The New York Yankees just dropped their 11th game out of the last 19 to the Toronto Blue Jays, failing to seize a chance to get a little closer to securing home-field advantage for the wild-card game. The loss can be squarely placed on the bullpen and the job done at the plate, as the Yankees failed to do much at the dish after the first couple innings, and Dellin Betances blew an eighth-inning lead. As NJ Advance Media pointed out, this is when the Yankees should be hitting stride to make a playoff run, not “reeking.”
The general tone around the clubhouse is one in which there is no panic or sense of urgency to right the ship immediately. While it is important for anyone taking the field to have confidence, plenty of which was on display during post-game interviews, The New York Post reported that one might at least expect the team manager, Aaron Boone, to talk in terms that displayed he understood how close his team is to blowing home-field advantage. For a team with no clear starter for the one-game playoff, and not even a solid idea who will be in the field that day, Boone has been what is reported as being surprisingly positive by NJ Advance Media.
“First of all, it’s never too late and we’re not even close to too late. We’ve got to play better. Clearly we’re not playing our best right now, but the history of this game is littered with stories of teams that went into the playoffs in different scenarios… limping, playing great… We’re chasing utopia.”
Aaron Boone’s “energy” is rubbing off in the clubhouse and not in a good way. When Greg Bird said he’s “glad to be here” and David Robertson says “we’ve got plenty of time” that shows there’s no fire on this team. This isn’t what I want to see from the #Yankees. I’m disappointed. https://t.co/zFLX7Q6JVK— Delia Enriquez (@dfiregirl4) September 13, 2018
Boone does have some things to be positive about. For now, the Yankees hold a slim lead in the wild-card. Closer Aroldis Chapman is due off the DL this week. Aaron Judge just came off the DL, although he isn’t hitting in games yet. Luke Voit has solved the problem at first base, at least for now.
Beat writer Corey Sipkin of The New York Post hasn’t been as upbeat about what he is seeing on the field from the Yankees this month, and neither have a number of fans on Twitter that have been blasting the Yankee skipper for many of his tactical choices and lack of emotion after losses.
“Think of the Yankees’ current tumble as the Tiffany version of a dumpster fire. Wherein, if this thing can’t be extinguished, the perfectly groomed store manager will try on a pair of gold-encrusted goat’s horns.”
The Yankees have a day off and then return to play on Tuesday against the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox, the first team in baseball to clinch a playoff spot. They can clinch the division in the Bronx, while the Yankees still need six games to clinch a wild-card berth and 12 to clinch home-field advantage, with only 13 games remaining.