It was enough to make us all think that maybe that 6 game losing streak was an anomaly and the Yankees were back on the winning track. Certainly they weren’t going to sweep every series, but as long as they got back to actually winning them, it was fine. With the A.L. league worst Oakland Athletics up next, it was as good a time as any for the Yankees to play up to that potential.
Naturally, then, the Yankees promptly lost three of the four games against the A's to fall back into a tie for 1st place in the A.L. East.
One of the hardest things about the Yankees ineptitude is watching how poorly the rest of the division is playing and knowing that it won’t be that way for long. The Yankees will rue all of these missed opportunities in the upcoming months. All the more so if they can’t straighten themselves out for good and miss the playoffs.
Beacon of optimism that I am, however, I’m still of the belief that the Yankees will turn things around. Here are three reasons why:
- The starting rotation should get a boost this month. Masahiro Tanaka returns to the rotation either Tuesday or Wednesday. His minor league rehab outing was underwhelming to say the least but he came out of it healthy and you have to think he’ll produce better than Chris Capuano. Same with Ivan Nova who should be close to a return by the end of June.
- The defense has been terrible through the first two months of the season. By most defensive measures, the Yankees rank at the bottom of the American League. Chase Headley has nearly reached his season high in errors and the season isn’t even half over. Didi Gregorious, who is doing precious little offensively, has shown, at times, a cavalier disregard for the baseball at SS.
- In June, the Yankees have just 14 games against opponents with above .500 records. Yes, the Yankees seem to do better against better opponents, but inept opponents are always welcome. Unfortunately some of those sub .500 teams are just below and may reach the midway mark before the Yankees face them but, again, we’re looking at the positives here.
May was a month of ups and downs for the Yankees, a trek to the top of the division and of treading water to stay there. June very well may be the month when they finally discover a way to take decisive steps forward.