top of the ninth to tie it up.
But you know what they didn't do? Score in the top of the 10th with the ghost runner on second. Because they never do! They did, however, manage to escape disaster in the bottom half and plate two runs in the top of the 11th with RBI singles from Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza.
Little did the fans know, there was one more bullpen meltdown in the cards. Aaron Boone called on Nick Ramirez and Ron Marinaccio to seal the team's fate in what ended up being an 8-7 loss. And a series loss to the worst team in the NL. After getting ample rest during the All-Star break.
Yankees' embarrassing loss to Rockies has them playing dangerous trade deadline game
Who's to blame? The relievers? Boone, for going to Marinaccio for one batter when he didn't really need to in the 11th (while Marinaccio has been terrible over his last seven games)? Peraza, for getting doubled up in the top of the ninth with a bizarre baserunning decision when the Yankees could've had another chance to break the tie? Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo going 0-for-8? Stanton Rizzo, Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position?
There's no right answer. As we've been accustomed to in 2023, it's everybody's fault. The right guys can't step up at the right time. Boone can't press the right buttons when he needs to. A middle infielder with a .562 OPS and zero home runs on the year burns New York on a walk-off dinger.
Every win counts with Aaron Judge out. The Yankees are 50-44 and barely have two weeks to determine their trade deadline plans. With each embarrassing, gutless loss piling up, the closer the front office may have to realize that this team just isn't the right collection of players. Sure, the foundation is there, but too many of the supporting acts are liabilities on any given night.
There's no analysis to be conducted. Each loss is a new, crescendoing pathetic rendition of the last. As they get louder, the front office won't be able to avoid the reality. There's perhaps a reason it's all transpiring like this. Changes need to be made at a much greater magnitude. If all of this was happening quietly, nobody would bat an eye. Instead, your Twitter timeline is showing a horrific Yankees' meltdown against one of the worst teams in baseball -- something that shouldn't be based on what they're trying to accomplish.
They're dangerously toeing the line between trade deadline re-toolers and sellers. At this point, it feels like some sort of re-tool is a must. But now there's no reason to think outright gutting a decent portion of this roster isn't possibly on the table. You can't lose the opening series out of the break against the Rockies when there's a somewhat favorable stretch against the Angels, Royals and Mets on deck.
This team already failed against the first soft spot in their schedule. The second one is off to almost the worst possible start. If this team looks drastically different on Aug. 1, you shouldn't be wondering why.