We’ve repeated this phrase probably over a million times this season: the New York Yankees have been an absolute disappointment to this point. 53-48 is not an ideal record through 101 games.
With 61 games to go, a big run is needed, and over the last three weeks, that run has started.
The Yankees hit rock bottom for seemingly the 6th time on July 4 when they allowed the Mets to score six runs in the final inning to blow yet another lead for a 10-5 loss. But since that loss to their cross-town rivals, they have picked it up. They have won five of their last six series’ including finally beating the Boston Red Sox. It’s not all turned around, but they are on the right track.
A huge six-game road trip before the All-Star break was likely going to make or break their season. Series wins over the Mariners and Astros brewed confidence going into the break.
After losing the first game of the Red Sox series at Yankee Stadium, the bombers took the next two. A quick two-game sweep over the Phillies put them in Boston, where disaster struck again. Holding late leads on Thursday and Sunday, the bullpen floundered again for two more heartbreaking losses in a season where half the losses have seemed heartbreaking.
Taking away just five of those puts their record at 58-43; that would put them in the second wild card slot and a much better position to make a run at the AL East.
The Yankees schedule is favorable over the next two weeks. This weekend they’ll get the Miami Marlins in Florida where Yankee Stadium south is real, and the Marlins are in the middle of their own firesale. Then a seven-game homestand with the Orioles and Mariners coming to town. Finally, a series in Kansas City against the Royals. 13 games against teams either under .500 or, in the case of the Mariners, they’re fighting to overtake in the wild card race.
9-4 should be what is expected. That is playing at the same rate they’ve been playing over the last three weeks and winning each of those four series.
With the additions of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo for the moment, the Yankees have renewed energy in the clubhouse. They have a front office that believes in them by going out and making these moves.
Don’t forget about the returns of Corey Kluber and Luis Severino. Severino will make a rehab start next week and could return perhaps by the end of August. Kluber is on a slightly slower track. He may return early-to-mid September. Those two additions move Nestor Cortes back to the bullpen, where he is a solid option that can go multiple innings. Domingo German can become the Yankees’ swingman down the stretch, starting and coming out of the bullpen.
It hasn’t been the 10 game winning streak many Yankees wanted, but winning these series’ has been the first step in the turnaround of the 2021 season.
Still, two months of baseball to play, with the Yankees 3.5 games out of a playoff spot. Don’t count them out, Yankee fans; it’s only just begun.
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