Through one third of the season, Rays are trending up while the Yankees’ struggles deepen

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar
May 18, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Miguel Andujar (41) hits an rbi single during the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees dropped their fourth game in a row yesterday, against the Tampa Bay Rays, a direct rival, to make things worse. The Bombers have now lost six of their last seven contests, including a weekend sweep in the hands of the Detroit Tigers.

The Rays, on the other hand, are quickly surging, having won 16 of their last 17 games. They look confident, dangerous in the batter’s box, and deep in pitching options.

Yesterday, the Yankees’ offense flopped yet again, scoring only one run, on a Miguel Andujar homer, in the 3-1 loss.

Now, the Yankees are 29-25, already 5.5 games behind the Rays and 3.5 behind the Boston Red Sox. The Bombers will play the latter on the weekend.

“We understand we’re going through a tough time as a team,” Andújar told MLB.com. “It’s one of those things you can go through during the season. The key thing is, I believe in my teammates. I know we’re going to get out of it.”

The Yankees’ ugly offensive struggles

Yankees manager Aaron Boone acknowledged that the offense is “still not where we expect it to be.”

Per Bryan Hoch, the Yankees are 4-for-33 with runners in scoring position in their last seven contests, with only 13 runs scored.

“We want you to feel like it was heavy, it was difficult, it was a lot to get through us,” Boone said. “That hasn’t been the case enough, and that’s what we’ve got to get back to as a group.”

“We know that we’re playing very good teams,” said third baseman Gio Urshela. “But we’ve got a pretty good team. We always stay positive; we’re always fighting every game. Today was a new day, and we fought all day long. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get that win.”

As a team, the Yankees are hitting too many ground balls, which is not an ideal outcome. They have run into quite a few double plays recently, a product of their batted ball tendencies and low speed.

The Bombers will try to get back on track tonight, as Domingo German squares up against Tyler Glasnow.