Toronto finale’s dark clouds offset by Yankees’ silver linings

Aaron Judge is in he Yankees dugout during a game in Toronto on Sept. 28, 2023.

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Despite ending their series 2-1 against the Blue Jays and suffering a last-game shutdown, the New York Yankees have managed to find some bright spots down the homestretch of this on-road campaign. With one victory in their final series against Kansas City, the Bombers will prevent an ignominious losing record, the franchise’s first since 1992. Late last month, a sub-.500 finish appeared probable with the club languishing six games below the break-even point.

Securing a win in these last three games would also stretch the Yankees’ run of winning seasons to 31 consecutive years. Salvaging positives from a profoundly disappointing season won’t satisfy the championship aspirations of Yankees fans. But averting historic failure and extending impressive streaks provides minor solace during a devastating dud of a year in the Bronx.

Manager Aaron Boone mentioned before Thursday night’s 6-0 loss to the Blue Jays that it was better than the other alternative.

Boone then promptly followed up with an important additional comment. The statement revolved around the desire to participate in October baseball. He emphasized that regardless of whether one was in the playoffs, out of the playoffs, or engaged in a competitive race, there existed a certain standard expectation from a major league athlete — delivering a high level of performance.

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AP Photo

Following their acknowledgment of defeat, the Yankees, who currently hold an 81-78 record, have experienced a pattern of underwhelming performances for about a month, often relying on a lineup filled with rookie players. Thursday’s lackluster offensive display was reminiscent of numerous losses witnessed throughout the season. Nevertheless, the Yankees did manage to secure two out of three victories against a Blue Jays team vigorously battling for a playoff spot. This victory pushed the Yankees to a record of 19-10 in their last 29 games.

Yankees’ satisfaction comes from individual shows

Boone also expressed his satisfaction with the way the players have been performing. He acknowledged that the season hadn’t unfolded as they had hoped, with their current position being out of contention for the past few days. Despite this, the Yankees manager commended the players for their high level of professionalism and unwavering focus.

Yankees ace pitcher Gerrit Cole pitched a complete shutout game in Toronto on Sept. 27, 2023.
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He stressed the significance of maintaining such an attitude, emphasizing that it was a key point they had emphasized to the team.

Boone acknowledges that the Yankees’ top hitter and pitcher have set an example for the young players on how to approach the remainder of a season that is no longer competitive. Gerrit Cole secured the AL Cy Young by compiling a perfect 5-0 record with a remarkable 1.03 ERA in five starts during September, while Aaron Judge showcased his prowess with eight home runs and 19 RBIs in 23 games this month.

However, the Yankees skipper admired Gerrit Cole for his Cy Young-caliber performance and Aaron Judge’s big show despite having a truncated season. He expressed his satisfaction with how they have consistently performed, even with a lot at stake. This perspective is how they’re approaching the situation.

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AP Photo

Boone added that this approach provides some positivity as they near the end of the season and prepare for the offseason, considering the season has been disappointing. He expressed pride in the way the players have maintained their competitive spirit and resilience, emphasizing the importance of this example they have set.

As the Blue Jays (88-71) moved closer to securing an AL wild card spot, the Yankees (81-78) traveled to Kansas City with the need to win just one of their last three games to maintain their impressive streak of 31 consecutive winning seasons.

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