The Yankees have just finished their toughest stretch of the schedule all season and are currently riding a three game win streak and have won 6 of their last 8 games. They still own the second-best record in the bigs.
I was really disappointed with the team’s results from May 7-27. The Bombers played 20 games in those 21 days against some pretty tough opposition.
The team started off strong, taking two of three from Boston at Fenway Park from May 7-9. The Yankees then traveled to Detroit, where former Yankees like Johnny Damon and Austin Jackson (former minor leaguer) hit up the Yankee pitching pretty well to take three of four from May 10-13. On May 14, they headed home for a three game set against the red-hot Minnesota Twins, where the Bombers domination of the Twinnies continued and they took 2 of 3 from May 14-16.
Ten games in, and the Yankees were a respectable 5-5 against three winning teams. It was here that things went downhill.
The Yankees split a two game set with Boston in the Bronx, with Mariano Rivera blowing his first save at home in nearly 3 years. They then endured a two game sweep by the league-best Tampa Bay Rays before losing two of three to the Mets at CitiField.
Seventeen games in, the Yankees are now 7-10. Fortunately, after a day off, the Yankees got another series with the Twins, this time in Minnesota at brand new Target Field. Twins domination continued, with the Yankees taking 2 of 3 to finish the 20 games at 9-11.
I was disappointed because I honestly saw a 9-11 record as the worst possible way the Yankees could have gotten through this. The team is truly too talented to have lost more than 11, but honestly could have posted a winning record during the schedule. I saw the team finishing 12-8 – I expected a 2-2 series tie or 3-1 series win against Detroit, a split series with the Red Sox and Rays the next week, and a 2 of 3 series win against the Mets. Add those three-four wins back in there and the Yankees go 12-8 or 13-7.
Lately though, the Yankees have made up for it, winning 6 of their last 8 with some pretty soft competition ahead. The Bombers are in the middle of a three game set with Baltimore, winning 3-1 on some pretty decent pitching from Javier Vasquez who is slowly repairing his horrible win-loss record and ERA and demonstrating he might just be the pitcher the Yankees hoped he would be.
I try to keep reminding myself that the Yankees are doing well despite injuries to Nick Johnson, Jorge Posada and more. The team just got Curtis Granderson back this weekend and he has gone 6-16 (.375) with three doubles and a solo home run. If the guys in front of him were getting on base, he would also have somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-6 RBI in those 5 games, but he only has one off the solo shot.
Two more against Baltimore, three at Toronto, three more at Baltimore and three at home against the NL worst Houston Astros are on the horizon. The Yankees could very easily go 11-1 during those 12 games, but 8-4 or 9-3 is much more likely.