It wasn't difficult for Brian Cashman to diagnose the primary reason his club will miss the playoffs a second straight season.
"Our offense obviously really held us back," the GM said by phone after Wednesday afternoon's 9-5 loss that eliminated the Yankees from postseason contention. "Our team defense was poor the front end of the season but our offense was poor from start to finish."
It wasn't supposed to be that way, of course, as managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner gave the go-ahead last offseason to commit nearly $500 million in contracts to free agents Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, the latter three explicitly to bolster an offense that struggled in 2013.
"It's frustrating, it's not where we want to be," Cashman said of missing the playoffs. "But reality sets in now. It's [offensive struggles] something we tried to deal with and fix all year but we couldn't get it done."
Over and out
Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran's seasons appear to be over.
"It's going to be pretty tough," Joe Girardi said Wednesday morning, when asked if he thought it was realistic either player could return this year.
Ellsbury entered Wednesday having not played in the previous four games because of a right hamstring strain. Beltran has been battling inflammation in his right elbow since May, caused by a bone spur for which at season's end he'll undergo surgery.
Lucky No. 58
OF Eury Perez entered the game in the eighth inning in right, becoming the 58th player used this season by the Yankees, extending a franchise record.