Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yankees must step up for stretch run

My baseball blog has been completely neglected for the past 10 days due to a recent back injury that makes sitting in front of my computer for long stretches of time very painful. Watching the New York Yankees play during that period wasn’t nearly as painful, but it was very uncomfortable and depressing.

The only positive for the Yankees is that they barely survived a tough stretch against their two division foes, slinking their way to Boston with a one-game lead. But the Yankees only went 4-6 against the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing the teams to cut into, and in the O’s case actually temporarily tie the Yankees, for the top spot in the American League East. They were probably lucky to win those four games as they did not play particularly well, with ace CC Sabathia leading the way with two stinkers and the Bronx Bombers offense completely disappearing for most of that stretch.

And more bad news hit Monday as the Yankees found out they will be without Mark Teixeira for at least 10 days and possibly the rest of the regular season, which would make a postseason appearance for the Yankees first baseman extremely unlikely. His absence has hurt the sputtering offense, which is looking for someone in the middle of the lineup to put the team on his back and drive in Derek Jeter, who seems to always be on base.  

The Yankees do have the advantage of a weaker schedule down the stretch, starting with the Boston Red Sox tonight. But even if they can hammer their inferior opponents (not a sure thing given what the Toronto Blue Jays did to them on the last home stand) to gain the division title, Yankee fans will be consumed with fear because the team has not proven it can beat other good teams such as the O’s and Rays. But first things first, the Yankees have to win the American League East and they need to start playing better right now.  

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