The Yankees just won five games of a seven-game road trip. They’ve won eight games in nine days and they’re a game out of first place on August 8. Things could be much worse for this team.
Of course, they also just lost a game that was in their hands. They lost it at Fenway, with first place on the line, and the Red Sox have now won 10 of 12 against the Yankees this season.
“Coming in, that’s all we heard about,” Phil Hughes said. “To be so close to taking two out of three, it’s kind of a hit, but we have an off day and can refresh and get back to playing at home and hopefully have a good home stand.”
A few quick thoughts before I get on a plane back to New York…
• One thing that makes these back-to-back loses especially tough to swallow for the Yankees: They lost when they had CC Sabathia on the mound, and they lost when they had Mariano Rivera on the mound. When those two are involved, the Yankees expect to win.
• One thing that makes this series especially tough to swallow: The loses were more memorable than the win. Friday was a nice, gritty victory for the Yankees, but Saturday was a blowout and Sunday was a win that got away. The Red Sox score more runs on Saturday than the Yankees scored all weekend.
• Brett Gardner’s finally got this base-stealing thing figured out, doesn’t he? It was strange to see him get off to that terrible start this season, because he’d never been a guy to get thrown out a whole lot.
• Rivera’s Sunday and Hector Noesi’s Saturday aside, the bullpen was terrific this series (and this trip, really). With Rafael Soriano back in the mix, that group looks pretty good again.
• Two key’s to the bullpen: Dave Robertson stepping up to replace — and surpass — the injured setup relievers, and Cory Wade stepping up to replace Robertson.
• Josh Beckett is crushing the Yankees this season.
• If Eric Chavez hadn’t been injured, how much sooner would the Yankees have benched Jorge Posada? His career earned him some slack, and Posada bought some time with that terrific month of June, but eventually the Yankees had to move on.
• I just looked at the numbers again: Posada hit .382/.419/.588. It’s amazing that he could be that good through 22 games, and so bad the rest of the season.
• My complete guess for the Yankees upcoming rotation: Ivan Nova on Tuesday, A.J. Burnett on Wednesday, Phil Hughes on Thursday, CC Sabathia on Friday and Freddy Garcia on Saturday. I think this is a chance to skip Bartolo Colon. As Brian Cashman has said, the Yankees are in uncharted waters with him. There’s no way of knowing how he’ll handle this workload, and giving him a little break right now might be a good thing.
• Just when I was beginning to believe the Yankees were ready to call-up Jesus Montero, Girardi’s comments have me thinking otherwise. If the Girardi doesn’t trust Montero to handle the pitching staff, then I’m not sure they can carry him. Unless it’s September, it’s hard to have Cervelli, Posada and Montero taking up three spots on the bench.
Associated Press photo