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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Yankees’ baserunning problem isn’t going away

The Yankees’ baserunning, which has been a problem all season, got even worse in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over the Rays in The Bronx.

Gio Urshela was easily thrown out at third trying to advance on a pitch that bounced away from Tampa Bay catcher Francisco Mejia in the seventh inning with the Yankees up by a run. The inning ended when Gleyber Torres was picked off first base by lefty Jeffrey Springs.

“The last thing you want to do is stifle aggression,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously, in that situation, making the first out at third base is not a good play. That said, we’ve seen times in the last week or two we’ve lacked aggression out of fear of making mistakes.”

But that’s better than being thrown out, especially in a tight game.

“The Gleyber play, you shouldn’t be caught off [first] in that situation,’’ Boone said. “Back-to-back [plays] like that, with what we’ve gone through on the bases this year, is not a good look. Fortunately it didn’t cost us the game. I’m confident we will get better.”

Gio Urshela is thrown out after trying to reach third on a wild pitch during the Yankees’ 4-3 win over the Rays. N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

They can’t get much worse. The Yankees have been thrown out on the bases an MLB-high 29 times.

Boone even addressed the problem before the game, noting the team was working before Wednesday’s game on baserunning drills — an uncommon occurrence during the regular season. But the Yankees have been so alarmed by the number of mistakes they’ve made on the bases throughout the year that they sought to correct the problem.

On Tuesday, Gary Sanchez made a baserunning blunder, and he, along with Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar, was on the field with baserunning coach Reggie Willits.

Boone acknowledged the team’s poor baserunning “has been enough of an issue for us, a lot of things needed to be addressed.”

That led to Willits discussing different scenarios, with Boone pointing to pre-pitch work as a key to avoiding mistakes on the basepaths.

“A lot of times, it’s in the moment, instinctual things,’’ Boone said.

Frazier and even Aaron Judge have also been culprits this season on a team that isn’t known for its speed — making the lapses even worse.

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