With the Yankees’ victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks last night, the team now stands 1.5 games ahead of both the Tampa Bay Rays (slumping fast) and the Boston Red Sox, in first place in baseball’s toughest division. At the same time last year the Bombers were 39-32, five games behind the Sox. For those who don’t remember, it was roughly this time last year when the Yankees had lost two of 3 to both the Nationals and Marlins, prompting an emergency therapy session from Brian Cashman in Atlanta to help right the ship.
A-Rod is the biggest data point standing out, to me, followed closely by Jeter. I had no idea Alex’s slump had become so bad by this time last year. I do recall that Rodriguez sat for a couple games in Florida to rest, but I would not have guessed that his OPS was actually worse at this point in the season last year. Obviously Alex had missed almost half the team’s games this time last season, which diminishes the poor performance somewhat, but that doesn’t change the fact that the 2009 Yankees were getting a weaker performance from their cleanup hitter than the 2010 Yankees. It also means that when Joe Girardi was quoted on YES during last night’s game saying that he would not at all be surprised if Alex hit 30 home runs, he was serious.
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