PHILADELPHIA — Gio Urshela called Sunday’s loss “a bad day.”
The problem is, the Yankees have had too many of those. And those bad days have too often turned into bad weeks. And if they’re not careful, it will end up being a bad season.
The latest setback was an ugly 7-0 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, the second time the Yankees were shut out in a nine-inning game this season.
They’ve now lost seven of nine and dropped into fourth place, a season-high 8 ½ games behind first place the Rays and just one game over .500 (33-32).
“We’ve got to find a way to get better,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “We’re gonna find out what kind of character we’re made of. We’re clearly in the midst of incredibly tough times. We’ve faced it this season and we’re gonna find out if we’re the team we think we are.”
Their next game is Tuesday against the Blue Jays in Buffalo — a fitting setting for a team that’s playing as if it belongs in the minors.
Boone said he was “very concerned” with how his team is playing.
Asked if he thought the players had “gotten used to losing,’’ Boone bristled.
“I know them too well,’’ Boone said. “I don’t think there’s any getting used to fricking losing. Hell, no. Get the hell out of there with that.”
On Sunday, Domingo German was awful, the offense was nonexistent and Rougned Odor became the latest Yankee to get thrown out at third base on a ground ball to the shortstop as their fundamental baserunning skills show no signs of improving.
Searching for positivity, the Yankees have often talked about their starting pitching, but the rotation is nothing special these days. According to the YES Network, their starters have a 6.16 ERA in the past 14 games.
German contributed his worst outing of the season, allowing seven runs in 4 ¹/₃ innings on a day when the Yankees were desperate for length after Jameson Taillon got knocked out in the first inning Saturday.
German allowed a run on three straight hits to open the game and gave up three more runs in the second, lacking command of just about all of his pitches as the Yankees fell in an early 4-0 hole to start the game.
Their offense went back into hibernation against Aaron Nola, who tossed 7 ²/₃ scoreless innings. After DJ LeMahieu’s single to lead off the game, the Yankees didn’t get another hit until LeMahieu’s base hit with two out in the sixth.
There was no late rally, as there was Saturday when LeMahieu tied the game with a three-run homer in the ninth, only for the Yankees to lose in the 10th.
Losers now of three in a row — following a pair of crushing walk-off defeats — the Yankees face another test this week when they visit the hot-hitting Blue Jays.
Whatever the answers are, the Yankees need to find them fast.
“It starts with me setting the tone and setting the culture here,’’ Boone said. “Hopefully we’re putting them in a good position to go out and perform at the highest level. We have not done that well enough.”
Boone noted the Yankees have increased their baserunning work and altered some routines they do offensively. But improved results have yet to follow.
“I know it’s the middle of June already, but it’s not always how a team starts, it’s how it finishes,’’ Brett Gardner said before the game. “We’ve got quite a bit of season left. We do have a little bit of time left to figure that out. Every day that passes is another wasted opportunity.”