Just one week ago the New York Yankees were the #1 team in the MLB’s Power Rankings. They were riding a big six-game win streak against division rivals and were building a commanding lead in the AL East. After a 5-1 homestead, the Yanks packed their bags and headed to California with a ton of confidence and a hot hitting team. Their first stop was in Anaheim for a three-game series against the Angels, where the Yanks took game 1 and continued their success from home. Masahiro Tanaka also bounced back from a brutal previous start, which made Yankee fans feel a lot better. Game 2 is where the California wildfire began for the east coast bombers.
The Angels took game 2 in 11 innings, a brutal loss for the Yankees in a very winnable game. They then were never able to find a way to bounce back and continued to lose games. The streak is currently at six games, and the Yanks are coming off a four-game sweep of the Athletics, the American Leagues worst team before entering this series. A fun fact that isn’t so fun for the Yankees is that during the six-game losing streak, New York has lost by a total of 9 runs during that span. One run decided 4 of the six games.
In a way, that’s also a bright point. It shows that the Bombers never get blown out and were in every single game. However, it is also a dark point because they had many chances to win those games and either blew it or couldn’t hold on. Those games are the worst games to lose, especially when you’re a first place team.
There are many reasons for the Yanks west coast struggles, some bigger than others. They are also getting in their heads about this losing streak that it is having an effect on their play as well. Losing six straight isn’t the only bad news the Yankees got this week. Injuries just seem to come all at once and affect this team in a very negative way. CC Sabathia was placed on the DL with a strained hamstring, possibly missing 1-2 months. Adam Warren was also put on the DL with shoulder inflammation, expected to miss about 2-3 weeks. Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks both left Game 1 of the A’s series with injuries. Fortunately, Sanchez returned to the lineup on Fathers Day, so he seems to be okay. Hicks is still day to day but is hopefully going to return when they play next on Tuesday.
Another significant injury not on the Major League team, was Gleyber Torres, the Yankees #1 prospect. He slid into home plate and hurt his arm on the slide. He was placed on the seven-day DL and isn’t expected to miss more than two weeks. Greg Bird is also still battling his ankle injury and is seeing a specialist on Tuesday to figure out what the best plan of action is.
With all of these bad things happening to the Yankees, it just appears to keep getting worse. After scoring 8 or more runs in 5 straight games, the Yankees bats cooled off in Cali, and they couldn’t seem to get anything going offensively. The Yankees pitching was also sub-par, allowing many hits and runs during their time on the mound, both starters, and relievers.
That’s right, after all that, there still is something to keep your head up Yankees fans. Although it would’ve been so sweet to take advantage of 2 struggling teams to help build the lead in the division, the games are over now, and they can’t go back and fix it. It is in the past, and they just have to live with it and move on from it.
The first good news is that the Yankees have a day off on Monday to prepare for a six-game homestead. The other good news is the first team they’re playing is the Angels, a team the Yankees would LOVE to get revenge on, especially after this losing streak. Taking 2 out of 3 or even sweeping that series would help the Yankees to not only get back on track in baseball terms but also mentally. The second team to come to The Stadium are the Texas Rangers, a team who is also struggling. The Yankees do play especially well at home, so they need to use this home stand to bounce back and wins some ball games again.
Another set of good news is that every team goes through a losing streak. The season is 162 games and seven months long, there will be a time of struggles in that span. Some longer than others, but it happens even against teams that make your head want to explode. This streak is also lasting six games, the longest of such this year for the Yankees, which means it must come to an end soon.
The third set of good news is that Aroldis Chapman returned from the DL on Sunday and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th, looking like his old self. Now with Chapman back, the bullpen can feel less pressure and go back to their usual game plan. That, of course, includes staying healthy for the remainder of the season.
The Yankees currently sit 0.5 games up on the Red Sox, as their game is scheduled for Sunday night against the Astros. Tomorrow is a new day for the Bronx Bombers; it is a new day to get better, healthier and stronger. The time to bounce back is right around the corner so, Yankees fans, you will be able to exhale like the rest of us in the coming days. We’ll Start Spreading the News soon enough.