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Yankees showing no signs of life

BOSTON -- Choose your adjective: Repetitive. Monotonous. Dispiriting. Same-old/same-old.

It goes something like this: New York Yankees fall behind early. Yankees don't hit. Yankees lose.

It happened again Saturday night at Fenway Park, as they fell behind 2-0 after two innings. The way this offense is hitting -- or not hitting -- it felt more like 20-0.

By the time it was 4-0 after six innings, the game was pretty much over, because the Yankees have scored more than four runs in any one game only once since April 9, a stretch of 17 games. Not surprisingly, they have lost 12 of those games.

For a team that insists it is not pressing, there were an awful lot of drawn faces, tight lips and bulging neck veins in the postgame clubhouse. And that was just the manager.

The Yankees are not a happy ship, and despite Joe Girardi's insistence that his team will ultimately play to the proverbial "back of the baseball card," it might be time to realize that everyone's baseball card, even Babe Ruth's, shows a steady decline as the players on the front side get older. It's a scientific certainty as dependable as Boyle's Law from your seventh-grade chemistry class: As age increases, productivity decreases.

The Yankees have a whole lot of advancing age and a whole lot of declining production, and it's getting harder and harder to believe that somehow this club will defy the laws of nature and reverse that trend this season.

Their 8-0 loss to the Red Sox on Saturday night was their 14th in the month of April. Their 8-14 record is the worst start for any Yankees team since 2005, when they were 10-14 at the end of the first month. That team pulled it together to win 95 games and the AL East. But that roster included a 31-year-old Derek Jeter, a 29-year-old Alex Rodriguez, a 31-year-old Hideki Matsui, a 33-year-old Jorge Posada and a (sniff!) 22-year-old Robinson Cano.

I don't have to remind you what the current roster is made up of, the dates on their birth certificates or the numbers that represent their batting averages.

All I can tell you is their manager, a man of great faith, is relying on that and little else to try to convince us, and himself, that this is merely a bad start to a season, not a bad start to a bad season.

"Track record tells you it's going to turn around," Girardi said. "And you keep hoping it's going to be the next day. So I'm not going to lose faith in them. I'm not in the business of losing faith. That's not my job. We will continue to work at it as a staff, the players will continue to work at it. We'll get it done."

The question, of course, is how. Michael Pineda didn't pitch great -- he needed 106 pitches to get through five innings -- but he held a pretty good lineup to only two runs, a pittance for most teams but a hill the Yankees' offense could not climb. The other six runs, coming at the expense of Chasen Shreve and Johnny Barbato, were just piling on.

After two innings, the Yankees were beat. Carlos Beltran, veteran of all sorts of seasons, says he sees no sign the team is pressing.

"It's just kind of weird that we haven't been able to put things together," he said. "The approach is there, the energy and everything. It's just not working. I still believe with the guys that we have that we're capable of playing well and performing to the level that we all know we can perform. But right now, everyone is cold."

Said Brett Gardner: "It's definitely frustrating. I feel like we have a good enough team to turn things around and be where we want to be at the end of the year. Right now we're not playing the way we're capable of playing. It's obviously up to us to play better. It's pretty simple."

It sounds simple, but maybe the simple truth is that the 2016 Yankees are basically the same team as the 2015 Yankees, only a year older and further into decline, and even positive additions such as Starlin Castro and Aroldis Chapman, still nine days away from his season debut, will not be enough to arrest the slide.

They get one more chance to win in Boston on Sunday night against David Price, who is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his last four starts against the Yankees. There's not much wiggle room for Girardi with his starting lineup but don't be surprised to see both Aaron Hicks and Ronald Torreyes on the field, and Chase Headley -- and either Gardner or Jacoby Ellsbury -- on the bench.

"There should be enough guys who have been through this in there that you come in and say, tomorrow's the day we turn this around," Girardi said. "You come in with the right attitude and you do your work and you say, it's gotta stop. Let's go. Enough is enough."

It sounds simple until you realize that, this time, the Yankees might simply not be good enough.