The Yankees, in stumbling a bit out of the gate to start the season, had taken their share of bad losses three weeks in.
But Wednesday night’s 9-1 defeat to the race-to-the-bottom Marlins, on another frosty night at the Stadium, became the leader in the clubhouse.
The loss was accomplished via the triple crown of poor performance — the Yankees neither hit nor fielded nor pitched in falling back to .500 (8-8).
“Obviously,” general manager Brian Cashman said, “we’ve got to play better baseball.”
Cashman disclosed another Yankee would be hitting the disabled list — their ninth of the season. Righthander Luis Cessa, called up earlier in the day and slated to make a start at some point, suffered a left oblique strain in the eighth inning.
Miami lefthander Jarlin Garcia, who no-hit the Mets for six innings last Wednesday, no-hit the Yankees through 4 1⁄3 innings Tuesday before Miguel Andujar doubled into the gap in left-center. A passed ball moved Andujar to third but Brett Gardner struck out and Aaron Judge lined out to end the threat.
It was the continuation of a trend by the Yankees, who went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Garcia (1-0, 0.86) allowed one hit and five walks in five shutout innings.
Andujar hit the first home run of his career with two outs in the ninth off Brad Ziegler to make it 9-1, concluding the highlight portion of the night for the Yankees.
“We have to play better than that,” Aaron Boone said.
Once again, Giancarlo Stanton bore the brunt of the fans’ frustration, booed after each at-bat of an 0-for-4 night that included two strikeouts.
Stanton, who is 3-for-35 with 20 strikeouts in eight games at the Stadium — he’s 10-for-31 with two homers on the road — said his confidence hasn’t been shaken by the rough start at home.
“If you’re in there with a lack of confidence, you might as well go sit down anyways,” Stanton said. “Bad times, good times, whatever.”
Masahiro Tanaka (2-2), fresh off his outing Wednesday at Fenway Park, when he nearly blew an 8-1 fifth-inning lead, allowed three first-inning runs en route to surrendering seven runs (six earned) and eight hits in five innings. Though hit hard, the righthander didn’t get much help from his defense that committed two errors — and could have been charged with two more — which gave the Yankees an AL-worst 17. Tanaka’s ERA swelled to 6.45.
“Errors are part of the game,” Tanaka said through his translator. “You still have to execute.”
It took 11 pitches for the Marlins (5-12) to grab the lead. Leadoff man Derek Dietrich lined a single and Miguel Rojas walked. Former Yankee Starlin Castro followed with an RBI single to left and Justin Bour lined a single to left to load the bases. J.T. Realmuto, who had two hits and four RBIs in his first game of the season, then chopped one to short. Didi Gregorius charged and fielded it cleanly but threw wildly to first, the error allowing Rojas and Castro to score to make it 3-0.
An error by first baseman Tyler Austin when he couldn’t handle Gary Sanchez’s throw on a bunt by Cameron Maybin led to a 4-0 lead in the second.
In the fifth, Realmuto hammered a fastball into the seats in right for a three-run homer off Tanaka that made it 7-0.
“While we’re not playing our best ball right now, we’re sitting here .500,” Boone said. “I’m quite certain we’ll get it rolling.”
The Yankees couldn’t break through against Marlins rookie lefty Jarlin Garcia, who pitched six hitless innings against the Mets last week in Miami. His totals against the New York teams: