Balance is restored to the Yankees Universe, at least temporarily.
Some fans of the New York Yankees were on the verge of nervous breakdowns before the Yankees took the final two games from the Detroit Tigers. Granted, the Yankees have given them a lot of reason for their fears, playing terribly during a recent three-week stretch and watching their seemingly insurmountable 10-game lead dwindle in half. The Yankees themselves were starting to become concerned with their poor play, with Eric Chavez bravely voicing what others in the Yankees clubhouse were probably worrying about, but didn’t dare say publicly.
But the Yankees managed to escape Detroit with a split thanks to a turn-back-the-clock performance this week from Chavez, filling in nicely for the injured Alex Rodriguez, decent starts from CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda following poor outings by Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes, and a frustrated and angry Joe Girardi forcing the umpires to eject him and firing up his team in the process.
Does that mean the Yankees are over the hump? Not in the least. They got lucky that the Tigers fell short in their comeback attempts these last two games. And they have to seriously hope that moving him down in the order is exactly the tonic Curtis Granderson needed to get over his slump.
Despite his recent struggles, I’m incredulous at the notion that Yankee fans would turn the ire they normally direct at ARod to the affable Granderson, but that’s what the New York Post said is happening (and, of course, everything in that newspaper is gospel, according to my friend Scott). Sure, I was frustrated by Granderson’s weak pop up to end Tuesday night’s game and his numerous strikeouts, but the man does have 30 home runs, 66 ribbies and 78 runs scored so it’s not like he’s been a bust this year. And I seriously doubt he’ll ever take steroids or kiss his reflection in the mirror so I don’t think he deserves the level of scorn usually reserved for ARod.
I’m happy the Yankees took these last two games, but I’d feel a lot better about them if I see them sweep the Toronto Blue Jays up north before they come back to New York for a brutal 7-game home stand. They have four games against the defending American League champion Texas Rangers and three against the Boston Red Sox, who can always put up a good fight against the Yankees despite their dysfunction. It’s going to be a tough week for them and I’d like to see some signs that they can handle it.