The Favorable Road Ahead

Yankees having trouble in two-strike counts
MRI reveals irritation of Teixeira's left calf strain
(Rob Carr/Getty)

The Yankees just wrapped up their biggest ten-game stretch of the season (to date anyway), and I suppose it was something of a success because they came out of it in first place. Then again, they did lose two games in the standings to both the Orioles and Rays in the process. Let’s not start popping champagne and planning the parade just yet.

The good news is that the toughest stretch of the schedule appears to be in the rear-view mirror. Of the 22 games left on the docket, the Yankees will play just six against teams with a winning record — three against the Rays next weekend and three against the Athletics the weekend after. That’s it, the other 16 games will be played against clubs far out of the postseason picture. Furthermore, those series with Tampa and Oakland will both be played in the Bronx, as will 12 of the final 22 games overall.

Outside of those two series against the Rays and A’s, the Yankees will play six games against the Red Sox, seven against the Blue Jays, and three against the Twins. Compared to the Orioles (nine of 22 against winning teams) and Rays (13 of 22 against winning teams), the Bombers seem to have the most favorable schedule the rest of the way. It’s also worth noting that Baltimore and Tampa still have to play each other six times as well, and both teams can’t win those games. That’s an added bonus for New York as they look to lock up the AL East crown.

Now let’s not get carried away here. You know as well as I that having a favorable schedule means very little. Teams don’t just roll over because you want them to, and in fact you can make the argument that clubs play even harder than usual against the Yankees. If there’s one thing the 29 non-Bronx-based franchises have in common, it’s wanting to beat the Yankees. The Jays and Sox always play New York tough and those games will surely feel like they’re being played against a contender. It’s just the way it is.

Yesterday’s blowout win was a fine way to cap off an otherwise underwhelming ten-game stretch. I don’t really believe that momentum is a thing in baseball, but it was certainly a win that makes everyone feel a little bit better about how things are going at the moment. The schedule is set up to allow the Yankees to pull away from the pack a bit, assuming they hold up their end of the bargain and actually play well. That isn’t a given these days. As far as the next 3+ weeks go, playing just six of the final 22 games against above-.500 teams is a luxury the other AL East contenders do not enjoy.

Yankees having trouble in two-strike counts
MRI reveals irritation of Teixeira's left calf strain
  • TomH

    Yes it’s looking favorable. However, I wouldn’t overlook the 7 games NY has yet to play with Toronto. (The Jays have 3 left with TB and 4 with Baltimore.) Of the games with NY, 4 are in Toronto, where the Jays love to Rise to the Occasion.

  • PhillyMatt

    Also, the Fighting Showalters have to make a trip to the west coast for 3 in Oakland and 3 in Seattle and the Rays have 4 in the south side of Chicago so let’s hope the White Sox keep putting them on the boardddddddddddd!

    • UpstateYanks


  • Better off Eddard

    The Sox traded away their best player and are really just going through the motions so they can fire Bobby V and get a fresh start. These remaining games mean nothing to them so we should be able to clean up.

    Pending the results of Teixera’s MRI there is a lot of reason for optimism. If Teixera is lost for the year then this team won’t be going to the WS anyway.

  • Austin Aunelowitzky (formerly Paul VuvuZuvella)

    When you get to the fork in the favorable road, take it.
    – LPB

    • JohnnyC

      When you reach the Slausson Cut-Off, get out of the car and cut off your slausson.

      – Johnny Carson

  • Bobby V Loves Me

    Melky is on his way……. Mesa that is….

  • http://yesnetwork Jim

    With the rout yesterday, wouldn’t it’ve been wise for the WIZARD to put Warren on the mound and Nunez at short for at least an inning? Keep Jeter at DH so worse comes to worse(Thanks Billy Joel) if Nunez can’t handle it, he comes in. And Warren in the ninth instead of Lowe is me. Give them a shot in case they’re needed in the last 22 games. Thomas by the way is a perfect four for four. I’m just sayin’.

    • Steve (different one)

      And what was to be learned from the one inning Nunez plays SS?

      • http://yesnetwork Jim

        The one or two innings Nunez could’ve played would see if only playing SS in AAA helped his confidence. It’s better than three AB’s as a DH and a PR. If Tex is out, he could be the 25th man. He was a good bat and has speed. I’d rather him than Pearce or ANDRUW JONES on the post season roster…that is is we make it. Don’t just waste the kid. Warren to see if he’s improved on his one start, if it was nerves. Give the bullpen a rest. I mean Boone Logan leading the league in appearances? Come on. See what he can do. Are you that sold on Eppley and Rapada?

        • Steve (different one)

          Nunez did play SS in the 9th.

  • CS Yankee

    Just win 16 and we’ll not have to worry about this…except if the Rays or O’s pull a Rox ’07 type run.

    • RetroRob

      Well there is always that, meaning any team can hit a very hot stetch, and there’s not much the Yankees can do. That is unless the Yankees are the ones who do that, and as I noted earlier, their hitters are due for a hot streak, if one believes in such things.

  • RetroRob

    Wait, Toronto. The final three against the Sox at the Stadium. Three games with the A’s, meaning losses of 1-0, 3-2 and 2-1. The only three wins will be against the Twins, and maybe one against the Rays and one agains the Sox. That’s 5-17!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh! : -) (I’m putting the smile face there on the chance someone thinks I’m serious. There’s always one…or ten.)

  • Deep Thoughts

    Just think, they were one correct ‘safe’ call and perhaps a base hit away from a three-game lead.