Watch: Gleyber Torres’ embarrassing effort on this play symbolizes the Yankees

During Wednesday night’s loss to the Braves, Gleyber Torres’ embarrassing effort instantly became a symbol for the Yankees’ struggles.

The New York Yankees lost for the sixth time in their last seven games Wednesday night against the Atlanta Braves, as their offense continues to be lackluster.

They have now scored three runs or fewer in 11 of 17 games this season. Shortstop Gleyber Torres went 1-for-4 on Wednesday night, and he now has a slash-line to .186/.294/.220 with an OPS + of 53 this season.

But it’s one of the three times Torres was retired during Wednesday night’s game, in the bottom of the seventh inning, that’s getting attention.

Torres was clearly off-kilter on the pitch, offering a check-swing that happened to make contact. But the effort to run the ball out was lacking, to say the least, and downright embarrassing.

Gleyber Torres tries to explain his lack of effort

After the game, here’s what Torres told the media about the play in question.

It was a check swing and at that moment I really didn’t know if it was fair or foul. I didn’t see the ball well. I started running late. I feel like I can put a little more effort to run to first base,” he said. “Yeah, for sure (I’m frustrated). The situation we are in right now — and especially at that moment — I want to hit, to help my team. I just feel like that check swing and hit the ball straight to the pitcher is not the way I want to finish my at-bat.

Torres’ struggles at the plate thus far justify the idea he isn’t seeing the ball well right now, in a broad sense beyond that at-bat. But even running late, once he realized the ball was fair, does not excuse the casual jog. Oh, but it was, in Torres’ words, “not the way I want to finish my at-bat.” The frustration level is understandable, but it’s not an excuse for a noticeable lack of effort.

Manager Aaron Boone said he intended to talk to Torres about the play, saying (regarding the effort) “that’s got to be better.” If the Yankees weren’t struggling so badly the microscope on a single play like that wouldn’t be as intense. But Torres’ lack of hustle is the No. 1 symbol of how things are going in the Bronx right now.

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