Remarkably, not many people have been talking about the Yankees' poor play on a national scale lately.
Since July 1st, the Bronx Bombers are only one game over .500, with a 29-28 record in that time. Over their last 10 games, they are just 4-6. They've also recently lost series to both Baltimore and Toronto, and they were swept by the Chicago White Sox.
To make matters worse, the Yankees dropped the first game in a three-game series against the division-rival Tampa Bay Rays last night in Tampa.
For those keeping score at home, that means the team's grip on the American League East championship is about as strong as Clay Morrow's grip on his motorcycle in Sons of Anarchy.
The surprising Baltimore Orioles are just 1.0 game back in the division, and the Rays are just 2.5 games back.
George Steinbrenner must be rolling in his grave.
While the Yankees should not be panicking quite yet, there is definitely cause for concern. With 28 games remaining, the Yankees will have to face the Rays five more times, Baltimore four times, Boston six times, Toronto seven times, Oakland three times and Minnesota three times.
On the season, the Yankees own just a 31-30 record against those opponents.
Tampa Bay is the only opponent left who has a winning record against the Yankees this year at 8-5. However, the Orioles (7-7) and Twins (2-2) are tied with the Yanks on the season. Only the Red Sox have a poor record against the Yankees this season at just 4-8.
Obviously, the team has been hit with a couple of key injuries. C.C. Sabathia went on the 15-day DL on August 11th and returned on August 24th. In that span, the Yankees went just 6-6.
More significant, though, was the loss of Alex Rodriguez. He was placed on the disabled list on July 25th. The Yankees had just come off a red-hot month of June that saw them go 20-7. When A-Rod went down, the team was 12-9 on the month and would go on to finish off with a 13-13 record.
Since July 25th, the Yankees have posted a 17-19 record without A-Rod.
While it is certainly not the only reason for the slide, it can be considered a contributing factor.
With a rather tough schedule ahead, the Yankees have to figure out a way to right the ship. The team has dropped to 10th in all of Major League Baseball in batting average with .262 team average. And the Yankees are tied for fifth in runs with 640.
If things don't turn around, and quickly, there's a very real possibility that this incarnation of the Yankees could resemble the 2008 team, who finished third overall with just 89 wins and no October baseball to be played.
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