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Aaron Boone Frustrated After Yankees' Recent Struggles: 'We Have to Play Better'

Adam WellsAugust 20, 2022

Sarah Stier/Getty Images

A dream season for the New York Yankees is rapidly turning into a nightmare after Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays dropped them to 9-20 since the All-Star break.

Speaking to reporters following the game, manager Aaron Boone said the Yankees "have to play better" as he vented his frustration with his team's performance over the past four weeks.

Marly Rivera @MarlyRiveraESPN

A very angry Aaron Boone lets his emotions boil over in frustration. <a href="https://t.co/V5W9IW40oc">pic.twitter.com/V5W9IW40oc</a>

The Yankees looked to be on cruise control in the American League with a 64-28 record at the All-Star break. Their 13-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East was the largest division lead in Major League Baseball. They were also 4.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros for the best mark in the AL.

Fast-forward to today. The Bronx Bombers' division lead is down to seven games over the second-place Blue Jays. They are also four games behind the Astros for the No. 1 seed in the AL.

New York's only series win coming out of the All-Star break was against the Kansas City Royals, who have the third-worst record in the AL (49-72), at the end of July. The Yankees have lost six consecutive series since Aug. 1 after Saturday's game against Toronto.

Per Baseball Reference, the Yankees' team OPS has dropped by 81 points from the first half (.776) to the second half (.695). The offense is averaging 9.03 strikeouts per game since the All-Star break (8.4 before the All-Star break).

Injuries are starting to catch up to the Yankees as they go through their worst stretch of the season. Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Carpenter, Clay Holmes, Luis Severino and Michael King are all on the injured list.

The team's decision to deal Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals for Harrison Bader prior to the Aug. 2 trade deadline was puzzling. The southpaw was solid with a 3.69 ERA in 21 starts this season prior to the move. He has a 0.54 ERA in 16.2 innings with the Cardinals.

Bader hasn't played since June 26 because of a foot injury and may not play again this season.

The Yankees still look like a safe bet to make the playoffs. Their postseason odds are at 99.9 percent, per ESPN. But this team could be poised for an early October exit unless it gets things back on track over the final six weeks of the regular season.

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