New York, NY – The dog days of summer are here and the Big Apple is home to two first place baseball teams. The Yankees just took two of three against the cellar dwelling Boston Red Sox and head into a crucial weekend series against the rising Toronto Blue Jays with a four and a half game lead in the AL East.
Last night CC Sabathia had his best start of the year giving up one run on three hits in six innings. After that, the Bomber bullpen did what they’ve been doing all season and Jacoby Elsbury hit the game-winning homerun in the seventh inning. It is encouraging to see the Yankees win a close, low-scoring game after their recent offensive explosion. In the ten games prior to Wednesday night’s loss to the Sox, the Yankees averaged nine runs per game.
On Wednesday the Yanks couldn’t touch Steven Wright (the knuckleballer, not the comedian). Even after being shut down by Wright, the Yanks had a chance to win in their last at-bat. The Yankees will face another knuckleballer this weekend in former Cy Young winner RA Dickey and hopefully they do better than they did against Wright.
The Yankee bats have gone a little cold these past two games, but hopefully Elsbury’s homerun last night spells the end of his slump. There should be plenty of offense on show this weekend as the Yanks and Jays go head to head. Both teams boast prolific offensive numbers coming into the series. The Blue Jays made several deals at the trade deadline, most notably adding Troy Tulowitzki and David Price to the roster. The Yanks will see Price tomorrow, but they’re already familiar with him from his time in Tampa.
Over in Queens the Mets now lead the NL East by a game and a half after finally adding some offense at the trade deadline. The Amazin’s now head to Tampa for a weekend interleague series with the Rays after sweeping both the Nationals and the Marlins to storm into the division lead.
The Mets added Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Uribe before the deadline to bolster their struggling offense. The additions are paying immediate dividends as the Amazin’s look to keep extending their lead in the division. Real Sandy Alderson finally gave Mets fans what they wanted and now they have their best shot in years of making a deep playoff run. The team now has the offense and starting pitching to win. the remaining question mark is the bullpen. Will Familia and company be able to hold things together and keep the number in the win column ticking over? Time will tell.
It’s an exciting time for baseball fans in the Big Apple. Two first place teams playing some good baseball. There are hopes of a return to the form of the late ’90s when the Yankees and Mets were making playoff pushes year after year. The Yankees are finding success through their offense and bullpen. The Mets’ success is built on a strong foundation of starting pitching. Lets hope that both teams keep up the good play over the next two months and hopefully beyond.