Sunday, June 30, 2013

Yankees Closer to Cellar Than Penthouse

Indeed, the decision to watch a movie last night was the correct one. The Yankees who looked foolish at times Friday night, looked foolish for the entire 11-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday's nationally televised game. Starter David Phelps was hammered and didn't make it past the 33r
d inning. It's probably time to try out Ivan Nova again tin that spot.

Suddenly the Bronx Bombers-less are 5 1/2 games out of first and just 2 games out of the AL East basement. Things have take quite a turn in the division over the last two weeks. Like the Yankees, the Boston Rex Sox and Orioles have gone through up and down periods. So much so that despite losing 7 of 10, the Yankees have dropped just two games in the standings.

Meanwhile, everybody's pre-season bandwagon pick, the Toronto Blue Jays, finally came to life. They reeled off 11 straight wins and got back into contention. They did despite the fact that the lowest ERA by a starter (R.A. Dickey) is 4.72. The team is not short on power, though, with Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, J.P. Arencibia, and Colby Rasmus contributing to the damage.

The Blue Jays are also getting healthy. Jose Reyes is back after being out since April 12 with a badly injured ankle. Though the results have been mixed, Josh Johnson is throwing the ball better after a stint on the DL. The team has also gotten an unexpected boost from Adam Lind (.938 OPS), who has bounced back and forth between the Majors and the minors  when he struggled at the plate.

The Tampa Bay Rays have stayed the course. The team has produced good to great pitching for years, though they end up dealing away the talent when the big money is due. Matt Moore started out the season like a house afire, winning his first eight decisions. Alex Cobb was having a marvelous season until he took a line drive to the head in mid-June. Last year's AL CY Young winner, David Price, will be back from the DL shortly with the hope that he'll throw better than he has all year. (1-4, 5.24 in 9 starts)

The team has called up Wil Myers to help the offense, which still doesn't produce nearly enough. Yet they are still in contention, 6 games back of Boston for the division lead, and 3 1/2 out of the wild card.

The Yankees need to get better fast or Brian Cashman best get some better fill-ins, or this team's season will done by end of July trade deadline.

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