The Yankees ended every day of this road trip tied for first place. They fell into a tie after the series opener in Toronto, and they stayed there through two more games against the Blue Jays and three games against the White Sox.
In theory, the schedule gives them an opportunity to gain some ground during the upcoming home stand. The Yankees next 10 games are in the Bronx against the Athletics, Blue Jays and Orioles. The A’s are a second-place team, the Blue Jays are obviously dangerous and the Orioles have shown some signs of life, but there is no easier part of the schedule remaining.
It comes at a time when the Yankees have some life of their own. This road trip was very nearly a bad one — a very, very bad one — but the offense came to life on Saturday, the pitching carried the team on Sunday and the Yankees got out of Chicago able to breathe a little easier.
Two guys who helped make that happen: Eduardo Nunez and Ivan Nova.
Neither was among the most highly touted prospects in the system, but they’ve played a role this year, and shown enough promise to think they could continue to play some sort of role in the future. At different points this season the Yankees have leaned on guys like Colin Curtis and Kevin Russo, and those role-players from within have helped out when the Yankees needed them. The same sort of thing is happening right now.
As a bonus, the new guys occasionally provide postgame interviews like this one from the night Nunez hit his first home run. The words he’s saying don’t even matter. Just listen to the guy. This is what happiness sounds like.