Sunday, July 26, 2009

This is the Season

The Yankees came out of the break and won nine out of ten games.

That's good.

That's really, really good. They swept the first place Tigers and last place Orioles, and took three out of four from the last place Athletics.

Life is good for the Yankees.

It's about to get a lot harder.

The Yankees play 19 of their next 26 games on the road, including a stretch that involves visiting Tampa and Chicago, and then coming back to play the Red Sox at home.

This stretch--which will have to be made without Brett Gardner--could mean the season.

While, in recent years, July has been kind to the Yankees, August has not. Last season, a poor August transformed the Yankees from a contender to a spoiler. Of course, this year the circumstances are different--Posada and Matsui are healthy and CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett are in the rotation instead of Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner.

This year, the Yankees should be able to emerge from this stretch in decent shape, but should is the key word. "Should" guarantees nothing.

The Yankees are clearly outperforming the 2008 team, and have been more consistent than the team in 2007--less dependent on career seasons from one or two players--but, and perhaps, because of it, expectations are that much higher.