LADY AT THE BAT: Outlook: The Subway Series & The Rest Of May

Monday, May 12, 2014

Outlook: The Subway Series & The Rest Of May

It was a rough weekend for the New York Yankees. First, the team lost yet another starting pitcher when CC Sabathia hit the DL, making it 60% of their original starting rotation down and not likely to return anytime soon. Second the Yankees lost another very winnable series as they continued to struggle with RISP.

With the pitching barely hanging on and the offense still seeking some consistency (except for Mark Teixeira, who has found his power stroke early, and Yangervis Solarte, who is still hitting a month and a half into the season), the Yankees could be facing some dire times.

Still, there is some potentially good news for the Yankees. They have 18 games left in May and 12 of those are against National League teams, something that is now unusual with true interleague play ending when the Houston Astros moved to the A.L. in 2013.

Through 2012, the Yankees were dominant in interleague play, posting a .603 winning percentage. Of course that time span included the dominant Yankees teams of the late 90s and the early ‘00s so it is somewhat skewed but, in general, American League teams have fared better in interleague matchups.

Next up for the Yankees are their rivals from Queens. It feels outrageous that the Subway Series is scheduled for a Monday - Thursday but that’s what the baseball gods ordained and that’s what will happen. Last year the Yankees were swept for all four games and will certainly be looking to avoid that fate in 2014.

Personally, I love the subway series. It’s my baseball July 4th. It is a time to wear your team colors proudly, whichever side you fall on, and to root extra hard for your team to win if just so you can lord it over another borough for another year.

The Yankee players certainly don’t care about any of that but it would be a great time for them to win some games, build some confidence and take advantage of a weaker Mets lineup. True, they just lost a series against the N.L. Milwaukee Brewers, but after sweeping the Chicago Cubs earlier in the year, the Yankees are still at 3-2 vs. the National League in the early going.

The pitching match-ups will be a mixed bag as the Mets will face Kuroda, coming off his best start of the season, and Tanaka, who is still carrying a sub 3.00 ERA. However, they will also face rotation filler Vidal Nuno and the well traveled “TBD” who will most likely be Alfredo Aceves filling in for Sabathia.

It’s still too early to say that the rest of this month will make or break the Yankee season, but they need to find a way to keep their heads above water until reinforcements arrive (a familiar refrain from last year) and with their schedule temporarily N.L. heavy, hopefully that makes the task just a little easier.

No comments: