The Yankees entered Friday night’s series opener in Boston in the thick of the wild card race. They left Fenway Park on Sunday night three games out of the last playoff spot, dropping their season record against Boston to 6-13 after a weekend sweep in which they were outscored 22-7.
New York is now 79-71 with just 12 games remaining in its season. Injuries and ineffective pitching could certainly be blamed for their fold at Fenway, but manager Joe Girardi — who was flummoxed Saturday by how the Red Sox have stopped the Yankees’ progress before — didn’t pull any punches Sunday, choosing instead to put it on the players.
Girardi held a postgame meeting with the team during which he delivered a “stern” message that he was disappointed with the players’ effort, according to the New York Times.
“We stunk here,” Girardi told reporters afterward. “We didn’t play well here. But we’ve got options. We can either continue to stink or play better. If we play better, we have a shot.”
The Yankees looked awful Sunday night, failing to gather more than two hits against a still-recovering Clay Buchholz. That performance followed a Saturday game in which the Yankees never contended and a Friday comeback attempt that New York let get away. The Yankees were leapfrogged by the Indians and the Orioles in the wild card standings during the weekend sweep.
Alex Rodriguez, who was the designated hitter for the series due to a hip ailment and left Sunday night’s game partway through with a calf issue, also had thoughts Sunday night.
“Boston has done an absolute number on us,” he said.
Girardi told reporters after the game that they’d have to ask Rodriguez what the problem with his calf was, and he gave clipped answers to other questions. He used relief pitchers and backup players liberally in Sunday night’s game, which was out of control early.
Rodriguez said what his manager didn’t see the need to put into words.
“I guess the good news is that we’re leaving Boston,” Rodriguez said.
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