Over the course of their first 28 games this season, from Opening Day on April 6th through May 7th, the New York Yankees went 13-15. And, at the close of business on May 7th, the Yankees found themselves sitting in 3rd place in the A.L. East, 5.5 games back of first place. With an overall record two games under .500 after their first month of play, New York played, and looked like, a mediocre ballclub.
However, over their next 13 games, the Yankees caught fire – as they went 11-2 from May 8th through May 21st. During this time, they moved four games closer to first place (shaving their games back from 5.5 to just 1.5).
At that time, few looked at that 11-2 run by New York and were willing to say that most of that was against the Orioles and Twins (where the Yankees went 9-1).
In fact, the Yankees went 5-1 against the Orioles during this time and Baltimore had just fashioned a terrible string of games prior to this period where they went 6-15 (from April 15th through May 7th). Basically, the Yankees caught the O’s when they were playing terrible baseball. Also, the Yankees went 4-0 against the Twins during this period where the Yankees were very lucky, out-scoring the Twins by five runs, overall, in those four contests.
But, for the record, at this blog, on May 27th, one week after the Yankees finished that 11-2 run, I wrote:
As of this morning, the Yankees are in second place in the A.L. East – one game back of the Boston Red Sox. That’s the good news.
Overall, the Yankees record is now 26-20. They are 6 games over the .500 mark.
However, to date, the Yankees are 6-3 against the lowly Baltimore Orioles this year. And, the Yankees recently took a four-game series from the Twins – where the Yankees were very lucky, out-scoring the Twins by five runs, overall, in those four contests.
When you take these layup games against the O’s out of the picture, and subtract those four lucky wins against the Twinkies, the Yankees are 16-17. This is one game below the .500 mark.
This leads to today’s wild thought: Is the Yankees current place in the A.L. East standings misleading in terms of capturing their performance this season, so far? Has New York, sans some favorable match-ups and a few lucky games, been more of a mediocre performer this season?
Based on the comments left to that entry, many disagreed with my suggestion that “sans some favorable match-ups and a few lucky games” the Yankees had “been more of a mediocre performer this season.”
Well, what’s happened in Yankeeland since that run where New York went 11-2?
Including today’s loss against the lowly Washington Nats, in their last 25 games, from May 22nd through June 18th, the New York Yankees have gone 13-12. Just as was the case in their first 28 games of the season, with this mark, New York has played, and looked like, a mediocre ballclub. Actually, it’s worse than this when you consider that Willy Aybar and Luis Castillo handed the Yankees two wins during this period. Even Yankees fanboys with the biggest and baddest pair of Yankees Blinders possible would be willing to admit that New York’s record should be more like 11-14 over these last 25 games rather than the 13-12 that it’s been, in reality.
So, in summary, this has been the Yankees 2009 season to date: 28 games of mediocrity, followed by 13 games of serendipity, followed by 25 games of mediocrity. Basically, it’s been a couple of thin slices of luck sandwiched by two thick oversized slices of mediocrity. And, to me, when you digest that sandwich, you mostly taste the mediocrity.
Hopefully, the remaining 96 games for the Yankees this season will be more palatable. However, if it ends up being another big bowl of mediocrity, I would not be shocked. As, so far this season, the Yankees have showed us that they are capable of little else other than playing bourgeoisie (middle class) baseball.