With last night's 8-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays and the Rays win over the Twins, the Yankees dropped into a tie with Tampa Bay for first place in the American League East. Today marks the first time since June 20 that the Yankees have not been in sole possession of first place in the East Division. Despite all this, it's not time to panic in the Bronx.
Yes, the Yankees missed out on a major opportunity to distance themselves from the Rays last weekend by dropping two of a three game series in Tampa. But the fact remains that the Yankees are still in an excellent situation to win the Division as the dog days of August get underway.
Andy Pettitte will be coming off the disabled list soon, giving them a consistent, innings-eating lefty back in the rotation. Pettitte, provided he's 100%, should ease the workload on the bullpen considerably.
The "Arod 600 Home Run Circus" is bound to end at some point. What has turned into a major distraction for everyone will end with one swing of the bat, hopefully sooner rather than later. In the meantime, Arod is still driving in runs for the Yankee offense.
The addition of Kerry Wood should alleviate some of the stress on Joba Chamberlain, hopefully helping him return to the form he's capable of.
Nick Swisher continues to impress. The All Star RF had two more home runs last night and appears to be getting hot. In a lineup full of sluggers like Arod, Teixeira and Cano, getting major offensive numbers from players like Swisher is a nice bonus.
The Yankees schedule is relatively tame in August, which should assist them in at least holding a share of first place into the September stretch run. Their talent and experience will allow them to place some distance between themselves and the Rays in the last month of the season.
They'll be ok, count on it.