Yankees Offense Thought Game Was Rained Out

Craig Stammen shuts down Yankee bats

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So what's worse, 0-8 against the Red Sox or losing two out of three to the Nationals? The Red Sox may hurt more psychologically, but dropping this series to the Nats is worse. The Yankees mustered seven runs over 26 innings against the most generous pitching staff in the majors while playing in a stadium that's done nothing to deflate scoring since it opened in April.

Yes, it's safe to say the Yankees have gone off the rails. They'd be 2-7 in their last nine if Luis Castillo would have remembered to use two hands, and they look perfectly awful at the plate. Fernando Nieve, John Lannan and Craig Stammen, the last three pitchers to beat the Yankees, don't have much in common, outside of the fact that the Yankees have never seen any of them before and that they threw strikes.

For some reason that combination turns Yankee hitters into shrinking violets. That's both unbelievable and, if you're signing their checks, unacceptable. Do a little video work and see what you're up against. Maybe you might struggle your way through a couple of innings until you realize they're pumping the ball over the plate, and then you change your approach. Not the Yankees, though. No changes, no aggression, nothing to indicate they were aware of what was going on around them.

There's no other word for the way the Yankees looked in these three games besides apathetic. Washington was a wounded duck of a baseball team that came to the Bronx on Tuesday. They were talking about firing their manager, they'd lost 24 of their last 29 games and blew a lead to lose the first game of the series. Perhaps it was a letdown after six games with the Red Sox and Mets, or maybe the Yankees thought they could just show up and win but whatever the cause, the result was some seriously putrid baseball.

Hopefully the vacation is over. The Yankees are heading to South Florida for three games against pitchers with whom they aren't familiar, though, which could mean that their nightmare continues.  

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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