A tight slap for Aaron Boone the day after his Yankees playoff bragging

Yankees manager Aaron Boone at a press meet on July 18, 2023 after 5-1 loss to the Angels.

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Within hours of boastfully claiming that he was ‘absolutely confident” of making it to the playoffs, Aaron Boone presided over another worst loss in the Yankees’ history. They continue to be 2.5 games behind the third wild-card spot and find themselves in fifth place in the American League East. This is the latest point in the season that they have been in last place since 1990.

Despite the Yankees manager professing a positive outlook, believing they can still make the playoffs and succeed once they get there, the current situation appears grim. On Monday, the team suffered a devastating loss by blowing a late-inning lead to Shohei Ohtani and the Angels, marking their seventh defeat in the last nine games. On Tuesday, their offense turned punchless, the pitching was woeful, and the morale in the clubroom was at its lowest ebb.

Anthony Rizzo stated that it is difficult to be happy when “getting your teeth kicked in” in an apparent reference to the downcast mood among the Yankees players.

Boone bragged about the playoffs despite poor play

In his recent appearance on the “Talkin’ Yanks” podcast, Aaron Boone had told that despite the challenges, the team is still focused on reaching the ultimate goal of making the playoffs. He has faith in the players in the clubhouse to accomplish this.

The Yankees manager stated that he was “absolutely confident,” particularly during a stretch where the team faced challenges for about a month. Aaron Boone, however, acknowledged that they hadn’t consistently scored many runs and experienced three losses, including one against the Cubs, where they had leads late in the game but couldn’t hold on, despite having a strong bullpen.

“Absolutely confident, and especially in a stretch where you’ve had a month where it hasn’t been great,” Aaron Boone told. “We haven’t consistently put a lot of runs on the board, and then in the midst of that you have three losses going back to the final one of the Cubs series where you’ve got leads late and you lose them, especially with how good our bullpen’s been.”

The Yankees manager also commented on the difficulty of dealing with such moments but emphasized the need to keep moving forward. Aaron Boone pointed out that they had players returning from injuries, and with Carlos Rodon back and Luis Severino performing well in his recent outing, along with Oswald Peraza showing promise in his first full game, they would have the opportunity to unlock the potential of a few other players and step up.

AP Photo

Before the season started, Yankee fans weren’t hoping for a Wild Card spot, but with a 9.0-game deficit in the division and four teams ahead of them, it might be their only chance to make it to the playoffs. Aaron Boone expressed confidence that the Yankees could improve their performance and make a strong push for the playoffs. He pointed to other successful teams as reasons for his optimism.

However, he emphasized the importance of context, pointing out that they are not significantly behind in the standings. Aaron Boone put the need to climb in the rankings and play solid baseball in the next couple of months to have a chance at making the playoffs.

The Yankees manager claimed that the challenge ahead is not overwhelming and that if they perform well, they can reach their desired destination. Boone referred to other teams that were in worse situations but managed to go on successful runs. He acknowledged that the Yankees haven’t positioned themselves for that yet, but they are aware of the opportunity to turn things around and compete.

The Yankees have 11 games remaining in July. If they want to improve their performance and finish the month with more wins than losses, they’ll need to make a quick change in their game.

As Aaron Judge gets closer to returning from his toe injury, Aaron Boone thinks that the opportunity is within their reach. He emphasized the need for more players to return but urged the team not to let outside opinions deter them from their competitive battle.

But the reality returns to bite Aaron Boone

The Yankees, who are at 50-46, entered Tuesday after suffering back-to-back extra-inning games. Again, they were dominated for nine innings, resulting in their eighth loss in the last 10 games.

The Yankees have fallen to a point where they are now a last-place team, struggling even against other weaker clubs. Their downward spiral, indicating a possible absence from the playoffs, continued on Tuesday night. Once again, the Yankees struggled to score runs and faced a heavy defeat of 5-1 against the Angels.

Jul 7, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) in the dugout before the start of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Yankee Stadium.
Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports

In Tuesday’s game, the Yankees only got two hits throughout the entire night: a solo home run by Gleyber Torres and a single by Anthony Volpe. Additionally, they struck out nine times, making it a total of 28 strikeouts over the first two games of the series, covering 18 innings.

Before the Yankees came to Southern California, the Angels were struggling with 11 losses in their last 13 games, and to make matters worse, Mike Trout was on the injured list during this difficult period. Now, the Angels are happy to have the prospect of sweeping the Yankees on Wednesday after two nights. The Angels have returned to a .500 record and are still in contention for a wild-card spot.

Last weekend’s series against the Rockies at Coors Field, where they lost two out of three games, was just as bad, if not worse.

The Yankees' manager Aaron Boone and their general manager, Brian Cashman.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post.

Lately, the Yankees’ lineup has been struggling to make opposing starting pitchers look unhittable, and they haven’t been able to create much magic on the field. The Yankees have faced a tough challenge in Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval during this road trip, and it has proven to be a recipe for disaster for Aaron Boone’s club.

The Yankees struggled to make contact with Sandoval and the Angels bullpen, managing only two hits throughout the night, leading to another disappointing offensive performance that resulted in a 5-1 loss on Tuesday at Angel Stadium.

Boone stated that in the face of a 5-1 rout, one should not give up and walk away. Instead, it’s crucial to stay determined, put in the effort, and compete with great intensity.

The Yankees typically field a 26-man roster, but recently, many positions have gone to veteran or journeyman players who are accustomed to traveling to spring training every year. Since June 4, Judge’s absence from the lineup has affected the team’s offensive performance. During the past month, the Yankees managed to survive by relying on their strong bullpen, which secured victories in winnable games.

But due to excessive use and possibly a decline in performance—it seems that Ian Hamilton, Tommy Kahnle, and Nick Ramirez aren’t as effective as initially thought—the bullpen, which was once the best in the league, has struggled over the past nine games. As a result, the Yankees have a 2-7 record during that period, making it one of their toughest stretches this season.

Over the past year, the Yankees haven’t performed consistently well. In the nine games after July 4, their ground-ball rate was 41.8 percent, and the results were not encouraging: they had the second-worst ERA (7.91), allowed eight home runs, and had a slugging percentage of.556. Additionally, their walk rate was 12.9 percent, and they struck out 16.6 percent of the time.

Aaron Boone’s decisions are working against him. Despite his claims of a possible turnaround, his mistakes are clear and impact the team’s performance.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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3 thoughts on “A tight slap for Aaron Boone the day after his Yankees playoff bragging

  1. There’s no one in that locker room to throw a water cooler or a folding chair against the wall? That should be Judge’s job, but he’s too nice to do something like that. To this point there’s been no report of anything like that happening in the Yankees’ locker room. Why? Everyone is sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. Get mad! The “Boss” would be separating heads from bodies right now, but Hal sits in Tampa counting his money. No one is being held accountable.

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