LADY AT THE BAT: Hot Yankees Need To Avoid Letdown on 10 Game Trip

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hot Yankees Need To Avoid Letdown on 10 Game Trip

It's been the story of the Yankees season so far. Just when they seem to be on a roll, something happens. Thursday the Yankees loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the first and the next two hitters failed to advance the runners. It looked as if something was about to happen. 
But Chase Headley, who has struggled all season at the plate and in the field, delivered a bases clearing, two out, clutch double. Didi Gregorius then singled to plate Headley, giving the Yankees a 4-0 lead on their way to a three game sweep of division rival Baltimore.

Forgotten in all the hoopla of winning their 4th straight, maintaining a division lead of 5.5  games, is the fact that the Yankees have hit the skids rather abruptly a few times this season. If there is ever a time for the next skid to occur it would be on the upcoming road trip through Minnesota, Texas and Chicago. So far the Yankees have only met Texas, and speaking of a skid, they were swept at home against the Rangers in May. Texas is not what you would call a premier team at this point, but so far they have the Yankees' number. Minnesota is in the race for a wild card spot, and much like Houston, Pittsburgh and the Cubs, has been fast tracking their top prospects to the majors, and is becoming a legitimate contender right now. The White Sox are not that good this year, but they boast some tough left handed starting pitching. Suffice it to say, this won't be an easy road trip.
On the other hand, the Yankees may have turned the corner. Headley's defense has improved vastly in recent weeks, and the clutch two out hit on Thursday may be a sign of things to come. Jacoby Ellsbury had his best game since returning from the disabled list, with three hits and four RBI's. Didi Gregorius seems to have improved all aspects of his game, hitting, fielding and base running. Ivan Nova is back from a prolonged layoff because of Tommy John Surgery, and has pitched well. Even CC Sabathia's last two starts have been encouraging.
It all adds up to possibly a good road trip without the much feared and somewhat familiar letdown. If the Yankees return from this trip with the current lead intact, and key players healthy, they will be in line for a good strertch run.
Trade Deadline
Also impacting the Yankees in the next week will be any deadline dealing that they may pursue. Word is Brian Cashman is not expecting much, if any dealing. What we've leaned with Cashman is that many of his trades seem to come out of nowhere. The Yankees could make a small deal or two, or be totally inactive, or make the deal that no one saw coming, Seems as if the Yankees might be dealing from a position of strength: Everyone is healthy, their division lead is growing and a few players seem to have put their early struggles behind them  Yes, they could use a second baseman and some pitching depth but there is no absolute need at this point. It's the stuff of which last minute blockbusters are created. Some team that is in a selling mode might just lower their price at the last minute to move a particular player, putting the Yankees in the right place at the right time.

Stay tuned.

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