When I arrived in New York City, the Yankees were second in the AL East and the first game I attended saw them losing, once more, to the Boston Red Sox – making them 1-8 to the Sox on the season.
The Yankees, as I mentioned in a previous article, then managed to scrap and bluff and hang on for victories despite a bullpen which was plainly inadequate.
But now, thanks to some smart managing from Girardi and some deep seeking from Cashman and his scouts and advisors, the bullpen is second best in the American League using ERA as the measure. Guys like Whelan and Carlyle and Marquez who didn’t look like they could get outs are not on the current roster and they have been replaced by Cory Wade (0.00 ERA), Sergio Mitre (who they ought to have found a way to keep in the first place), and Hector Noesi (who is never going to be called dominating but is certainly dogged and persistent).
More importantly, the series of good starts that they have had has allowed them to rely on guys like Robertson, Ayala and Rivera and Boone Logan is looking a little more dependable.
And now, as my time in New York is drawing to a close (14 games at Yankee Stadium and over 70 hours in that cathedral of sport, 2 rain delays and 1 extra innings game), the Yankees have a 2 and ½ game lead over Boston, the big question for the future is about future series against the Red Sox (thankfully the next one is not until late August) and whether the team can overcome the psychological expectation they seem to have that they can’t beat the Boston team and David Ortiz in particular.