So what exactly is the deal with these 2019 Yankees?
They can’t beat any bad teams besides the Red Sox?
In the wake of tremendous April drama, Yankee Stadium turned quieter than a Bill de Blasio presidential rally Thursday night, as the Yankees made Royals retread Homer Bailey look like his considerably younger self in a dull, 6-1 loss.
“Tonight we just got shut down,” Aaron Boone said afterward. “So it’s frustrating any time that happens.”
Look, let’s not turn this pinstriped roller coaster into a daily referendum, having just reached the 11.1 percent mark of the season. Baseball runs far too long for such emotional or analytical theatrics. However, the Yankees (8-10), who missed their opportunity to get back to .500, will have no one to blame but themselves if they can’t wake up, their massive injured list notwithstanding, and pull themselves into bona fide contention.
Because the bulk of their competition is truly terrible, and the Yankees now hold a combined 6-6 record against the lousy Orioles (4-2), Tigers (1-2), White Sox (1-2) and Royals (0-1).
If you matched up the Yankees’ and Royals’ lineups on this night and held a playground-style draft, your starting nine would feature more Yankees even though over half of their regulars reside on the IL. The Royals (7-12) posted a 58-104 record last year and don’t appear to be much better this season.
Nevertheless, the Yankees, coming off their inspiring two-game sweep of the struggling Sawx, managed only four hits — all singles. It was the first time since last Aug. 5 they didn’t tally at least one extra-base hit, with Bailey fanning six and walking one over six innings of work. The Yankees did barrel a few balls, Boone noted, only to see too many travel directly to fielders. There needed to be more barrels, Boone agreed.
And the back of their bullpen, the unit that had found itself in the last week, turned a close, 3-1 contest — courtesy of Domingo German’s solid six innings of work — into the final gap, with Jonathan Holder (two runs in one-third of an inning) the primary culprit.
It added up to a whole bunch of blah at a time when the Yankees own a golden opportunity to stomp on the American League’s seemingly endless list of weaklings (and a couple from the National League, too) and get only stronger as at least some shelved guys return.
“It’s our job to win every day, no matter what other teams are doing to win,” Brett Gardner said before the game. “If we do what we’re supposed to do, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, or where we’re at. Obviously some guys are going to be out longer than others, but we’ve got depth to weather a storm like that. We’ll be good.”