This is how the Yankees will go into the first meeting of the year against the Red Sox Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
In a downward spiral.
They are losers of two of three to the dreadful White Sox, with only 38-year-old CC Sabathia saving the Yankees from the embarrassment of being swept at home by one of the worst teams in baseball.
Their starting pitcher Tuesday night will be James Paxton, who admitted Sunday that he is trying to find his way mentally and physically after being traded from laid-back Seattle to the pressure cooker that is New York and also has to overcome tipping his pitches.
The other Yankees starter for that series, J.A. Happ, has lost command and velocity, and is carrying an 8.76 ERA.
The team that knocked the Yankees out of the postseason last October, winning the ALDS in four games, is facing its own problems, especially on the mound, where Red Sox starters post the worst ERA in baseball at 7.34.
The Yankees and Red Sox usually bring out the best in each other. It’s time.
We’ve seen nothing but the worst in the early going of the 2019 season, and Sunday was another example of Yankees’ ineptitude.
Masahiro Tanaka could not get an out in the fifth inning, becoming the third Yankees starter over the past four games not to make it past four innings as the Yankees were beaten 5-2 by the White Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Those kind of starting performances are not going to win you many games. Combine that with a lineup that went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and you have a complete meltdown as the Yankees dropped to 6-9.
Tanaka was abysmal, and it would have been worse if the White Sox had done some simple maneuvers like sliding into second base on a steal attempt, and not stopping, or running hard out of the box, but hey, that’s too much to ask these days.
Just about the time Tiger Woods was capping off his Masters-ful comeback, Tim Anderson was depositing a poorly thrown Tanaka splitter into the right-field seats for the first grand slam of his career in the fourth inning.
This performance typified how misguided Aaron Boone was with his comments in Houston on back-to-back nights that his Yankees “are really close to turning the corner.’’
Boone is a positive force, but at this point it’s pretty much a see-no-evil world.
“I really do think we are in a sound place as far as our focus, our energy, our expectations when we walk through those doors,’’ Boone said after this latest loss. “We are dealing with adversity right now, which is part of the big-league season. You got to navigate that, you got to grind through the tough times, but as far as where we are in our mindset and our intent and our focus, I think we’re fine. Hopefully we can get it starting to roll when we come here on Tuesday.’’
Break out the S’mores.
If the 6-9 Yankees don’t take care of business against the 6-10 Red Sox, forget about turning the corner, they will be going off the cliff. A litany of bad teams have beaten the Yankees.
Luke Voit called for the Yankees to pick it up after this latest horror show. Yes, the Yankees are dealing with massive injury issues and the bottom of their order is soft, but there are no excuses in baseball.
“It’s frustrating to lose two out of three to a team we should probably beat,’’ Voit said. “We’re just not getting the job done. We need guys to step up and that includes myself.”
The last time the Red Sox were here, they crushed the Yankees 16-1 in Game 3 and won Game 4, 4-3, the first step of their world championship run. It was a disappointing end to the Yankees’ season, and now 2019 has started with injuries and losses to bad teams.
It starts on the mound. Yankees starters are not giving the team reason to believe after a rough start for the bullpen. This pattern of poor play must be reversed.
Source: Read Full Article