The Yankees suffered a 6-2 loss to the Tigers Sunday at Comerica Park in Detroit, completing a stunning three-game sweep. After a winless weekend, following the past week’s three-game series loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, New York (29-24) enters a pivotal homestand against two top AL East rivals.
As a seven-game homestand with the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays (34-20) and Boston Red Sox (32-20), a sense of urgency rises for the Yankees, who have seen the momentum from a six-game winning streak wiped away. Asked about the roster’s makeup and whether or not New York has the tools to turn things back around, manager Aaron Boone gave a passionate response.
“It’s absolutely good enough,” Boone said. “I mean, we had a bad weekend. As pissed off as I am — and as we should be, by the way we played — it’s a bad weekend, we need to turn the page. We have an important homestand coming up against some really good opponents. And yes, we’re absolutely good enough. And we need to figure it out and find a way to play cleaner baseball more consistently, because we’re about to go up against some really good teams.
“… As frustrated as I am, I’m not going to let a bad weekend cloud what I know this team’s capable of — and that’s a pretty good run that we were just on to get us back into things. And we need to clean some things up, address some things, certainly, with this series. But also know that not only do we expect more, but we’re capable of more.”
RF Aaron Judge shared Boone’s train of thought. Specifically, as a slumping lineup continues to struggle, Judge believes the time will come — sooner or later.
“Of course I do,” said Judge, who has a .301/.398/.563 slash line with 13 home runs and 29 RBI through 50 games on the 2021 season. “I’ve seen each guy at their best, at some point in their career. And at some point during the season, it’s going to come. But what we’ve been putting out there right now is not our best and it’s unacceptable. And that’s where we’ve just got to dig down deeper and make some changes, figure out.
“You just can’t keep coming to the plate trying to do the same thing, expecting different results. So I think it’s just about us collectively just doing our homework and coming out here. We’ve got some big series coming up, especially having the Rays and Red Sox come into town. That’s two big series for us in our division. So it’s just about us doing our homework, prepare, forget about this series, learn from it and get ready for the new one.”
Having lost five of their past six, the Yankees need a jolt in the lineup and the field entering a four-game set with Tampa Bay. They do so with RHP Jameson Taillon (1-3, 5.06 ERA) taking the mound and facing Rays LHP Rich Hill (3-2, 3.63 ERA) in a 1:05 p.m. start Monday.
“Man, it’s a lot of professional hitters on our lineup and, I mean, I don’t want to say anything wrong,” said SS Gleyber Torres. “I saw we missed many opportunities. With runners in scoring position, we lose opportunities to score and that is the way we can win games, when we score really well. So, I mean, it’s a tough weekend, man. It’s not really good baseball for us right now, but we’re back tomorrow at the house and it’s two close series for us. So just a positive face and look forward to win more series.”