Via Wally Matthews -
The New York Yankees now have lost seven of their past 10 games, 12 of their past 18 and 13 of the 24 they have played since the All-Star break.
They have seen their lead in the American League East shrink from a high of 10 games on July 18 to where it sits right now, a mere 4½ games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles — their narrowest lead since June 29.
After three months of playing without their closer, six weeks without their No. 2 starter and two weeks without their starting third baseman, they are beginning to show signs of fraying at the edges.
While they are in no danger of missing out on the postseason, there is no guarantee anymore that they will win their division and escape the crapshoot of the one-game play-in.
And if it turns out that, once again, their division series opponent is the Detroit Tigers, you would have to call them the underdogs to advance to the AL Championship Series.
After all, any team that has a defending AL MVP in Justin Verlander poised to start twice in five games and a looming AL MVP in Miguel Cabrera sitting in the middle of its lineup has got to be the favorite — especially based on its performance in the first two games here this week.
No wonder Eric Chavez — one of the few productive hitters in the Yankees’ lineup Tuesday night and one of a small handful of honest voices in their clubhouse after their 6-5 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park — had this to say when asked what the level of concern around the team is right now:
“There should be a high level of concern. Anybody who says that there isn’t is lying. You’ve just got to win ballgames, and we’re not finding a way to do that, and it should be a concern. It’s that time of the year when, yeah, it is a concern.”
Good thing Chavez is not some almost-fifty-year old blogger who has been a fan of the Yankees for forty years. If he was, and he said something like that, people would get all over him.