To a man — and manager — the Yankees said that getting swept by the Angels was no big deal and that they still had a good first half.
Fair enough. They are 51-37 and if the playoffs started tomorrow, they would be the wild card.
But the Yankees have played four teams (the Angels, Red Sox, Phillies and Tigers) who lead their respective divisions at the break and they are 5-15 against those teams. That’s why you can’t dismiss this weekend as just some bad luck.
The idea for a $210 million team in a $1.5 billion ballpark isn’t to make the playoffs, it’s to win them. For now, the Yankees have not been especially competitive against the best teams.
That has to change in the second half. The Yankees have 10 more games against Boston, three against the Angels and three against the Tigers starting on Friday. And don’t forget the nine games left against Tampa Bay.
The Yankees were nine games out after 88 games last season. So while this season has been significantly better, it’s still not good enough. How they play in those 25 games will determine how good this team really is.