More often than not, the Yankees usually open the second half of the baseball season with a win.
That didn't happen this year, as they lost the first two games of a four-game series in Toronto.
Then, as YES Network announcer Ken Singleton likes to say, they split the series "the hard way" by wining the last two games. Singleton also likes to say the Yankees have won a series the hard way when they lose the first game and win the remaining games.
Singleton doesn't work every Yankee game. In fact, I only remember hearing him say this on one other occasion this season. However, yesterday's win got me to thinking: It seemed to me that the Yankees have won or split series the hard way many times this season.
I decided to do a little research to find out exactly how often this has occurred.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Yankees have won or split series the hard way 10 times this year. The've done it against the Rangers, White Sox, Mets, Angels, Cubs, Rockies, Rays and, including yesterday, three times against the Blue Jays.
This goes a long way in explaining why the Yankees, after losing all but one game to the Red Sox this season, are only 1.5 games out of first place and 4.5 games ahead in the AL Wild Card standings.
This team doesn't give up.
Tonight, the Yankees begin a four game series in St. Petersburg against the Tampa Bay Rays. If they lose tonight, Yankee fans, it's no big deal.
Just remember that the Yankees like doing things the hard way.