The good news – today could have been a day to cave, take lumps, and have an “L” pinned on their chest; but, the Yankees bullpen and bats pulled a “W” out of their hat. And, this victory gives New York a three-game lead in the A.L. East over Tampa Bay – and Boston is now seven back in the loss column as well. With this in the books, and forecasting the rest of the schedule, CoolStandings.com gives the Yankees a 87.2% chance of making the post-season this year. And, that’s the highest percentage of any team in baseball at this moment.
Now, the bad news – Andy Pettitte’s injury. He’s probably done for July now – and will more than likely miss three starts, at the least. As a result, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes need to step up and pitch consistently well while Andy’s out. If not, we could be looking at a spell where the Yankees putter around at a .500 clip for a while. And, if that happens, there’s a good chance that the Rays close the gap on the Yanks.
You know, the Yankees did take two of three in this series. But, that Friday game could have gone either way. The Rays concern me – in both the chase for first and what comes after in the post-season. It used to be that the Red Sox and Angels were the teams I least wanted the Yankees to face in October. But, now, the Rays are right up there. You know, it’s funny. The Twins are usually a very good team. But, come post-season, you know there’s no way the Twinkies can beat the Yankees – it’s in both team’s heads. But, the Rays…man…I get the feeling that they don’t sweat the Yankees, at all, and maybe the Yankees should be very worried about them…especially if they end up meeting in the A.L.C.S. this year.