Oh boy, imagine the fan reactions if what is happening in our 2020 simulation was unfolding in real life.
After a rough week last week dropped the Yankees out of first place (thanks to a 10-game winning streak by the Red Sox), the Bombers had a chance to take the divisional lead right back with three games against the lowly Orioles. Instead, a rough loss to begin the week set the tone for another stretch of frustration.
The week started with Jordan Montgomery on the mound to begin the series at Camden Yards, and the lefty was on his game, throwing 6.1 innings while allowing just one run and striking out seven. Meanwhile, the offense built up a 2-1 lead thanks to a pair of solo home runs by D.J. LeMahieu and Mike Tauchman. But in the bottom of the ninth, Rio Ruiz ripped a walk-off two-run single off of Zack Britton, who had replaced an ineffective Aroldis Chapman, to hand the Yanks a 3-2 loss.
The Yanks bounced back in game two behind Gerrit Cole, who mowed down the O’s with a complete game shutout that included no walks and 12 strikeouts, dropping his ERA to 2.77. Tyler Wade had a two-run double, and LeMahieu added an RBI double in the 5-0 victory.
A four-run third inning helped the Yanks take the series in game three, winning 5-3 behind a pair of dingers from Aaron Judge, while Gio Urshela added a two-run blast of his own. Luis Severino was solid, going six innings and allowing three runs, and the bullpen bounced back from its performance in the series opener to hold Baltimore silent the rest of the way.
Coming off of a series win, the Yanks were sniffing first place once again heading to Toronto, where the wheels came off. The Yanks built a 4-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a two-run homer by Luke Voit, but the Blue Jays pounced on James Paxton for four runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game, and added a run off of J.A. Happ in the bottom of the eighth to win the game 6-5. The painful losses continued in game two, when a 2-1 lead turned into a 3-2 loss after Toronto scored twice in the bottom of the sixth against Masahiro Tanaka, who had been cruising up until that point. Former Yankee Brandon Drury homered for the Blue Jays, while both Yankee runs were scored on a two-run single by Gary Sanchez.
The Yankees held the lead for the third straight day in the series finale, and for the third straight day, the lead turned into a loss. Solo home runs by Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres put the Yanks ahead 2-0 heading into the sixth, when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. blasted a two-run bomb off of Montgomery, who was left in an inning too long. Chad Green came on in the second and gave up two runs himself, and the offense couldn’t add to its total despite spraying 10 hits in the game. The sweep dropped the Yanks three games out of first place, while allowing the Rays to pull even with them in the Wild Card race. Safe to say, it’s time to panic.