Fresh off the heels of a devastating sweep at the hands of the Red Sox, the New York Yankees started a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels in the Bronx. Before the series, Yankees manager Aaron Boone stated that their “season was on the line”. He was right to instill a sense of urgency into his club because they entered Monday 6.5 games behind Boston.
The Yankees did not respond to the pressure at all. In fact, they fell flat on their face. They ended up losing two-out-of-three to the Mike Troutless, under.500, Angels. The third game was particularly brutal and surely caused clubhouse morale to plummet to its lowest point all season. The fourth game of the series was rained out and postponed. They will make up the game in August.
Game 1: Angels Win 5-3
The Yankees dropped the first game of the series which extended their losing streak to four straight. Shohei Ohtani stole the show with a home run in the first inning off of Yankees starter Michael King. The Angels’ five runs proved too much for the Yankees’ putrid offense to overcome. They would only be able to muster solo shots from Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela, as well as a run-scoring groundout. The Yankee’s offense once again failed to get the big hit.
Game 2: Yankees Win 11-5
The Yankees have ranked near the bottom of baseball in runs scored the entire year. Considering this, the offensive exploding was a much-needed relief. But, to be frank, this type of offensive display is to be expected against the Angels pitching staff.
Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Miguel Andujar all hit home runs. However, even in a loss, it would be Ohtani stealing the spotlight once again with a multi-homer performance. He crushed his 27th and 28th home runs which made him the sole home run leader in MLB.
Before the game, the Yankees’ starter Jameson Taillon said that he “isn’t a five ERA pitcher” and that he knows he is better than how he has performed so far. Well, he gave up five runs in 5.1 innings. The Yankees were fortunate that the Angels’ starter, Andrew Heaney, was even worse.
Game 3: Angels Win 11-8
This game was hyped up due to Ohtani starting on the mound. However, Ohtani did not live up to the hype this time. He was chased after just ⅔ of an inning and was charged with seven earned runs. His problem was mainly with his control. He allowed four walks and hit a batter. However, Yankee starter Domingo German’s poor performance allowed the Angels to creep back into the game.
After two rain delays, the Yankees had a four-run lead in the 9th with Aroldis Chapman on the mound. Chapman gave up a grand slam to Jared Walsh and then the Angels would go on to score three more runs in the inning. It was a complete meltdown.
Chapman clearly didn’t have it. He walked the bases loaded, and it was his closer status alone that kept him in the game when he clearly should have been pulled. You can’t blame Boone for everything, but anyone could see the grand slam coming from a mile away.
The sky is falling in the Yankees universe. They are now 8.5 games out of first place and are showing few signs of life. General manager Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner seem adamant about being buyers at the trade deadline. But with the deadline being just a month away, the Yankee’s poor play may force them to become sellers.
Simply put, it is difficult to be optimistic about the Yankees right now. Walsh’s grand slam may have legitimately ended the Yankees season. Even if they were closer in the division, they still can’t find a way to beat the Rays or Red Sox.