After the series opener loss to the Detroit Tigers,
I was a bit dismayed. The Yankees, the
team that started the year on a consecutive series win streak, hadn’t won a
series since late July after splitting a four game set with the Royals in
Kansas City. They returned to the Bronx
and promptly lost a disappointing game to the Tigers with Detroit ace Justin
Verlander looming the next day.
Fortunately, the Yanks beat Verlander and went on
to the win the next two games afterwards to take 3 of 4. The wins were definitely part of the Robinson
Cano Show as he homered in the three consecutive wins. Also, the bat of Curtis Granderson has come
to life since the adjustments he made with hitting coach Kevin Long. I was not an immediate believer in Austin
Kearns, but he has steadily begun to make an impact. With Alex Rodriguez nursing a sore calf and
Lance Berkman on the DL, it was imperative for some of the lesser known guys on
the roster to begin carrying their weight.
It couldn’t have happened at a better time as the Yankees are trying to
stave off the Tampa Bay Rays who they were tied with at the beginning of today’s
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With September right around the corner, I am
concerned about pitching. The only
certainty is ace CC Sabathia. With A.J.
Burnett, you’re never really sure what you are going to get. Javier Vazquez has been pitching poorly
lately with reduced velocity. Dustin
Moseley is never going to overwhelm you, and Phil Hughes is rapidly approaching
an innings limitation. Andy Pettitte
remains on the DL after a setback, so there are a series of question marks with
the starting rotation. It is fortunate
that the bullpen has begun to gel with Kerry Wood, Joba Chamberlain, David
Robertson and Boone Logan pitching very effectively. The long men, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre,
have performed well in their roles. The
Yankees certainly have the bats to win the division, but I obviously have less
confidence in the pitching. If healthy,
they’d be among the league’s elite. But
in their current state, I’d have to give the advantage to the Tampa Bay
Rays. As for the Red Sox, I can only
hope that Josh Beckett and John Lackey continue their season-long
struggles. With their injuries this
year, it’s amazing that they’ve remained within striking distance so they are
certainly a threat as the page gets ready to flip to September.
But for now, all is well in the Bronx. If the Yankees can get on a roll and win a
few series over the next couple of weeks, they should be in great shape for the
stretch run despite their issues and challenges.