2023 has undoubtedly been a tough year for the New York Yankees. A year that started with high hopes after their 99-win 2022 campaign has culminated with their first playoff miss since 2014. The frustrating part is that the Yanks were in a lot of games, and just couldn’t get it done at the end, and that led to some very winnable games being blown. Let’s take a look at New York’s worst losses of the year.
The 3 Worst Yankees Losses of 2023
1. July 16 at Colorado Rockies
The Yankees came into this game fresh out of the all-star break, looking to take a huge series win on the road and improve to 51-43. They had just called prospect Oswald Peraza up, and fans were excited to see New York push the wildcard or maybe even the division. The Rockies came into this game as the worst team in the National League. However, Colorado jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second, and the Yankees offense continued its theme all year of not getting going early in the game, getting shut out by Chase Anderson through five.
Cy Young contender Gerrit Cole held it down for the Yanks, however, keeping it close. In the sixth, the Yankees tacked on three runs, and it looked like the offense was coming alive, as Isiah Kiner-Falefa lifted a massive two-run single into center field and Anthony Volpe tacked on an RBI.
Then disaster struck in the eighth, when Tommy Kahnle let up a grand slam, giving the Rockies a 5-3 lead. However, the Yankees battled back, putting up two in the ninth to tie it, and Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera hit huge RBI singles in the 11th to put New York up 7-5. Instead of celebration however, there was misery, as Nick Ramirez let up two home runs in the 11th to give Colorado a win and send the Yanks further down the wild card standings, which they would never recover from.
2. August 13 at Miami Marlins
This is when many Yankees fans checked out of the season. At this point in the year, the Yankees struggled at 60-57, but the fans and many around the team still believed a playoff spot was possible. A series win was clinchable against another playoff-contending team on the road, and the Yankees got off to a scorching start.
RBI knocks from Kiner-Falefa and Giancarlo Stanton got the Yanks out to a 2-1 lead before Volpe went yard to make it 4-1. The Yanks tacked on two more in the fifth before backup catcher Ben Rortvedt even got in on the action with a solo shot in the sixth to make it 7-1, and New York was on cruise control. Or so we thought.
Cole exited the game after six allowing only two runs, and while Wandy Peralta let up another in the eighth, the Yankees still had a 7-3 lead entering the bottom of the ninth. Closer Clay Holmes came in but was not his usual lockdown self. A double and single sandwiched a strikeout to start the inning before a Jazz Chisholm walk brought up Josh Bell. Bell hit a tapper to Holmes, who rushed his throw to first and committed a terrible throwing error, making it 7-5 before batting champ Luis Arraez delivered a two-RBI triple to make it 7-7. Jake Burger hit a walk-off single a couple of batters later, and the nightmare was complete. It became evident that this New York Yankees iteration was not a playoff team.
3. May 24 vs. Baltimore Orioles
The Yankees were 30-20 coming into this game off two straight wins, and spirits were high in New York. While the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays had gotten off to great starts, there was optimism that the Yanks would figure it out and return to the top of the division. A series win over a division rival was the target of this game, and with 2022 all-star Nestor Cortes on the bump for the Yanks, a win was expected, especially against the upstart Orioles.
Cortes dealt six strong innings, holding Baltimore to only one run, while Kiner-Falefa and Gleyber Torres powered the Yankees offense, as Torres clubbed two homers while IKF added another to put New York up 5-1 headed into the seventh. That’s when Cortes’s wheels fell off, as before recording an out in the seventh he gave up a huge three-run shot to right field from Adam Frazier. The Yanks lead was now down to 5-4.
Now-suspended reliever Jimmy Cordero came in, and the hits kept coming for Baltimore. Two singles and a two-RBI double gave Baltimore the lead, and then big RBI hits from Anthony Santander and Austin Hays gave the Orioles a huge 9-5 lead at the seventh-inning stretch. The Yankees offense mustered a rally, loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but could only score one run, and the final was 9-6.
This was a turning point for the Yankees falling behind the Orioles and Rays in the divisional race, starting their downturn that led to them missing the playoffs for the first time in nine years.