Gaining Ground

The Yankees have gone 4-4 over their last eight games. That’s usually not a good formula for making up deficits in the standings, but over that same period the Rays have gone 2-5. So, what once was a 2-1/5 game deficit in the wild card standings is now a one game deficit.

And here’s the really good news. After this series against Boston, the schedule gets a lot easier. The Yankees have only one series left with a team not in last place and that series is against the Rays. Meanwhile, the Rays have to face Texas and Baltimore, two good teams and two teams in the thick of the wild card race, so the Yankees have a number of things in their favor, but they have to survive this upcoming weekend.

That’s going to be tough. Boston is tearing through the AL right now and the Yankees certainly couldn’t stop them last weekend. The one positive you can take from last weekend is that the Yankees certainly hit well. They will need to do that again and try and bring some pitching this time. They have the right three guys starring- Kuroda, Sabathia and Nova. The bullpen is healthier, but also a bit overused. They are going to need their starters to give them length.

And Brett Gardner is probably out of this series and maybe much more. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Yankees make a trade for someone to help cover the outfield. After all, they just brought in Ryan to do the same with shortstop. If they do, that would be their 55th player this year, only four short of the MLB record. And yet, here we are with two weeks to go and they are legitimate playoff contenders. Keep that in mind the next time you get frustrated with Joe Girardi.