NEW YORK — Giancarlo Stanton was the first player to stop by the Yankees Zoom room early on Thursday morning after New York's excruciating 11-8 loss to the Angels.
With the brim of his cap pulled low on his brow, lips pursed in a menacing glare, the slugger sighed.
"That's about as bad as it gets right there," Stanton said.
An eternity after New York knocked MVP front-runner Shohei Ohtani out of the game in the bottom of the first inning—with two separate rain delays thinning out the largest crowd at Yankee Stadium this season along the way—the Yankees allowed Los Angeles to storm back in the ninth inning, an inexcusable collapse in what will undoubtedly be this club's worst loss of the year.
The fans that stuck it out at the ballpark until the end, chanting for the dismissal of New York's manager Aaron Boone, witnessed Aroldis Chapman implode, serving up a game-tying grand slam as part of the Angels' seven-run inning.
Off the bat of Los Angeles' Jared Walsh, his second long ball of the game, Chapman gave up the first grand slam of his entire 12-year career.
New York has been inconsistent this season, riding high on winning streaks before crashing down with inexplicable performances along the way. Take the last 48 hours for instance. Coming off the Yankees' biggest offensive outburst of the season—scoring 11 runs in a blowout victory—New York took a huge step forward. Then, they proceeded to knock an ace out of the game by batting around in the first inning.
Just a few hours later, a "terrible" loss, as Boone called it, was one big step back.
"Frustrating, disappointing, terrible," Boone said. "We've got to pick ourselves up."
With the loss, the Yankees sink back to just two games over .500. We're talking about a fourth-place team with a 41-39 record. While 80-plus games remain in the regular season, New York is looking more and more like a team that's poised to miss the postseason with each passing day.
"They deserve better than this. We certainly share in their frustration," said Boone, asked to deliver a message to Yankees fans.
As has been the case all year long, optimism and positivity shone through despite Wednesday night's unprecedented debacle. Chapman assured that he'll be able to work through this rough stretch—11 earned runs permitted in his last 5.2 innings—while Stanton reiterated that this club has a chance to flush this performance on Thursday afternoon.
"We got about six hours to sleep and then dust this off and it's a brand new game tomorrow," Stanton said. "So as crushing as it is, this can't linger into tomorrow. And I mean, we got a quick turnaround and we can flip the script also tomorrow and that's what we need to do."
New York has bounced back from the lows before. Time is beginning to run out, though.
"We gotta pick this shit up. That's it," Stanton said.
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