Buckle Up

Slog is the word that comes to my mind when I think of the remaining 16 games facing the Yankees. Three in Baltimore, four at home against Tampa, three more at home against Boston, three in Toronto and three in Boston. See any easy games on that docket?

Tampa closes with 10 games against three bad teams. Minnesota is now right there record-wise with the Yankees and Tampa. And, to make matters worse, the Red Sox are now “only” six games behind the Yankees. That means if they can pull off two sweeps of New York (not saying it’s likely, but possible) they would be dead even with the Yankees.

Basically, the Yankees need to kick it into gear again. Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland justified their pitching choices Monday Night by saying that “sometimes you need to lose the battle to win the war.” I hate the metaphor, but the Yankees are in danger of losing “the war” They went 1-5 in their tour through Texas and Tampa partly because the other team had last licks. That would make securing home field advantage an important consideration in my mind.

Obviously, you have to make sure that you don’t take stupid risks with players. But, Girardi needs to step back and take a look at his decision making. He was ok using Kerry Wood on three-of-four nights, but not Robertson or Joba because Wood has “been around”. That’s a pretty shocking statement considering Wood’s injury history and the cynic in me wonders if what he really meant was that Wood is a free agent next season and Robertson and Joba will be Yankees in 2011. Either way, it’s time for Joe to realize that the next 16 games will be a fight to the finish and act accordingly.