Monday, July 1, 2013

The Yankees in July

Well, I said in my last baseball post that the end of June would be make or break time for the Yankees, asking for just 14-10 from June 5-June 30, and the broken down lineup the team ran-out for the last couple of weeks... well, it broke.

The team was actually 11-11 for the month at the start of play on June 25th. And then they embarked on their current 5 game losing streak, finishing 11-16.

But we knew June would be rough, and that's before Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis had season ending surgery, before Andy Pettitte posted an ERA a shade below 5 for the month, before the Vernon Wells recovery tour bottomed out at .133/.143/.147.

There's no reason July should be different for the Yankees. The offense is not of a caliber to swing it with Boston and Baltimore and even Toronto. So if the pitching isn't perfect, this team has no comeback potential.

Could Cashman complete a big trade? Perhaps.
Could Arod and Jeter and Granderson come back to lead the team on a late surge? Every day that passes makes it seem less likely.
The adage is to take 2 out of 3 from the second tier teams and play .500 against the contenders. If we call contenders any team that finished within 3 of the second Wild Card spot, our 2013 American League contenders are the Orioles, the Rays, the Tigers, the A's and the Rangers.
By our regular logic, the Yankees have 10 games against "contenders" in July, the O's and Rangers. But the Red Sox have shown themselves to be a different team than last year, so let's call it 13. That leaves 13 games against non-contenders; 7 with the Twins, 4 with the Royals, and a 2 game set with the Dodgers.

Following my normally cautious approach, I'd ask for the Yankees to go 7-6 against the contenders and  9-4 against the non-contenders. A 16-10 month would go a long way to calming the spoiled brats Yankee fans calling for the team to be blown up and the front office to be fired. It would also move the Yankees to 58-49, on pace for only 88 wins. The last time that few wins would win the AL East was 2000.

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