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Yankees’ free-fall has organization on high alert

Few, if anyone, foresaw the current Yankees collapse, with a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night as their 17th in the previous 23 games. The free-fall has caused the alarms to ring loudly in the mammoth baseball stadium on 161st Street in the Bronx. 

The Yankees fell to 55-38 before playing the Rays in Tampa again last night (Wednesday) with Brian Cashman, the team’s general manager, in attendance—he is traveling with them as a sign of urgency that prevailing issues have to be addressed.

“Because of how we’ve been playing, I’ve decided to join us,” said Cashman before Tuesday’s game. “It’s been a struggle, obviously. Thankfully, we got out of the gates really strong, so hopefully that cushion will allow us to work through this sooner than later on, because it’s gone on long enough.”

Indeed: The Yankees were 50-22 after an 8-1 road win versus the Boston Red Sox on June 14 and in first place, three and a half games ahead of the then 45-24 Baltimore Orioles, in the American League East before the plummet began. A little less than a month later, the Orioles were 57-34 as of yesterday and three games up on the Yankees. The Yankees have seen their collective pitching and hitting falter during this tumultuous stretch. 

They conclude their three-game series against Tampa Bay tonight and then face the Orioles in Baltimore tomorrow through Sunday, with an All-Star break providing four days to regroup before returning to the field to host the Rays at home from July 19 through July 22. 

As the Yankees have struggled, the Mets have thrived. They elevated themselves from 28-37 on June 11 to .500 at 45-45 after a 7-5 victory over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. 

Shortstop Francisco Lindor has epitomized the Mets’ turnaround. His batting average hovered near .200 during the early stages of the season and his power numbers lagged, but going into last night’s game versus the Nationals at Citi Field, Lindor was batting .253 and led the Mets in hits with 93, in addition to 16 home runs. 

Pete Alonso was named to his fifth All-Star team to represent the Mets in next Tuesday’s game. It was left fielder Brandon Nimmo who was deserving of the invite, though, with team highs of a .367 OBS and 58 RBI as of yesterday. 

The Mets close out their series against the Nationals tonight and play the Colorado Rockies in Queens this weekend to go into the All-Star break.

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