After the first verdict of the season, I was waiting the set of the next 10 matches in order to see if things are getting better, whether we should still believe that this Yankee team can win a World Series after 9 years, or not. Actually, the set of the games against Boston, Miami and Toronto (the game at Detroit doesn’t offer too much to say) wasn’t enough to have a conclusion. After the winning series against Minnesota things are more clear.
The Yankees don’t struggle any more in the bottom of their division and are well places in the chase for the Wild Card of the AL. Apparently, this would be a tough one, as Red Sox seem to be in an excellent form for the time, whose endurance, of course, is questionnable.
After the very bad start, mostly in terms of hits and bullpen, the team had to travel to Boston, in order to play the first classic series of the season. Nobody would believe that there could be a better result than the 2-1 for the Red Sox that actually happened. Nothing worked well at that moment for the Yankees and maybe the shock of the first game was really necessary in order to make things better. The second game in Boston was actually the first one where the Yankees show qualities of a team. The pitchers play well, the bullpen continues their try, the defense is robust and the hits are satisfying. The fact that the series was lost doesn’t matter at all, as the most important thing to see was an improvement of a ruined team.
Detroit was a good chance to concretize some first good results as the local Tigers struggle too much in this start of the season. For good or for bad, weather didn’t permit the last 2 games, which were rescheduled for early June. Although, that victory was necessary, for psychological reasons, before the reception of Miami at the Yankee Stadium.
The first game against Miami was surprisingly good: home runs, confortable win, good defense. It’s a shame that it wasn’t followed by a good second one, which would mean the second win on a series this season, against a team who seems to struggle as well in these first games. Thus, the loss agains Marlins was unnecessary and a bad sign that should be avoided.
Then, the real test of the series, was the reception of Toronto, who made the Yankees feel unable to stop them two weeks earlier, with the main problems concerning the bullpen. The story seemed to be repeated in the second game, lost in a way that a team who wants to be a champion should avoid, but the two following matches gave back the confidence to a team who started to play in a more solid way and to seem more able to win the games. A team who seems like a champion, in other words.
The hits started to get better, there are already many HRs for Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, whereas more players participate in the run production, with notable addition the young Torres who started pretty well his presence in the MLB. The only minus is still Stanton, who improved, but isn’t yet at the expected shape.
These elements, with a constant uncertainty on the pitchers’ and bullpen performances, characterized the series and the sweep against Minnesota. The good point is that the team seems to solidify its qualities and should now focus into the solution of the pitching problems.
The next series consist a really tough set of 10 games, at Los Angeles, to face Angels, and Houston, to compete against the Champions, Astros and then the reception of Indians. These are very important matches for the chase of the Wild Card and maybe it’s a point for a peak on team’s performance. We will see if this is a choice of the coaching staff. In this case it will explain the bad performance of the first 15 games, if not we will wait to see if there is really a peak for this team, or a mediocre performance will be the standard for this year, as the battle in the AL will start to get more and more difficult to win.