Yankees’ Cashman backs Boone to turn ‘slings’ into ‘bouquets’

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NEW YORK – Yankees general manager Brian Cashman responded to his team’s funk with some flowery language and belief in manager Aaron Boone, the coaches and players.

“You get the bouquets come your way when things are flying high and you get the slings and arrows when things aren’t going well,” Cashman said before Monday night’s Subway Series opener against the Mets. “You hear it loud and clear. We know it and we feel it. And it’s our job to find a way to to be flying high and make sure that the product out there is something that everybody’s excited about.”

The Yankees (74-48) had lost 14 of their last 18 games and six straight series for the first time since 1995. Their AL East lead stood at eight games, down from 15 1/2 games in early July.

Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner were booed during Sunday’s ceremony to retire Paul O’Neill’s No. 21. Cashman held a news conference Monday evening, endorsing the team’s coaching staff and Boone, his fifth-year manager.

“He’s even he’s even keeled,” Cashman said. “It’s important for our players to see that, because if he can keep his temperament the same, for the most part, they don’t see panic. They don’t see anything. It doesn’t mean he can’t lose his cool, which he will from time to time when necessary. He has that gear and he can turn to it. You’ve seen it. But I think his demeanor is vitally important, in a market like this, especially.”

Yankees star Aaron Judge said after Saturday’s loss to Toronto there needed to be “a little better energy in the dugout and push each other a little bit.”

“When you’re playing poorly, you usually look lethargic and not crisp,” Cashman said. “If he had a meter for for testing commitment and caring and all that, we’d be off the charts with that crew. But I’ve been through this enough to know, too, that there are there spaces in time and patches your team can hit where it looks more zombie than than than what you’re used to seeing.”

Cashman said he would wait until after the season to evaluate his moves ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, which including obtaining Frankie Montas from Oakland and Andrew Benintendi from Kansas City, and dealing Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis for injured center fielder Harrison Bader, expected back next month.

Montas is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three starts, and Benintendi entered with a .211 batting average and seven RBIs in 23 games.

Montgomery is 3-0 with a 0.54 ERA for the Cardinals.

“We’re going to reinforce what we got and double down on it,” Cashman said. “And I believe that that’s the right track with these guys. They’re hearing it. They’re feeling it, they know it. They’re not afraid of it. And if they could turn the narrative to more positive yesterday, they would have done it by now. But they’re not afraid to keep pushing through it until we push through it.”

Cashman knows the Yankees have a restless fan base expecting the team to end a title drought dating to 2009.

“The group’s got my belief,” Cashman said. “I believe strongly in them. I think they’re they’re still capable of everything we ever hoped and dreamed. But we have to weather this storm first and foremost.”

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closed out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before 15-game winner Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).