The good news this week is, the Yankees met the challenge of playing the first place Orioles knocking them out of the lead by taking three of four at Yankee Stadium.
The bad news is, in losing the final game of the series on Thursday, the Yankees exposed the reasons why they continue to struggle to stay above the .500 mark. Consider that the 3-4-5 hitters combined on Thursday to go 0 for 11 with a walk and four strikeouts. Add to that the game's seventh place hitter, Alex Rodriguez, and the big boppers from years past, who combined to go 0 for 14 on the day.
In fairness, the number three hitter, Carlos Beltran, had a bad day at the plate, but is hitting .300 on the season and is ninth in the league in slugging percentage at .548, Beltran is the only middle of the order hitter pulling his weight. A-Rod and Mark Teixeira have slugging percentages of .371 and .315, respectively. Brian McCann is not much netter at .434.
Then there is the performance of CC Sabathia, who started Thursday's game poorly by giving up two quick runs, but hit his stride for innings two through six before giving up two more runs in the 7th inning. The final line was a mediocre 6.2 innings with 4 runs earned. After taking a few days off, welcome back inconsistent CC.
Meanwhile, the rumor mill has been doing back flips over what the Yankees might do before the deadline. The latest rumor has the Yankees cutting ties with both Rodriguez and Teixeira, giving their roster spots to prospects, either from the farm or acquired in deadline dealing.
So the question remains, buyer or seller, or maybe some of both? Thursday's game has played out time and again throughout the 2016 season. The answer is something needs to be done. Drastic moves like cutting ties with A-Rod and Teixeira seem unlikely. But Aroldis Chapman going to the highest bidder for prospects, seems very much on the table. Brian Cashman has had a history of pulling off under the radar type deals, so we might be in for some surprises, though getting younger remains the central theme.
The Yankees open a series at Citi Field against their crosstown rival, the Mets, on Monday night August 1st, just hours after the trade line. How different might their roster be then from the roster for tonight's opener against the Giants? It's still very hard to say.