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The Yankees’ free fall puts the organization on high alert

The Yankees’ free fall puts the organization on high alert

Few, if any, people predicted the Yankees’ current collapse. Tuesday night’s 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays was their 17th in their last 23 games. The free fall has set off loud alarm bells in the massive baseball stadium on 161st Street in the Bronx.

The Yankees fell to 55-38 before playing the Rays again last night (Wednesday) in Tampa. The team’s general manager, Brian Cashman, was in attendance – he is traveling with them to signal the urgent need to address the existing problems.

“I decided to come to us because of the way we’ve played so far,” Cashman said before Tuesday’s game. “It was obviously a tough battle. Fortunately, we came out of the gate very strong and hopefully that head start will allow us to solve the problem sooner rather than later because it’s taken long enough already.”

In fact, the Yankees were 50-22 after an 8-1 road win over the Boston Red Sox on June 14, putting them in first place in the American League East, three and a half games ahead of the then 45-24 Baltimore Orioles, before the slump began. Almost a month later, the Orioles were 57-34 as of yesterday, three games ahead of the Yankees. The Yankees have seen their collective pitching and hitting falter during this turbulent period.

They finish their three-game series against Tampa Bay tonight and then face the Orioles in Baltimore tomorrow through Sunday. An All-Star break gives them four days to regroup before they return to the field to host the Rays at home July 19-22.

While the Yankees struggled, the Mets thrived, improving from 28-37 on June 11 to 45-45 after a 7-5 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.

Shortstop Francisco Lindor embodied the Mets’ turnaround. His batting average was around .200 to start the season and his hitting power was declining, but before yesterday’s game against the Nationals at Citi Field, Lindor had a batting average of .253 and led the Mets with 93 hits and 16 home runs.

Pete Alonso was named to the All-Star team for the fifth time to represent the Mets in next Tuesday’s game, but it was left fielder Brandon Nimmo who earned the invitation, with team-highs of .367 OBS and 58 RBI through yesterday.

The Mets finish their series against the Nationals tonight and play the Colorado Rockies in Queens this weekend heading into the All-Star break.