Surely no one wants the Yankees to lose a game particularly when the Yankees have a chance to move into first place in the AL East and come home on a high note. And sometimes the effort or the way a team loses can be more frustrating than the loss itself but sometimes losses have to be put into perspective.
First, the matchup for tonight’s game of Brian Gordon vs Johnny Cueto had a difficult game written all over it. Cueto came into the game with an ERA of 1.68 and Brian Gordon was starting his second game this year (and just fifth since the beginning of the 2008 season). While Brian Gordon pitched well in his first start versus the Rangers the odds of him repeating such versus the Reds was low. In fact, AccuScore had the Yankees as a significant underdog going into this game.
Second, after being swept by that team that will not be named and having a record of 33-27 the Yankees have gone 10-3 and are now 43-30 and on pace for a 97 win season which would most likely put them into the playoffs. There are just 6 teams in the AL and 11 teams in MLB overall with 40 or more and the Yankees are one of these teams.
The interleague road trip that finished off with this loss was still a winning road trip at 4-2 and the only game that the Yankees seemingly were never in was tonight’s blowout. (The 3-1 loss to the Cubs was filled with chances for the Yankees to win late and was actually a quality start by Freddy Garcia). The series against the Reds (which the Yankees won) used Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, and Brian Gordon as the three starters and if anyone had told you that they would give the Yankees two wins based on this I think fans would have been quite happy. It also bears noting that the Yankees played the last six games at a severe disadvantage as there was no DH in these games.
Third, the Yankees are the only team with a run differential of over +90, are 2nd overall in runs, 2nd overall in OBP, 1st overall in SLG, and 2nd overall in OPS. Two Yankees are in the top 5 in MLB in HRs, two Yankees are in the top 10 in MLB in RBIs, and 4 Yankees are in the top 25 in MLB in SLG.
And how is this Yankees team doing this? With some of the starters and much of the bullpen that the season plan had or that the season began with on the disabled list (Phil Hughes, Bartolo Colon, Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano, et al) and pitchers such as Luis Ayala, Jeff Marquez, Cory Wade, Hector Noesi, Amauri Sanit, and Lance Pendleton all seeing significant action during the season. In addition, the Yankees have been without Derek Jeter for the last nine games and have been relying on the defensively struggling Eduardo Nunez and the offensively anemic Ramiro Pena as their everyday SS and backup infielder with Eric Chavez also on the disabled list not to mention having to play Francisco Cervelli more than they would have perhaps liked due to the schedule as well as Russell Martin’s sore back. There is also the “nagging” injuries that go on at this point in the season which seem to be affecting some players (see Rodriguez, Alex) more than others.
I would not say that this is a Yankees team without problems but we need to feel comfort in the fact that certain players such as Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher have had a great month of June and look to be the players Yankees fans all expected them to be and that a few of our missing players seem to be having positive progress in resuming baseball activities. We also all know that the Yankees have the management team in place that will make the moves necessary to ensure this team will have the talent to compete to the very last cold day in October or November.
It’s a long 162 game season and the Yankees are going to win some and they are going to lose some and some of those losses will be ugly but as Yankees fans we should take these losses in perspective.