One at a time working for YankeesBombers neither looking back nor looking ahead
But when the Yankees are in the valley, in the throes of a drought like the stretch during which they dropped nine out of 12 games, the obligatory panic ensues over how this team is old, past its prime, DFA this guy, fire that guy, and so on ….
Leave it to Jack Curry to Tweet the correct perspective on the ebb and flow of a 162-game season:
When you lose 9 of 12, things needs to be fixed. For perspective, '11 Cards/'10 Giants lost 9 of 12. 09 Yanks: 9 of 13. 98 Yanks: 8 of 12.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) August 1, 2012
The common denominator: Each of those teams won a World Series. And a memo to a new generation of Yankees fans: The crew in ’98 won 114 regular-season games and 125 overall. This year’s Yankees never lost more than three straight games before the All-Star break, but dropping four in a row twice in the last two weeks took the focus away from how New York still owned the AL’s best record and the largest division lead of anyone living in the penthouse.
It was all about what the Yankees weren’t doing: winning close games, hitting in clutch situations, starters failing to protect sizable leads, not putting away two division rivals (Red Sox, Orioles). On a raw, rainy Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx, the Yankees played like someone slapped them in their collective faces and shouted, “WAKE UP!” They destroyed the Orioles, 12-3, using a seven-run third-inning to knock the O’s out cold.
“We don’t like losing around here, man,” said Nick Swisher afterwards. “This isn’t the type of team that deals with losing very well. That’s not our style. We feel like we’re a winning group of guys. Four games in a row? Joke’s over. Enough is enough.”
The romp increased the Yankees’ lead over the Orioles to 6 ½ games only two weeks after they enjoyed a 10-game advantage. Time has proven Yogi Berra a genius, for it really ain’t over ‘till it’s over. Those who’ve gotten a kick over betting the house the Yankees will make the playoffs must not forget the fate of their beloved Red Sox last season. The Yankees know that entering this weekend’s series against the last-place Mariners, who of late have played like a first-place team.
Seattle is a winner of seven straight – the M’s longest since June 23-July 1, 2011 – is 14-6 since the All-Star break and 8-2 since the July 23 trade of Ichiro Suzuki to New York. Coincidence or not, the Yankees are 4-5 since Ichiro donned pinstripes, yet the Bombers are far from full strength with Mark Teixeira out of action until at least Friday, and Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte sidelined until sometime in September.
When you think carefully about how far the Yankees have come despite all the adversity, it should set your perspective straight.
“The thing about this team is, we’re not needing one guy to go ahead and do it,” said Curtis Granderson. “The fact that (Rodriguez and Teixeira) are out right now and banged up a little bit, we still can go the way we need to. We still have all the pieces to go out there and win ballgames. That’s the main thing we need to do. We’re not into September yet. We’ve got to focus on the fact that today is August (2nd), our next game will be August 3rd and that’s why we’ve got to go out there and realize that’s the most important thing.”
Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC
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