The New York Yankees offense again failed to produce any runs on Friday night after a 5-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Hitting coach Kevin Long spoke to the media about the Yankees bats after the loss, saying he believes guys are feeling the pressure to produce and are pressing when at the plate as a result, per Peter Kerasotis of ESPNNewYork.com:
“The morale is down a little bit,” Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long admitted. “We need something to turn, and we need it to turn pretty quick. Guys are starting to press a little bit, getting down a little bit. Our at-bats the last five games are probably not as good as they should be. That tells me guys are probably trying harder, pressing. There’s not a whole lot of laughter. We need to get guys smiling again.”
Morale a huge concern at this point in the season. The Yankees are becoming more and more dejected that they can't hit the ball, thus the belief in themselves can't be very high. That spells disaster.
Mark Teixeira agreed with his hitting coach:
“We get a guy on first, and guys are thinking about hitting a two-run homer,” he said.
“We’re just not getting the job done,” Teixeira added. “You win and lose as a team, and we all need to step it up. Good teams feed off each other. Hitting is contagious. Unfortunately, not hitting is contagious. It’s definitely getting late. We really need to win some games. There’s definitely a sense of urgency here.”
Pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who threw another solid outing against the Rays, talked about the pressure it puts on the pitching staff to not allow runs:
“It puts pressure on all of us,” McCarthy said. “I know the hitters feel pressure. We’re not scoring runs. It weighs on everybody. But it’s not a 'me thing.' I don’t think of it that way. We’re a team. It’s not a time to have your personal feelings hurt. The way I look at it, I’ve got to stop giving up runs.”
Interestingly enough, with 60 percent of their rotation on the shelf, the Yankees aren't having pitching problems. Instead, it has been the hitting that remains the biggest issue. At this point, there isn't much general manager Brian Cashman can do with even slimmer pickings out there after the July 31 trade deadline.
Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo is a potential option for the Yankees; although there will be many teams vying for his services, thus making it more difficult to sign him. Besides, there is no guarantee he'll be anything special and the spark that the Yankees need.
Still, if Cashman wants to add a little life to the last month of the season and do all he can to try and help the team, Castillo is looking like a must-sign at this point.
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