On July 18th Huroki Kuroda threw a rained shortened, 7 inning, 6 to nothing shutout against the Toronto Blue Jays in a getaway day contest at Yankee Stadium. The Victory gave the Yankees a 10 game lead in the American League East. Just 49 days later that lead is gone as New York was beaten once again at Tropicana Field by the Rays 5 to 2. The Orioles drubbed those same Blue Jays 12 to 0 in Toronto. The Yanks head into tonights unpleasant matchup with Matt Moore and the Rays in a dead heat with Baltimore. They are just the 3rd team since the 6 divisional format went into place in baseball in 1990 to blow a double digit lead. They join the ’95 Angels and the ’06 Tigers in that unfortunate distinction. To make matters worse for New York with the win Tampa is now just 1.5 games out of first. That means the Yanks have just a 3.5 game cushion on the final wild card spot. The fact is this is totally unfathomable, and at the same time unacceptable for a club with this talent and payroll. How they respond this last 27 games will surely effect the makeup of the franchise going forward.
If there is one thing I hate being right about it is the Yankees. If you’ve read this blog before you know I have not been enamored with this team from day 1. To summarize I feel like Tony Pena is the only member of the coaching staff worth his salt. The roster is filled with dogs and choke artists(Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira to name the main culprits). If I had my druthers the only returning Yankees to Tampa next spring off the current roster would be named Sabathia, Kuroda, Rivera, Jeter, and Rodriguez. We know that is not even close to possible but I can dream. It is motivated by anger seeing a team go 19 and 25 over a 44 game stretch while the Orioles have gone 29 and 15 in that time frame.
Do I think the Orioles and there -19 run differential can keep up this torrid pace? No. They play the Yanks for 4 this weekend in Baltimore and do not see them again this year. They have 6 games left against Tampa, and have a West Coast trip with a stop in Oakland t0 play the equally hot Athletics. They could also run into Felix Hernandez in Seattle. That is troublesome for any team especially one playing well over its collective head like the Orioles.
Will the Yankees decide to show up and play baseball and right the perverbial ship during that time? They have less than 7 hits in each of their last 5 contests.(But no please don’t fire Kevin Long). That is their longest stretch of games with 7 hits or less since 1990. It is there continued obsession with the homerun and lack of smart at-bats that has them here. All that being said should New York pony up and beat Moore tonight ,and Brandon Morrow beats the O’s in Toronto the Yanks can turn this around rather quickly. They would arrive in Maryland Thursday with a 1 game lead. If they take 3 of 4 it would extend it to 3 as they head to Boston to take on the “Dead” Sox. The big “IF” is does this team have that “pony” in them? I have my doubts but we shall see. Tune in!
About the Author
Written by Brendan Sennott
I was born in the heart of the AL East in the late 70's and am a huge Yankees fan. (Don't hate) I have moved around to a lot of solid baseball markets in my life(Boston, Chicago, Detroit) and was a part-time reporter, producer, blogger, and on air personality for WDFN Radio Sportsradio 1130 The Fan in Detroit. I still live in the "D" and am married with one beautiful 9 month old daughter. My girls are my life. In my media career I've interviewed players, managers and executives in the sport and would love to get back in the business full time. Baseball is my passion. I look forward to shooting straight about the Yanks and M.L.B in my new blog and getting your feedback.