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There Is Concern For The Yankees

Bill Menzel/ Latino Sports

Bronx, NY- It seems like it was yesterday when the Yankees triggered a 13-game winning streak that placed them in postseason position as an AL wild card and with an outside chance of catching division leading Tampa Bay.

That was then, and this is now. Because baseball is played everyday, with the Yankees in a 20-game September stretch without a day off, so many times it calls to remember this is the difficult and crucial part of the schedule.

And all the Yankees don’t want to be reminded about losing two of three this past weekend to the Baltimore Orioles, and if you forgot they are a team 50 games under .500 with the worst record in baseball and play every game as spoilers because they have nothing to lose but prepare for next year.

Though the Yankees are not playing themselves out of the postseason sweepstakes, they are hindered with bullpen issues and Monday were limited to five hits, which left them tied with the Red Sox for that first American League Wild Card.

After losing their third straight ballgame Monday afternoon, 8-0, at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays in the Bronx, and seven of their last nine. that Yankees winning streak is an afterthought.

And losing to the Orioles and the first of four to the power hitting Blue Jays was enough to cause concern for manager Aaron Boone.

“It’s a concern,”Boone said. “These are big time games right now. These are important games. I want us to play well. We need to dig ourselves out of this little funk we’ve been in for a week.”

The concern is not with Jameson Taillon who took the loss, though it was another quality start and matching a season high 7,0 innings, though most of his damage was attributed to back-to-back home runs in the first inning.

Marcus Semien hit a solo home run with one out and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. duplicated one to right off a 3-2 pitch, his 40th of the season.

Guerrero with the home run became the youngest player in team history to record a 40- home run season. Semien recorded his fourth multi-home run game that was capped with a grand slam off Brooks Kriske with one out in the ninth.

Yankees vs Bluejays/ Bill Menzel Latino Sports

Toronto won for the eighth time in nine games and are making that late season surge as they finished the day three games back from an AL Wild card spot.

The concern, though, is the Yankees bullpen that is obviously in disarray. .Jonatan Loaisaga in all probability is out for the remainder of the season with right shoulder strain as is Zack Britton with a bad left elbow .

And closer Aroldis Chapman, according to Boone, needs to adjust the slider as depending on the fastball has caused a loss of control and not being effective.

Monday, it was also Hyun Jin Ryu (13-8) keeping the Yankees off the board with six scoreless innings and allowing three hits or less in a start for the seventh time this season. The Yankees lineup could do nothing and at this juncture, with the wild card as their only chance for the postseason, held in check at the plate is a concern.

Taillon wanted to give the Yankees innings with a bullpen that is working overtime down this stretch, and without some key components there to help, Yankees starters need to go deep.

And to beat the Blue Jays, leading the league with 209 home runs and in slugging, throwing home run balls early will not help their cause as playing comeback baseball in September is a task.

Boone said his hitters will get it going. Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge were all on a tear during that winning streak. Stanton and Judge combined for three strikeouts, and the Yankees did not help themselves by committing three errors in the infield.

The three game losing streak sees the Yankees going 15-for-95 and 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

Two errors at the hands of Gio Urshela and one from Gleyber Torres are also a concern. Torres once again had trouble handling a ball at shortstop in the second inning that did not lead to a run.

“We put guys in a hole,” Taillon said. “That’s a tough lineup.I wanted to put my foot down and give us a chance to get back in the game. With a bit of a short bullpen, to be able to go seven, it was one of the only good things to come out of today.”

Boone said tomorrow is another day. The Yankees have their ace Gerrit Cole on the mound Tuesday evening after coming off a 15-strikeout gem on the road last week against the Angels.

But as Boone said, “We gotta get it rolling offensively. We have to do better than that.”

Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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