Yankees look to show web page on depressing August, however face powerful problem in opposition to pesky Rays


ANAHEIM — The final time the Yankees have been at Tropicana Field, a Rays government was watching them take batting apply and shook his head. The Bombers have been 33 video games over .500 and held a commanding 12-game lead. The Rays, coping with accidents, have been simply attempting to carry on and get into the postseason.

“It’s not about catching them,” the chief stated. “I’m not sure anyone can catch them at this part. We’ll just try and get into the playoffs and get a shot at them then.”

That looks as if a lifetime ago for the Yankees, who head into the Trop on Friday reeling from an August that’s their worst month in many years. They went 10-18 within the 28 video games and have fallen from their excessive of 15.5 video games up within the American League East on July 8 to holding only a six-game lead on the Rays, who climbed from third place within the division to being on the Yankees heels with a 14-4 run.

August was the Yankees worst single month since 1991. You will discover there aren’t any 1991 banners round Yankee Stadium. That group completed 71-91 and their supervisor Stump Merrill was fired on the finish of the yr. This yr’s model of the Yankees is clearly is in a distinct spot. They had constructed up a cushion going 59-23 within the first half of the season.

But right here they’re heading into September having to combat off groups within the hardest division in baseball.

“It is what it is,” shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa stated after a devastating 3-2 loss to the Angels on Wednesday night time. “I think it all comes down to how we answer. If we can go in there and answer to [the Rays] … At this point we just have to play better and flip the page. Hopefully this next month we can take momentum into the postseason and hold onto the lead.”

The Yankees don’t precisely have a comfortable touchdown in September although.

They have six out of their subsequent 10 in opposition to the Rays, together with three at Tropicana Field and three within the Bronx. They have the Twins, who’ve all the time been a pleasant foe late within the yr, however who’re battling for his or her division. The Red Sox could also be a protected 16-games again, however they all the time stand up for an opportunity to spoil the Bombers plans and so they have 5 extra possibilities to take action this season. They do have two in opposition to the Pirates, which ought to be a group the Yankees can depend on to provide them some padding, however Pittsburgh cut up with them final month at PNC Park. They have three extra with the Blue Jays, who’ve fallen two video games again of the Rays, however are battling for a postseason spot with the abruptly critical Orioles. The Yankees have three in opposition to Baltimore, too. The Orioles are simply two video games again of a wild card spot and taking part in effectively.

And the Yankees know the Rays, who’re 8-2 of their final 10 video games, will not be going to be a simple out for them this weekend.

“If history tells us anything, it’s probably some tight ballgames, a lot of different pitchers we’ll have to see from the other side, quality at-bats from their lineup,” Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole stated. “[The Rays] play a really clean brand of baseball, so we’ll have to match that and grind some at-bats and try to score more than they do.”

That proved to be an issue in August. A group that has a +195 run differential on the season, the Yankees have been a -12 in August. They lead the majors with 205 house runs, however the 28 they hit in August was the fewest they hit in any month this season.

The Yankees are constructed to hammer homers and overwhelm groups with their offense. They’re looking out to discover a means again to that method.

“We’ve got a long flight back East, off day [Thursday] and then starting an important series with a division opponent,” supervisor Aaron Boone stated. “So now we have to play better than we have. It’s as simple as that. We’ve got to start racking up some wins. Whether that the calendar has an eight or a nine or a 10 on it, we’ve got to get a little better.”

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