Yankees slip to 2nd Wild Card spot

September 9th, 2021

NEW YORK -- The way the Yankees are playing these days, one wonders if they are going to play in the postseason in October. They now have lost five straight games after losing to the Blue Jays, 6-3, on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees are now a half-game behind the Red Sox for the top Wild Card spot. Boston won its game over the Rays, 2-1 at Fenway Park. Look out for the Blue Jays. They are 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the second Wild Card spot.

“We have to figure something out in short order or our season will be over in short order,” Yankees outfielder said. “We can turn the page. We showed what we are capable of. [We] just haven’t been able to maintain it for an extended period of time. Yeah, it's frustrating and disappointing. You have only two choices: You can show up tomorrow to work and fight through it or lay down and give up. Obviously, we are not going to [give up].”

It was a game where the Yankees had problems hitting the baseball. They went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. That one hit came when Gardner hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the score at 3.

“We are poring into everything right now, whether it’s video, pregame tweaks and things like that,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We know we have the guys capable, but we have to get it done. It’s a little bit of a broken record this week and I understand that. This is the group that we absolutely believe in. We have to get this thing turned around. We believe we will, but it has been a frustrating several days for us on the offensive side.”

The Blue Jays went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position, but they scored enough runs to win the game. The game was tied at 3 when Toronto took the lead in the top of the seventh inning off right-hander Clay Holmes. Marcus Semien reached base on an infield hit and then went to second on a throwing error by shortstop Andrew Velazquez. Three batters later, Semien scored the go-ahead run on a single by Teoscar Hernández.

“It’s about going one game at a time. I know you’ve heard that before, but that’s really what it is,” said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo. “Pitching is keeping us in the games and our five starters are doing awesome, which means we have a chance to win every night. Now our offense is great and our defense is doing great. We’re just playing great baseball.”

The Yankees had a chance to at least score the tying run in the bottom of the inning. New York had runners on first and second with two outs, but reliever Adam Cimber struck out Anthony Rizzo to end the threat.

“We had a chance to win today, chances with men on base,” Gardner said. “We were able to crawl back in it in the middle of the game and tie it. Sometimes you have to give credit to the other team.

“[The Blue Jays] have had a good team, obviously fighting for a postseason spot like we are. They play us tough. They have good at-bats up and down the lineup, and throw the ball well. For us, we need to do a better job of getting guys on base, getting guys in scoring position and keeping the runs off the board.”

Toronto added to the lead against Chad Green in the top of the eighth inning when Jarrod Dyson scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake Lamb.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. then hit a missile over the left-field wall off Aroldis Chapman to make it a three-run game.

There are 23 games left in the regular season. If the Yankees want to remain in the playoff hunt, they have to beat teams like the Blue Jays and Rays.