So are the Yankees the team that floundered through the first half playing 500 ball and who didnt hit with RISP? Or are they the team that won 8 straight and 10 in a row at home, even winning 2 of 3 in Boston and came through with big hit after big hit? Or are they the team that returned the last two nights struggling against the hapless Orioles at home and failing to make big pitches?
They have two months to figure out who they are. Less than 60 games to go, and most on the road, to figure out if they will be playing in October or missing out for the first time since 1995. First year Manager Joe Girardi will have a lot of explaining to do if this team cant run down and catch the young Rays or the rival Red Sox. It is true that they have lost no ground on the Red Sox as both teams have struggled of late, but the Yankees are chasing the Sox and each day they lose is another day off the schedule. The Rays and Sox magic numbers get reduced every time the Yankees lose. So even a losing day for Boston can go down as a partial win. The Yankees cannot afford to lose 5 or 6 in a row or even 7 out of 10. With Darrel Rasner and Sidney Ponson pitching 40% of the games right now, the team needs to win almost every game Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, and Joba Chamberlain start. They need to keep the good momentum they had built and keep up their run.
Is it too early to panic? Yes a little but with the Angels coming to town this weekend sporting the best record in baseball and ready to show off their newest acquisition Mark Texeira, things could get very ugly by Sunday Evening. The Yankees are lucky enough to face the Angels 10 times in the next two months, going to Anaheim twice. This will show a lot about what the team is made of. There was a lot of talk about the final pieces to the puzzle being added last Saturday, lets see if that is true or if the new pieces to the puzzle do not fit.