After the Yankees' disappointing loss to the Rays today, with Mariano's sub-par pitching, and Boston's victory on Jon Lester's complete game, the powerhouses of the AL East once again are neck and neck.
The Standings in the AL East...
New York 32-23
Tampa Bay 29-28
Yes, that means there are 4 teams above .500 in the division.
The Rays have won their 6 of their last 7.
The Yanks are 20-13 since May 1st.
The Red Sox have won 4 of their last 5 games.
This is going to be one helluva pennant race. But, for now let's just look to the end of June....
The Yanks will play 2 more games at home against Tampa, 3 games in Boston, 3 games against the injury riddled Mets in the Bronx, 3 games at home against the league-worst Nats, 3 games in Florida, 3 games in Atlanta, 3 across town at CitiField, and then they'll play the first game of a 3 game series against Seattle on June 30th to end the month. All of those teams have a winning percentage of at least .460, except for Washington, and 3 of them are over .500.
The Yanks need to win tomorrow. Joba is a much better pitcher than Garza, and a win would push Tampa back to .500. Another win against the Rays would be nice, but not crucial. After that we need to take 2 of 3 in Boston to take hold of first place. The series at CitiField shouldn't be tough, what with Delgado and Reyes both out of the lineup and with the Mets being swept by the Pirates recently. I'm only worried about Johan, but depending on the match-up we have 3 guys that when on their game can be just as good (Joba, CC, and AJ). A series sweep would obviously be the best outcome, and isn't unthinkable, but at the bare minimum we need to take 2 of 3. The Nats are an easy sweep, and Florida hasn't been anything like I thought they would be. We can win 5 of 6 in those two series. Atlanta's a tough team to face because when they put Jair Jurrjens, Javy Vasquez, Derek Lowe, or Tommy Hanson on the mound, well it isn't fun for the opposing offense. But we've got a pretty talented staff as well, and our offense outshines theirs everyday. Thus, we can win that series, but if we only take one win out of it, it won't be devastating. Then we head to queens, and hope for another series win, which is entirely obtainable, before Seattle comes to visit the Bronx. So I'm saying we should go 15-5 before we meet up with Seattle. That's .750 ball, which is a tad crazy. But hey, we're the New York Yankees. Anything is possible.