The New York Yankees entered the 2021 campaign with realistic championship aspirations, but they are in fourth place in the American League East after losing Sunday 7-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies.
"Very concerned," manager Aaron Boone told reporters when discussing his team that is now 5-13 in its last 18 games. "Obviously a couple tough losses...but not able to amount much against [Aaron] Nola, who took a lead and was on the attack and dictating counts right away. But we've got to find a way to get better."
New York is 33-32 and 8.5 games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays.
"We're going to find out what kind of character we're made of," Boone continued. "We're clearly in the midst of incredibly tough times, we've faced it throughout this season, and we're going to find out what we're made of and if we're the team we think we are. ... We need to step it up, period."
It doesn't get much easier for the Bronx Bombers.
They face the team directly ahead of them in the Toronto Blue Jays, the American League West-leading Oakland Athletics and the rival Boston Red Sox in three of the next four series. If they continue to play like they have of late, the Yankees could find themselves out of the playoff race by the All-Star Game.
It was more of the same Sunday with the bats and on the mound, as the offense failed to score a run and Domingo German allowed seven earned runs and 10 hits in 4.1 innings.