The Yankees loss on Friday put them in a position they haven't experienced since 1992 -- the AL East cellar. Jul 14, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Members of the New York Yankees huddle in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

While the All-Star break can give teams a chance to recharge their batteries, the team that took the field for the New York Yankees in the first game back from the break looked a lot like the one that lost four of its final five games heading into the break and that struggled for the final few weeks of the first half.

With that, the Yankees are in a place that they have not been in a long time.

New York’s 7-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies, coupled with the Boston Red Sox 8-3 win over the Chicago Cubs, put the Yankees in a tie for last place in the American League East. New York hasn’t had even a share of last place this late in the season in 31 years.

To put that in perspective, neither starting pitcher from Friday, New York’s Carlos Rodón or Colorado’s Austin Gomber, had yet been born on August 23, 1992. Of the 18 hitters who were in their team’s respective starting lineup on Friday, only nine were alive on that day. In fact, the Yankees’ opponent on Friday had not yet played its first game.

There are two ways to look at this. If you’re a glass-is-half-full kind of person, that speaks to the incredible consistency that the Yankees have enjoyed for more than 30 years. The glass-is-half-empty perspective is that this team is falling well short of expectations and that while a lot of baseball remains, it’s far too late in the year to dismiss these struggles as too small a sample size.

Several in the baseball world took the latter viewpoint.

There is some silver lining to be had. One is that the Yankees are still well within range of a postseason spot. Friday’s loss moved them to 1.5 games behind the Houston Astros for the final American League Wild Card spot. Second, despite the place in the standings, New York holds a 49-43 record. That would be good enough for first place in the American League Central.

But the Yankees don’t play in the American League Central and things clearly aren’t right. Coors Field is generally a favorable venue for teams trying to regain their offensive spark. It briefly seemed like that might happen on Friday, as Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer in the top of the first inning to put the Yankees up 2-0. But that was all the offense New York could muster. The Yankees were shut out the rest of the way and produced only six more hits.

There’s a lot of baseball left to play. But for a team that finished its first half in a slump, starting the second half with a 7-2 loss to the team with the worst record in the National League is definitely notable.

[Talking Yanks, per Katie Sharp]

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