On May 5th, the Yankees had a 9-17 record, were 8 games under .500 and were struggling in every facet of the game. Offensively, they looked terrible, unable to hit with RISP with most of their lineup not even averaging .250. Their starters were at best average (Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia), oftentimes inconsistent (Nathan Eovaldi), and at worst, downright terrible (Michael Pineda and Luis Severino).
There didn’t seem to be a clear way out for a team that was not suffering from injuries so much as they were from ineptitude.
Fast forward to Monday, May 23rd. The Yankees are 21-22, still under .500, but they have closed out the third week in May by following up a 7-3 home stand with a 5-2 West Coast road trip. In their post-game interviews on YES, the Yankees players seemed more relaxed than they have in weeks and will likely enjoy the off day today. There’s work to be done, for sure, but the Yankees have gone 12-5 since hitting their low point, and that’s something to hang their hats on for now.
They have gotten quality starts from every member of their rotation, key hits from virtually everyone in the lineup and appearances from a bullpen that is as good as was advertised in Spring Training. Yes, the Yankees need to figure out Luis Severino and figure out how to get Mark Teixeira on track, but it says something that this team, which is now healthy after getting Jacoby Ellsbury and CC Sabathia back, has put together the best record in the AL since May 6 and is now riding a 5 game winning streak.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, as much as they might want to rest on their laurels, now is not the time. After the off-day, their next 12 of 13 games are against division rivals (the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays) with one make up game against the Detroit Tigers thrown in for good measure.
So, as satisfying as the past two weeks have been, all that progress will all have been for naught if they struggle over the next two. The goal here has to be to win each series. Sweeps are nice, as we found out during the Thursday - Sunday series against the Oakland A’s, but for now every 2 out of 3 will do nicely.
Rest up Yankees. The gauntlet continues!