A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how the Yankees were about to enter a crucial stretch of games and at the time, they were buried in the basement of the American League East. Looking back at the last 17 days for the Yankees, they had an impressive stretch.
3 out of 4 against the Royals
2 out of 3 against the White Sox
1 out of 3 against the Diamondbacks
4 game sweep of the A’s
Lost 2 out of 3 to the Blue Jays
They have an 11-6 record during that time and ultimately may have saved their season. Remember, after the Yankees lost two out of three against the Red Sox, Alex Rodriguez went on the DL with a hamstring injury and shortly after that C.C. Sabathia went on the DL as well. During this important stretch, a few players for the Yankees have really stepped up. The first player who stepped up has been Carlos Beltran. Beltran looked like a player who was playing like a 39 year-old in April. Once Rodriguez went down and Beltran was moved to the DH, he began hitting like the Carlos Beltran that the Yankees gave a huge contract to 3 years ago. Over the past 14 games, he has hit .302/.340/.628 with 3 HR and 14 runs batted in. He has been a huge factor in the middle of the Yankee lineup.
Another big performer over the past few weeks has been C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia did spend 15 days on the disabled list but over his past three starts has looked like the C.C of old. He has thrown 20 innings only allowing 11 hits and 1 earned run with 21 strikeouts. That equals a 0.45 ERA and a great sign for the Yankees going forward.
The biggest addition to this team over that past three weeks has been Aroldis Chapman. Chapman was suspended for the first 6 weeks of the season for a domestic abuse incident. Chapman has allowed Girardi to manage his pen to shorten games. The big three in the pen have been outstanding since Chapman has arrived. In Dellin Betances’s last 12 games, he has pitched to a 1.64 ERA and opponents are hitting .179 with 20 strikeouts. In Andrew Miller’s last 10 games, he has pitched to a 1.86 ERA and opponents are hitting .211 with 18 strikeouts. Since debuting with the Yankees, Aroldis Chapman has pitched in 8 games and has a 2.25 ERA and opponents are hitting .200 with 11 strikeouts.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, the Red Sox have gone 11-5 during the same stretch and the Yankees are currently 6.5 games back in the American League East. For the Yankees, the worry is not about winning the division in May but the worry was to dig themselves such a big hole that they cannot climb out of it. They have weathered the storm and 6.5 games in May is nothing to worry about. There are still a lot of questions that the Yankees will have to answer during the final four months of the season. They are an older team and a lot of their players are injury prone. But the Yankees deserve a lot of credit for how they have played over the past three weeks.