It has been a tough ride. Up and down we go, along the tough schedule belonging to the Yankees. Each game is a close one, but most have ended recently in heartbreak. How can we fix this skid?
Solarte has been pushed to the background. Tanaka has been giving up three runs and yet still losing due to lack of run support. And the bullpen is just blowing late leads when the Yanks don’t even have the confidence at the plate to put up big numbers right now.
Woe is us, the die-hard Yankees fans.
But wait a minute…it’s July. It’s only halfway through the season. That means there is yet another half of baseball to come. While a 42-42 record is clearly not ideal (and neither is a third place standing in the AL East or being swept by the last-place Rays), there is still so much more baseball to come. And if there’s anythng the Yankees have taught their fans, it is that they can make a comeback. And they can make it look good.
Hell, the Yanks finished 2008 without a playoff run. In fact, they weren’t even close to the playoffs. And in 2009, they roared back and dominated the World Series to get their 27th title. Not too shabby for a group of “over-paid” and “overrated” players.
While 3.5 games out of the AL East lead isn’t as bad as the Rays and their 9.5 GB, it certainly leaves some room for improvements in the Yankees lineup. And that has to start with their offense.
Hits, hits, hits. It’s not enough to just hit home runs these days. You have to advance runners, be strategic and place the ball where you can drive in that crucial run, especially against a tough pitcher. Placing that ball can be difficult with certain pitchers and their tough throws, but it is worth a shot to try.
Swing. The. Bat. No more sitting and looking at the first two strikes whizz by. Yeah, Brett Gardner, I’m talking to you. And everyone. A strikeout every once and a while is fine, but being aggressive in the count can give a better pitch and a better shot at getting that crucial hit. The best pitches are generally thrown early on in the at-bat, so use it!
You know, the boys aren’t doing too bad. But they are capable of so much more. At least that is what the Yankees fans believe. Let’s take an All-Star break and come out full-force in the second half of the season.
After all, if you can’t score, you won’t win. It’s as simple as that.