Once again, Stanton struggled before the home crowd, going hitless in four at-bats. He hit into a first-inning double play that stalled a potential rally, had an infield pop-out with two runners on that did the same in the third capped it with strikeouts in each of his final two at-bats. His whiffs had the sparse and chilly crowd booing with the vociferousness of a much larger gathering.
The loss dropped the Yankees back to .500, at 8-8, and no player has taken more of the brunt of their unexpected mediocrity than Stanton has.
“I understand it,” said Stanton, who is batting .197 with three home runs, 10 R.B.I. and a league-leading 29 strikeouts in his first 16 games as a Yankee. “I just worry about the positive things, even if it’s not very many things. That’s all you can do. If you worry about that, you’re going to keep twirling down.”
Manager Aaron Boone continued to express confidence in Stanton. “He’ll get rolling here and eventually the league will pay for some of his early struggles,” Boone said.
But he acknowledged that Stanton, who has been hitting third between Judge and Gregorius, might be moving down a slot or two in the batting order when the Toronto Blue Jays come to town for a four-game series this weekend.
“I might flirt with splitting different guys up and stuff, but not moving him down too far,” Boone said. “Because he’s one at-bat away from getting locked back in, and then the last thing you want is him hitting down in the order and getting pitched around. He’s too premier of a player and, in my eyes, an at-bat away from locking it in. So I might juggle the top five or six but as far as moving down significantly, no.”
Still, it’s most likely that no manner of lineup juggling would have helped the Yankees against Garcia, who kept them off-balance with a combination of his low-90s fastball and a cleverly located changeup. The difference from last week’s outing was that Garcia’s teammates staked him to a seven-run lead on Tuesday, including three in the first inning, and the bullpen finished the job.
With Masahiro Tanaka struggling on yet another unseasonably cold night at Yankee Stadium and the Yankees’ infield botching several routine plays, the Marlins, who had won just four of their first 16 games this season, scored three runs in the first inning, added another in the second, and three more on a home run by J.T. Realmuto in the fifth.
It was the second straight poor outing for Tanaka, who allowed six runs in five innings to the Boston Red Sox on the same night Garcia was baffling the Mets, in a game the Yankees eventually won 10-7. After allowing seven runs, six of them earned, in five innings on Tuesday, Tanaka left with an E.R.A. of 6.45 from four starts, outdueled on this night by the Marlins’ young pitcher.
Garcia was by no means perfect, allowing five base runners on walks over the first three innings. But the only thing resembling a hit from a Yankees batter was Sanchez’s hard grounder down the third baseline that was fielded neatly by Brian Anderson to end the first inning. Sanchez also drove Maybin, the center fielder, to the wall on a flyout leading off the fourth inning.
Garcia, who led the Marlins with 68 appearances out of the bullpen in 2017, has a 0.86 E.R.A. in 21 innings this season.
Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar broke up the no-hitter with a double to the base of the left-field wall with one out in the fifth. Andujar also hit his first major-league home run off reliever Brad Ziegler with two out in the ninth to break up the shutout.
Those were the Yankees’ only offensive highlights of the game, but Boone remained confident that Stanton can turn the team around.
“Obviously he’s frustrated and expects a lot from himself,” Boone said. “Long term he’s too good for it not to start happening. I’m confident that once he gets rolling it’ll be a juggernaut.”
Before the game, the Yankees placed reliever Tommy Kahnle on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder tendinitis and recalled right-hander Luis Cessa from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Manager Aaron Boone said Kahnle, who had shown a drop in his fastball velocity recently, acknowledged some shoulder soreness after warming up during Monday night’s game. Kahnle has not appeared in a game since April 12. Cessa relieved Tanaka to start the sixth inning and allowed a run-scoring single in the eighth, but left with an oblique strain and was headed for the disabled list himself.