AL East lead shrinks to 5 games after Yankees’ embarrassing defeat in Tampa

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The New York Yankees’ AL East lead, which had been as high as ten games at one point, has been cut to five after Friday’s loss at Tropicana Field.

After ending the month of August with a winning streak of five games, the Yankees have now dropped five of their last six games after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 9-0 on Friday night. This has an effect on their lead in the American League East and it is tottering now.

On Friday night, New York only managed five hits and none of their runners could advance past second base. Domingo German pitched 6.2 innings and allowed two earned runs, but the Yankees couldn’t score and the bullpen gave up six runs in the eighth to put the game away for Tampa Bay.

After their AL East lead was cut down to just five, the Tampa Bay Rays have their sights set on winning the title this year. However, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge refuses to accept the loss as the end of New York’s dominance and expects his team to bounce back from this humiliation. 

“I don’t pay attention to it. That’s the worst thing you can do in anything is press or feel pressure,” responded the Yankees’ MVP contender slugger Aaron Judge to his team losing the AL East lead. He told, “We’re playing a kid’s game. This is a game we love, and we’ve got to go out there with enthusiasm every single night and not really worry about the standings.”

“Because if we show up and do what we do — have good at-bats, command the stuff we need to on the mound — we’re going to look up at the end of the year and be where we want to be in the standings. We can’t sit here and try to press. I don’t think anybody in this room is trying to press or look at that kind of stuff. We’ve got plenty on our plate.”

But manager Aaron Boone looked under mounting pressure after the Rays shut out the Yankees. 

“That’s an embarrassing loss,” Boone told the New York Post in his post-game meet. He admitted, “Hopefully, it’s one of those rock-bottom things where you should be pissed off and embarrassed.”

As of right now, the Yankees have a record of 15-25 since the All-Star break, and they have been held scoreless six times in the second half of the season. But Boone found the Friday night loss as the most painful.

“It’s just embarrassing when you get beat like that, and you’re going through the struggles you are,” Boone reportedly told to ESPN. He went to add, “I’m in charge of this team. What we’re going through right now, I know better than anyone, there’s going to be hard moments and hard times. I do think the effort’s there, I think the care is there. But we’ve set a much better standard in that room that we’ve got to start living up to.”

On Saturday at 6:10 p.m. ET, the second game of a three-game series between the Yankees and the Rays will be played.

What do you think as a Yankee fan? Where do you think the team went wrong? How the team can return to its AL East lead? Leave a comment below.

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