It was nearly three weeks ago when we were gearing up for the most important stretch run of the year. At that point, the Yankees were just coming to the realization that their 10 game lead wasn’t going to hold up in September. The 16 game streak, which included 7 games against the Orioles and 6 games against the Rays, had major playoff implications for all teams involved. With an injury dissolved team at the time, I warned that any sustained losing streak would result in a panic. So how did it all play out?
It started with the team going just 1-4 in their first 5 games. I’d call it the low point in the season, at this point the team was on a three game losing streak and the Orioles had tied the Yankees for first place in the American League East. With the return of Alex Rodriguez, the lineup started to get a bit deeper. Curtis Granderson started hitting the ball, Derek Jeter kept his hot bat alive, and Russell Martin stopped hitting so many damn line drives to outfielders. The team slowly picked things up offensively, and in the last 5 games, the Yankees have gone 4-1.
They are now down to just a 1 game lead over the Orioles, but things could have swung much worse considering the injuries and the schedule. Now that we’ve survived early September, we can look forward to a more favorable 16 game stretch.
|Monday, Sept 17||BAL||@SEA||10:10 pm|
|Tuesday, Sept 18||NYY||TOR||7:05 pm||BAL||@SEA||10:10 pm|
|Wednesday, Sept 19||NYY||TOR||7:05 pm||BAL||@SEA||10:10 pm|
|Thursday, Sept 20||NYY||TOR||7:05 pm|
|Friday, Sept 21||NYY||OAK||7:05 pm||BAL||@BOS||7:10 pm|
|Saturday, Sept 22||NYY||OAK||1:05 pm||BAL||@BOS||1:10 pm|
|Sunday Sept 23||NYY||OAK||1:05 pm||BAL||@BOS||1:35 pm|
|Monday, Sept 24||NYY||@MIN||8:10 pm||BAL||TOR||3:33 pm|
|Tuesday, Sept 25||NYY||@MIN||8:10 pm||BAL||TOR||4:05 pm|
|Wednesday, Sept 26||NYY||@MIN||1:10 pm||BAL||TOR||7:05 pm|
|Thursday, Sept 27||NYY||@TOR||7:07 pm||BAL||TOR||7:05 pm|
|Friday, Sept 28||NYY||@TOR||7:07 pm||BAL||BOS||7:05 pm|
|Saturday, Sept 29||NYY||@TOR||1:07 pm||BAL||BOS||7:05 pm|
|Sunday, Sept 30||NYY||@TOR||1:07 pm||BAL||BOS||1:35 pm|
|Monday, Oct 1||NYY||BOS||7:05 pm||BAL||@TBR||7:10 pm|
|Tuesday, Oct 2||NYY||BOS||7:05 pm||BAL||@TBR||7:10 pm|
|Thursday, Oct 3||NYY||BOS||7:05 pm||BAL||@TBR||7:10 pm|
In comparison, the Orioles have one additional road trip, which includes one on the West Coast against the Mariners, who are 34-25 since the All Star break. Also, Baltimore plays the third place Rays in their final series of the season, who are still very well in the mix for the second wild card spot.
While the Bombers have the luxury of playing the already eliminated Red Sox, Twins, and soon to be Blue Jays, they do face the A’s. The last time they met, the Yankees were swept in a four game series in four one-run games. One positive to this matchup is that Oakland doesn’t play in their ballpark during, although that hasn’t mattered much to the club of late. Excluding the A’s, the starting pitchers will be extremely weak, and the offense for the most part is made up of lots of AAA players. It’s time to feast on the carcases.
The schedule is in the Yankees favor over last 16 games of the year. With the addition of Ivan Nova and Andy Pettitte to the rotation, hopefully this team can find some comfort in their starting pitching again. At some point we can expect Mark Teixeira to finally play some first base, but I wouldn’t expect much soon unless this team starts losing. Brett Gardner is even making an effort to start bunting and running so that he can provide some legs off the bench. I’m fairly optimistic with where this team is compared to when we started that awful 16 game stretch, so I say panic averted, for now.
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