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Yankees in desperate need of jolt as feeble slide continues

BOSTON — The Yankees still lead the American League in scoring runs by a lot, but it sure doesn’t feel like it now. 

The whole team seems to be in a collective slump. Not you, Aaron Judge. But everyone else. 

The forever-in-first Yankees have scored only eight runs in their last five games following their ninth defeat in 11 games, a 3-0 loss to the hated Red Sox at Fenway that finished the most dissatisfying trip of the year. They are doing very little right, and they certainly don’t look anything like the team that once appeared on its way to history. 

The Yankees could do next to nothing against Red Sox starter Michael Wacha, who returned after a 35-game absence due to shoulder inflammation to hold the Yankees to two softly hit singles over seven innings. 

“He just kind of mowed through us,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone admitted. Even certain American League MVP Judge came up empty against Wacha, ending his night with outs in all four at-bats, three via strikeout. 

“We’ve got to pick it up,” Judge said. “We’ve still got a good ballclub. We’re capable of winning every single game. We’ve got to pick each other up and move on.” 

Judge had a bad history against Wacha; he was 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts against the Red Sox right-hander entering the game. But when Boone was asked if maybe he considered giving Judge a rest, Boone said he could not sit Judge — not “where we are.” Boone might have meant at rival Boston, but presumably he meant how they are playing lately, and how badly they need Judge in a lineup. 

Aaron Judge went 0-4 in the Yankees' loss to the Red Sox.
Aaron Judge went 0-4 in the Yankees’ loss to the Red Sox.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST
Anthony Rizzo reacts after striking out during the Yankees' loss to the Red Sox.
Anthony Rizzo reacts after striking out during the Yankees’ loss to the Red Sox.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Judge has to be tired from carrying the team on his broad shoulders in the absence of Giancarlo Stanton and while everyone around him is faltering. Even DJ LeMahieu has fallen into a mini slump, and he was out of the lineup due to a foot injury. (There’s a lot of that going around.) 

Anyway, if the Yankees don’t snap out of it, instead of making history, they may be history. They are 20-25 in their last 45, inconceivable the way they started. 

“We’re all frustrated,” LeMahieu said. “I think we all can pick it up a little bit.” 

At this point, it may be time for a shake-up, at least a small one. Teams that are 29 games over .500 normally don’t require change, but this one might. 

How about a call to the minors? At this point, what could it hurt? 

Oswald Peraza, who was held out of just about every trade talk at the deadline (except if the Yankees actually had a chance for Juan Soto or Shohei Ohtani, of course; they did not). It feels like they could use a spark. Perhaps he’d provide it. 

Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres aren’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball. Is anyone else tiring of watching Donaldson failing to catch up to fastballs? Or Torres reverting to his old pull-happy ways? It just might be time to try something new. And Peraza is killing it lately at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. 

“We talk about things all the time,” Boone said without tipping their hand, one way or another. “We’re always talking.” 

Oswald Peraza
Oswald Peraza
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post
Estevan Florial
Estevan Florial
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Maybe give Estevan Florial a real shot. Could he be doing worse than Aaron Hicks, who was held out of Sunday’s nationally televised sellout altogether. We know Harrison Bader is coming, we just don’t know when. And he’s coming mostly for defense anyway. 

Ron Marinaccio, the local Jersey kid who made good early, should be back up. He’s only down in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre due to rules. He happens to have options left, so he’s down there. 

Marinaccio has allowed only one run since April and has generally been the Yankees’ most consistent reliever. It’s a little hard to explain the infatuation with Albert Abreu, a twice-released reliever, or even Jonathan Loaisiga. At a time like this, when the pen has slipped, it would be nice to have their best relievers in the majors. 

Get him up here. It’s not fair to him, or the team. 

They should not be losing these games. 

The Red Sox, who hadn’t won one series versus a division rival all year until beating the Orioles in a makeup game the night before the Yankees got to town, aren’t a very good team. They didn’t know whether they were building or rebuilding at the deadline, acquiring veterans but trading away starting catcher Christian Vazquez, who many saw as the glue. Regardless, they looked pretty together against a Yankees team that’s heading south. 

Speaking of going south, the Yankees repaired home after the game, where they will face tougher competition. Coming in it’s the Rays, the Jays and the red-hot Mets, who if form holds true carry the potential to sweep the sagging Yankees. 

Of course, the way the Yankees are going lately, everyone does.

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