After watching the New York Yankees lose the rubber match down in Tampa 3-0, I started to panic.
The game was painful but quick as clear by the zero runs scored.
Rays starter Alex Cobb whiffed the Yankee hitters, as he didn’t allow a base runner to reach third over his 8 1/3 innings pitching.
Yankees southpaw Andy Pettitte did enough to keep the Yankees in the mix, but his efforts got wasted, as he got no run support.
The Yankees are back home to face the Blue Jays for a four game set, but looking at the bigger picture this next month looks to be a critical one.
Many Yankees fans that are still on the fence about this makeshift group should be able to form an opinion over the next five weeks as to whether contending is possible this season.
No thanks to Mother Nature either, as do you remember the back-to-back rainouts in Cleveland on April 10th and 11th?
Sure you do; but if you forgot the two games will be made up via a doubleheader on May 13th at Progressive Field.
That Monday was originally a scheduled travel day for the Yankees who would be coming back to the Bronx after a series in Colorado and Kansas City.
The newly added stop to face the Tribe puts the Yankees on a 16-game stretch followed by a 17-game stretch.
Conveniently, the team’s only day off is sandwich between a series against the Orioles and the Rays, followed by four games vs. the Mets and then a three game set vs. the Red Sox, who are playing the best baseball in my opinion.
Next the Tribe drops by the Bronx for three before the Yankees have to fly across the country to play four games in Seattle with no travel day in between.
Finally, on May 10th the Bronx Bombers get a day off before heading into the Golden State to face the Athletics and Angels before coming back home.
To say the Yankees will be tested is an understatement, as both issues and strengths will get exposed during this extended stretch of games.
INJURY UPDATES: HELP IS NOT ON THE WAY.
It seems the makeshift Yankees are going to have to make do without the help they were counting on.
There will be no Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter, as both aren’t slated to be back until after the All-Star Break.
Tex hasn’t even been cleared to take batting practice yet, so my guess is fans won’t see him until mid-June.
Pending that Tex’s wrist has no setbacks, as skipper Joe Girardi said yesterday, “I’ve said all along, this is probably the most unpredictable one. Derek [Jeter] has become somewhat really unpredictable, too, but wrists are really tricky. You go day-by-day, week-by-week, and you see how he’s doing. Eventually, if you can get him in games, you have a much better idea.”
Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista suffered a similar injury last season to Tex, and tried to rest it for a few weeks only to wind up opting to have season ending surgery.
Bautista’s told ESPN the reason was , “There’s just too much instability in that tendon and it got to the point where risking injuring the tendon was not worth it. That’s why we’re opting to do it now.”
When he initially returned from the DL, Bautista said he had no pain, but could feel the tendon moving, which makes me optimistic about Teixeira making a successful return.
Last but not least, Curtis Granderson is right on track and has the best shot of returning the soonest. Grandy is already swinging off a tee, and a May return looks likely.
So far this season has been a roller coaster of emotions.
One day this Yankees team looks as good as it gets, to only fall flat on their faces the next.
The bottom line is these makeshift Yankees will not get any help before going on this wretched run, but with the right mindset can be used to their advantage.
Theoretically, most baseball experts would say the Yankees have already exceeded expectations thus far. And I would have to adamantly agree but that does not breed hope.
This team’s determined does, and that is why fans started to believe in them.
The question now is do the Yankees have enough dedication to sustain it. Only time will tell.
As the great Vince Lombardi once said, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.”