Yankees attack terribly again in loss to A’s


On an afternoon in the Bronx where there was a case of mistaken identity, Yankees hitters could also be mistaken for players with less of a resume.

A team with Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo has gone quiet.

An offense that some expected could carry the team is a weakness through the first few weeks of the season.

The Yankees got three hits in a shutout and a 2-0 loss to open a series against the hopeless A’s in front of 30,366 people at the Stadium for a game that Boone watched from afar after a bizarre first-inning shutout.

Juan Soto No. 22 of the New York Yankees reacts after he strikes out swinging in the 4th inning. Jason Szenes/New York Post

The Yankees (15-8) wasted a gem from Carlos Rodon and continued to scuffle offensively, even against an opposing pitcher who was hardly overwhelming.

On Monday, it was former Yankee JP Sears (who was sent to Oakland in the Frankie Montas trade) who stymied their bats for six innings.

The Yankees didn’t reach third base and advanced only one runner to second base, and Oswaldo Cabrera stranded Alex Verdugo there in the fifth inning.

Four games into this seven-game homestand, the Yankees have come to bat in 35 innings and have scored in only three of those frames.

“Just kind of scuffling,” Boone said of an offense that was shut out for the fourth time and that has a combined .234 batting average. “There are still a few guys who need to get started. Of course we have to assemble more than that. And that doesn’t take anything away from Sears. I thought he threw the ball.”

Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt #21 ejects Aaron Boone #17 of the New York Yankees from the game during the first inning. Jason Szenes/New York Post
Carlos Rodon #55 of the New York Yankees reacts on the mound after making a balk in the first inning. Jason Szenes/New York Post

Among the guys the Yankees need to get going:

  • Judge, whose average has dropped to .174 after an 0-for-4 day in which he struck out twice;
  • Gleyber Torres, who after his 0-for-3 afternoon has started a personally crucial season with a .516 OPS;
  • Anthony Volpe, recently moved up to the top spot, who is in a 2-for-25 funk;
  • Rizzo, who owns a career .834 OPS and has shown little fight in a .590-OPS start.

“It’s a grind,” said Rizzo, who added that he is healthy after a season that ended with a concussion. “But I take it day by day. Seeing the ball well just helps me make better swings on the ball.

However, several players said they had trouble picking up the ball from Sears’ hand. The southpaw lowered his ERA to 3.38 and caused 14 Yankees upsets while striking out seven.

Anthony Volpe #11 of the New York Yankees tags out Esteury Ruiz #1 of the Oakland Athletics as he tries to steal second base during the first inning. Jason Szenes/New York Post

His fastball never reached 90 mph, but the Yankees offense seemed to have trouble deciphering it from his sweeper.

“I couldn’t see any spin on the ball,” said Soto, who went 0-for-4 with two punchouts. “It was just a white thing coming towards you.”

The offense-less and Boone-less Yankees were still tied by eight, largely because of seven brilliant, one-hit innings from Rodon.

But A’s bats reached Victor Gonzalez – called up because Clay Holmes had been used three of the five days – in the ninth.

Abraham Toro reached base with a swinging bunt before Zack Gelof unleashed a two-run home run deep into the right-field seats for the decisive swing.

The Yankees’ last chance wasn’t much. In the bottom half of the inning, Volpe, Soto and Judge were blown away by fireballing closer Mason Miller, who turned to fastballs of 100 mph, 100 mph, 100 mph, and 100 mph, respectively, to get the side to destroy.

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees strikes out swinging in the 4th inning. Jason Szenes/New York Post

“I’m not going to lie, I didn’t feel comfortable at all,” Soto said.

Boone wasn’t there for the end – or the middle or even most of the beginning.

Boone had a few words for home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after Rodon hit leadoff hitter Estuary Ruiz, who was ruled to have checked his swing and taken first base.

Wendelstedt told Boone to calm down.

Boone remained silent, but YES Network cameras showed a fan behind the dugout who then shouted at Wendelstedt, who threw Boone five pitches into the game.

As it turned out, Boone didn’t miss much.

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