“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” - Darwin
Heading into the second-half, the New York Yankees are the best team in baseball.
A 52-33 record earned the Bombers a 7-game lead in the AL East, which sounds more comfortable when in actuality it is not much. Remember this is mid-July, not early September and there are still 80+ games left to play.
Here are some facts and uncertainties to keep in mind as the Yankees try to stay ahead on the Road to October.
QUICK NOTES / FACTS:
- Yankees have 77 regular season games left to play in the 2012.
- 40 games are at home, and 37 on the road.
- Yankees winning percentage vs. 2nd half opponents = .505
- If the season ended today, the Yankees would be playing the winner of the Wild Card game between the Angels and Orioles.
- Yankees scored 412 runs in the first-half and 209, or 50.7% were from home-runs.
- If the Bombers can keep up this pace (134 HRs), they are on track to hit 255 homers in the regular season.
Readers have emailed me with second-half concerns for the Yankees and most don’t have definitive answers yet but could pose a significant problem down the stretch. Here are the 5 most important and intriguing ones.
1) Is Brett Gardner coming back this season?
Supposedly yes but the latest report via ESPN New York is no earlier than July 27th. So, the possibility of not getting Gardner back in 2012 is still there.
This question I will not even give my opinion on until I have too. Talk about a sticky situation.
3) Can the Yanks survive on homers alone, as they have the worst batting average with RISP in the AL (.231)?
Power comes in bunches; and hitting is contagious so you can expect at least one ugly stretch of losses if not more.
4) Is Andy Pettitte going to return this season and when?
Hopefully Pettitte will be back by beginning of September, and to put this in a positive light…what a perfect time of year to get a fresh, dominating arm like his back.
5) Will the Yankees call up Austin Romine if Russell Martin continues to struggle at the plate?
My guess is no, as Romaine is just getting back from a back injury and his bat doesn’t bring enough pop to make any difference. Girardi will keep playing Chris Stewart half the time unless Martin gets it together offensively.
Otherwise the second-half of the MLB season is when things get crazy; and if 2012′s road to October comes anywhere close to last season fans are in for a treat.
I can safely speak for many Yankee fans in saying that the dream of #28 is very real now, so please try to keep things in perspective. As when expectations get exceeded in the face of enormous adversity the disappointment is only that much greater if things don’t work out.
Sorry for the negativity but bottom line is winning makes losing all that much harder to swallow.