The New York Yankees have finally finished their 21 game in 20 day gauntlet, as the stretch ended just as it started: with Alex Rodriguez struggling. I really feel that I’d be beating a dead horse if I went on and on about how abysmal A-Rod has been playing, both in the field and at the plate; I’ll spare him and you all and just say that the guy hasn’t been playing nearly as well as he’s capable of. All of this poor play can be easily erased if A-Rod has a successful September and October, much like his great season last year was erased by a poor outing in the postseason.
But, I digress. The Yankees went 11-10 in this stretch of three consecutive weeks without a day off. The stretch was salvaged by a five-game sweep of the Red Sox up in Fenway, so people aren’t really getting upset about how poor the Yankees played in this stretch, minus that Red Sox series.
Besides the Boston series, the Yankees did not win a single series in the entire stretch. They started off losing 2/3 to the White Sox, split a 4 game series with the Angels, lost 2/3 to the awful Baltimore Orioles at home, lost 2/3 to the Seattle Mariners, who previously had lost 11 straight games, and then losing 2/3 to the Angels. As aforementioned, all of these losses are forgotten because of the pounding that the Yanks laid upon Boston.
I’m not trying to downplay the Boston series, because not even in my wildest dreams did I think they’d sweep the Red Sox, but you can’t overlook the rest of the stretch. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they do not play the Red Sox every game. If the Yankees had it that way, then we’d win the division by 30 games, at the rate this season series is going.
The most disappointing aspect of this stretch was the way they finished it up, losing to the Anaheim Angels, a team that seems to just dominate the Yankees. Randy Johnson is going to need to pick it up, because even though he’s giving them innings, allowing four to five runs per start is simply unacceptable. Jared Wright hasn’t been pitching all that well anymore, and Moose is on the DL. Chieng-Ming Wang may be carrying this rotation for the last month of the season. It’s time for the Yankees to step it up, starting with this midweek series against the Tigers, to solidify a position in the postseason.
On a lighter note, despite losing 4/6 to the Mariners and Angels, the Red Sox were unable to gain any ground on the Yankees divisional lead. They stand at 6.5 games up, and Boston seems to be dead in the water. On a better note, the Athletics have been playing pretty well and remain 5.5 games up on the Angels, a team that I’d prefer not to play in the playoffs.
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