The New York Yankees have been having a rough August, going 7-8 and seeing their 7-game divisional lead dwindle down to just one. With the surging Toronto Blue Jays breathing down their necks and the season winding down, the Yankees need to start stepping it up and winning ballgames if they want to win the division and play in October. Going 7-8 to start a month isn’t that bad, but when the Jays go 12-3 to start August, 7-8 doesn’t look so appealing. Thankfully, the Yankees have won the games they’ve needed to and still hold the lead in the AL East.
The key for the Yankees success this year has always been their offense. They Bronx Bombers have been having consistency throughout their lineup. Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez have driving in the runs, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner have been scoring the runs and swiping bases, and Chase Headley and Carlos Beltran have been providing consistency at the bottom of the order. No matter whom the Yankees stick in their lineup, they always get productivity. The Yankees offense ranks second in all of baseball in homeruns (158), runs (559), RBI’s (537), 3rd in Slugging (.429) and 4th in OPS (.756).
The Yankees’ outstanding offense has bailed out their pitching for the latter half of the 2015 season. Injuries have hurt the pitching staff, with injuries to Michael Pineda, Chase Whitley, and recently Bryan Mitchell. The call up to Luis Severino hasn’t gone as planned, with Severino posting a 0-2 record with a 3.18 ERA. While Severino has pitched well, he hasn’t gotten them a win in his 3 career starts. Nathan Eovaldi and Masahiro Tanaka have been the two starters giving them the best chance to win. Tanaka dons a 9-5 record with a 3.56 ERA, and Eovaldi a 12-2 with a 4.26. While Eovaldi’s ERA is high, he still manages to get the ball club wins. CC Sabathia is having a season to forget, going 4-9 with a 5.23. While the starters haven’t been having the best season, the Yankees bullpen has been lights out. The combo of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller has been lethal, and when the ball is turned over to them basically ensures a win.
In order for the Yankees to keep their lead in the East, the already hot offense has to keep it up. The top of the lineup needs to continue to get on base, and the middle of the order needs to continue to drive in runs. Tex needs to continue having an MVP type season, McCann is on a crazy hot streak as of late, and A-Rod will deliver that big boom that changes the course of a game. The starters need to go out and give them at least 6 solid innings, then have the game be turned over to the lights out bullpen. With about a month and a half left in the season, the AL East is up for grabs. If the Yankees play solid baseball and keep winning important games, then they will see themselves atop it at seasons end.