1 of 5 | New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said the team is "not showing up" amid a four-game losing streak. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Aaron Judge bemoaned the New York Yankees' struggles, saying players aren't giving it their all, after being shut out by the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees are at .500, an unusually poor record for this late in the season.
"We're not showing up when we need to, especially down the stretch right now," Judge told reporters after the 5-0 loss Tuesday in Atlanta. "We've had every opportunity to keep ourselves in the race. We're not capitalizing on what we need to."
The Yankees (60-60) sit in last place in the American League East, 14 games behind the division-leading Baltimore Orioles (74-46). They started the season 3-1 and were 11 games over .500 (34-23) by June 4. They went 10-15 in July. They then lost five of their last six, including a current four-game skid.
The Yankees haven't been .500 this late in a season since they were 61-61 on Sept. 6, 1995. They finished that strike-shortened season 79-65-1 and managed to sneak into the playoffs after finishing second in the American League East.
The 2016 Yankees were 56-56 through Aug. 9 of that season and finished 84-78, good for a fourth-place division finish.
The 2023 Yankees, who have the second-highest payroll in baseball, logged MLB's second-worst team batting average (.232) so far this season. That average is just slightly better than the Oakland Athletics, who have the league's lowest payroll and are hitting .222 as a team.
Yankees starting pitchers also have the fourth-worst ERA (4.69) in the American League. The Yankees lead MLB in relief pitcher ERA (3.22).
Braves starter Bryce Elder allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings to power Tuesday's triumph in Atlanta.
Yankees starter Luis Severino allowed five hits and five runs over four innings to drop to 2-8 this season. Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna and right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. homered in the victory.
Ozuna and Acuna recorded two hits apiece for the Braves. First baseman D.J. LeMahieu was the only Yankees player to record a hit.
The Braves, with MLB's best record (77-42), will host the Yankees in the series finale at 7:20 p.m. EDT Wednesday in Atlanta.