by Cole Hoyt, Contributing Writer and Loyal Yankees Fan
In the past 21 games, the New York Yankees have only won eight. They have watched their 10 game lead in the AL East disappear. Both the Orioles and Yankees lead the trailing Tampa Bay Rays by a slim three games.
After losing the first game against the Sox, a pair of home runs by Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson helped the Yanks offensive start to pick back up. On an offense that lives and dies with the long ball, it is crucial that New York continues to go deep.
Wednesday night, Yankees closer Rafael Soriano came in for the save. Yankees fans closed their eyes as Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, alhtough the Sox eventually lost by one. That same night, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia left the game when he got the call from the dugout that his wife had gone into labor. The Red Sox staff had a special phone in the dugout and would allow Dustin to leave the game at any point so he could be with his wife.
Before this, the Yankees fans held their breath when captain Derek Jeter left the game after attempting to beat out a ground ball. Jeter told reporters after the game that he wanted to stay in the game but exited for precaution. But one can’t argue why Jeter wanted to stay in the game. He is 17-37 in the past eight games. ESPN confirms that he has also had a 27 percent line drive rate. Jeter has been jumping on the fastball. In his last 61 swings, EPSN also reports that he has recorded 15 hits. The last time the Yankees have won back-to-back games dates back over a month to August 15th.
In the biggest rivalry in sports, the Yankees finished their series Thursday night against the ice cold Boston Red Sox, winning 2-0. Through the season, the Yankees have loved playing in Boston, only losing two games.
The Yankees will try to extend the lead against the Tampa Bay tonight as they host the Rays at home. Their home stretch continues with three games against the Toronto Blue Jays and then three against the surprisingly hot Oakland Athletics. Following games in Minnesota and then in Toronto, the Yankees host the Red Sox to end the regular season.
What does this all mean?
Well, the Yankees need to put away the Blue Jays and extend there consecutive game winning streak. The Yankees will surly be keeping an eye on the Orioles but have to focus on the games that they will play. If the Yankees focus on winning their games, they will make it into the post-season. As it is natural for panic to set in, the Yankees are the most winning team in baseball and their experience will surely give them a needed advantage to finish the regular season strong and make it into the post season.