This is a story that I was hoping I could hold off for a little while longer, but after last night’s loss in in which C.C. Sabathia gave up seven earned runs for the third straight outing, I figured that it’s finally time to say this: the New York Yankees cannot win the AL East.
Entering play on Saturday, the Yankees are seven games back of the Tampa Bay Rays, who took over first place on Friday, and only look like they could be falling farther back in the standings.
As I mentioned, Sabathia struggled again last night and over the past couple of weeks he’s been a mess. He has not been a factor in helping the Yankees win games, only hurting them at best. He may tell you that nothing is wrong, but there has to be concern with C.C. because the Yanks won’t go very far if he’s not right.
We all know that the Yankees aren’t scoring runs; they haven’t hit a home run in eight games and haven’t had a right-handed hitter go deep in almost a month. The Yankees acquired Alfonso Soriano on Friday and will have some injured players coming back soon, but it’s still not enough.
And then there’s this: the other teams in the AL East are just two good – apart from the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rays are the hottest team in baseball, they were in last place just a couple weeks back, but have since won 23 of their last 28 games and are playing better than any other team in the league.
Tampa’s pitching was an issue early on in the season. They lost David Price for a few weeks, but since he’s come back, he’s been dominant, along with the rest of the Rays’ pitching staff.
The Boston Red Sox have shown us that they are serious contenders in the American League, as they have been playing well since opening day. Boston’s offense is very good; they’ve got hitters that can hit the ball out of the park at any moment.
And then, of course, there’s the Baltimore Orioles – a team that you can never count out. Baltimore has been in the AL East race all season. They’ve made some moves over the past couple of weeks that suggest they’ll be set for a playoff run – acquiring Scott Feldman and Francisco Rodriguez.
The O’s bullpen is very good, their lineup is dangerous, but their starting rotation has been the only concern with this team all season, but like I said, they’ve made the moves to fix that.
What sets all these clubs apart from the Yankees is that they score runs, obviously the Yanks don’t. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said prior to Friday night’s game that the Yankees aren’t done making moves and they will do everything they can to be in the playoff hunt.
I believe that Cashman is telling us the truth and we will see the Yankees in the playoff hunt in the late weeks of September, but I don’t see the Yankees making the playoffs as an AL East champion.
Gavin Ewbank is a writer for RantSports.com. You can follow Gavin on Twitter, @GavinEwbank2013.