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By the time the Yankees got to July, they were in second place behind the Red Sox in the division.
A big reason for that was the rotation, which was a mess because Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano—two free agents the Yankees spent money on in the offseason—were both on the DL, as was Kevin Brown.
So the Yankees called up a little-known pitcher by the name of Aaron Small on July 20.
Small came up pretty big for the Yankees during the second half, going 10-0 with a 3.29 ERA.
On July 28, the Yankees sent Ramon Ramirez and Eduardo Sierra to the Rockies in exchange for Shawn Chacon.
Chacon struggled as a starter but had success as a closer in Colorado, but the Yankees saw potential in Chacon and made the deal for him.
Chacon went 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA, pitching very well for the Bombers and pitching well in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Angels.
On July 16, the Yankees picked up Al Leiter, who had been designated for assignment by the Florida Marlins days before.
Leiter was already a well-known pitcher being a former Yankees prospect, a long-time pitcher with the Mets and probably the best player to ever come from the Jersey shore (my current home area.)
In Leiter's very first game against the Red Sox on July 17, Leiter pitched 6.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits, striking out eight and getting the win.
While with the Yankees, Leiter went 4-5 with a 5.49 ERA. Leiter knew he wasn't as effective and was at the end of his career, so he volunteered to go to the bullpen.
The Yankees were able to win the division on the 161st game of the season at Fenway Park against the Red Sox with their patchwork rotation.
Overall rating: 8/10