Yankees’ season has been a series of ‘gut punches’

TAMPA — Two years ago, Aaron Boone had his “Savages in the box” rallying cry. During a disappointing 2021 season, the Yankees manager has taken to a more unfortunate phrase thanks to some horrendous losses: “Gut punch.” Here’s a look at some of the worst:

With chants of “Cheater” and “F-ck Altuve” raining down on him throughout the series, Jose Altuve got the last word in The Bronx, by hitting a three-run, go-ahead homer off Chad Green in the eighth inning of a May 6 game the Astros won to avoid a sweep. Green: “It could have been any one of their nine guys that hit it. It’s a go-ahead homer. It doesn’t matter if it’s Altuve, [Alex] Bregman, whoever, it hurts just as much.”

There was the May 7 loss to Washington, when a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning turned into an 11-4 loss, sparked by errors from Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela in a six-run eighth. Boone: “We were in a good position in a tight ballgame with [Jonathan Loaisiga] and [Aroldis Chapman] lined up there. They got it done and we didn’t in that inning.”

A May 7th loss to the Washington Nationals was among the worst Yankees losses of the year.
A May 7th loss to the Washington Nationals was among the worst Yankees losses of the year.
NY POST Photo/Robert Sabo

On May 28 in Detroit, the Yankees, 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, scored a run in the top of the 10th before Justin Wilson gave up a walk-off, two-run shot to Robbie Grossman in a 3-2 defeat. Wilson: “I haven’t pitched well. I own that. I’ve got to be better.”

This season, the Yankees aren’t even safe in Minnesota, where they’ve dominated over the years. On June 10, Chapman turned a 5-3 lead in the ninth inning into a 7-5 loss in the blink of an eye. Josh Donaldson tied it with a two-run homer and Nelson Cruz won it with a two-run homer. Chapman: “Just a bad night.”

The next day, they were walked-off again, this time in Philadelphia in 10 innings, when the Yankees wasted a three-run rally in the ninth that sent the game into extra innings. Zack Britton: “We were brought here to win. We’ve got to figure out how to get those wins.”

On June 30, the Yankees had an 8-4 lead in the top of the ninth before Chapman allowed a game-tying grand slam to Jared Walsh. Lucas Luetge got pummeled, as well, in the 11-8 loss at Yankee Stadium. Boone: “Terrible loss.”

For the Fourth of July, Chapman entered in the top of the seventh, with the Yankees three outs away from a win in the first game of a doubleheader. Chapman allowed a homer to Pete Alonso and the Yankees unraveled, losing 10-5. Boone: “It’s another awful loss, there’s no other way to put it.”

Aroldis Chapman gets pulled from the game on July 4th.
Aroldis Chapman gets pulled from the game on July 4th.
NY POST Photo/Corey Sipkin

A week later, the Yankees closed the first half with their worst loss of the season to that point, when they blew a five-run lead in the ninth, as Green fell apart and gave up another huge homer to Altuve, this one to win the game, 8-7, in Houston. Boone: “It’s another gut punch.’’

Then came the 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Red Sox last Thursday in Boston, when Chad Green allowed a two-run double to Kiké Hernandez with two outs in the ninth to tie the game. Brooks Kriske then melted down in the 10th, throwing a franchise-worst four wild pitches in one inning before Hunter Renfroe’s sacrifice fly ended it. Boone: “Another gut punch.”

And finally, after the Yankees managed to turn the tide by scoring four runs in the top of the eighth to overcome a three-run deficit at Fenway on Saturday and beat the Red Sox for the first time this season, they then gave another one away on Sunday, this time with Loaisiga serving as the goat after seven no-hit innings from Domingo German. German: “It’s so hard to even process what happened, how did it happen. It’s hard to even analyze everything that goes on so quickly.”

source: nypost.com