Looking at the remaining 2013 schedule

Cervelli "leaning strongly" towards plea deal following Biogenesis saga
Granderson reaches base three times in latest rehab game

The Yankees currently reside in fourth place in the A.L. East at 55-51 (52-54 Pythag. record), and are 3.5 games back in the Wild Card hunt. A postseason berth is absolutely doable, but in order to get there, the team will have to address a number of hot topics — notably, the overall offensive ineptitude, the starting rotation concerns (CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes have all been pretty unreliable) and the huge elephant in the room that is the team’s high-priced third baseman being banned for the foreseeable future. This will be challenging given that the trade deadline is basically here.

Schedule wise, the team has some noticeable hurdles as well. It began last night in L.A. as the team faced off against the Dodgers and lost a winnable game. I’m guessing the Yankees will likely be dominated tonight by Clayton Kershaw, and will probably also surrender a whole bevy of runs to guys like Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, and Hanley Ramirez. Who knows though; maybe they can pull a win out of the bag. Either way, I’ll be one of those folks on the East Coast struggling to keep their eyes open during tonight’s late night game.

This brings us into the month of August. The team will face some weaker opponents such as the White Sox and Padres (in Chicago and San Diego respectively) right off the bat, followed by an off day on August 8th. Who knows, the roster could look more formidable by this point if guys like Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, and David Phelps all rejoin the roster. I don’t know if Francisco Cervelli is still on his original recovery time table or not (or whether he too will ultimately accept a plea deal for his involvement with Biogenesis), but maybe he’ll make an appearance around this time too.

From there, they’ll enter a seven-game homestand against the defending AL champs, the Tigers, followed by a four-game series against the Angels. I don’t expect sweeps of any teams, but I’ll be disappointed if they don’t take the series against everyone not based out of Detroit through this point. Of course, it’d be nice if they could at least split with the Tigers too. After the off day, the Yanks will trek north to Boston for a critical three games against the Sox followed immediately by the second off day of the month on August 19th.

The following nine days include four games (in three days) against the Blue Jays in New York, three games against the Rays in Tampa, and then three more back in Toronto. August 29th is the final off day of the month, at which point they’ll begin a three game set against the Orioles at home which will take us into September. The team has a chance to capitalize here on some (theoretically) winnable series. They could also gain a few important games in the standings within their division. On the other hand, if the team struggles in August, that probably seals the deal on the season.

September, unfortunately, looks equally (if not more) daunting and will likely be a lot more nerve racking if the Wild Card race comes down to the wire. After Baltimore, the Yanks have a quick three-game set against what will hopefully be a depleted White Sox squad. Then it’s three games against the Red Sox (at home), four more games against the Orioles (this time in Baltimore), and three more games against the Red Sox (this time in Boston). They’ll get one day off on September 16th, followed by a quick trip to Canada for their final series against Toronto.

After that, the team will have a three-game set against the Giants back in New York followed by their final off day on September 23rd. The Bombers will get another crack at the Rays (at home) before concluding their season in Houston with a three-game bout against the Astros. Overall, 18 of their final 27 games will be played against A.L. East teams. They better make them count.

Assuming the team doesn’t raise the white flag and punt the rest of the season by the deadline, they’re going to have a hard road ahead of them in the second half. It’s definitely doable, but in order for a postseason berth to remain plausible, the team is going to have to sort out a bunch of lingering issues in a hurry and then make the most of the games remaining.

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Cervelli "leaning strongly" towards plea deal following Biogenesis saga
Granderson reaches base three times in latest rehab game
  • JLC 776

    Take it one series at a time and hope for the best. If you focus on every game, you live or die with each ‘must win’. If you look at whole months, you talk yourself into thinking it’s impossible.

    One series at a time…

  • john

    yes, let’s make more useless trades, maybe pujols hits the waver wires soon… i’m beginning to envy bosox management.

  • Tim

    Most teams have a similar number of division games to finish. If you compared schedules head to head the Yankees probably have a slightly easier schedule that some of their competitors but obviously have a lot more work to do to. But considering they are currently in the bottom 3 to 5 in offense at 7 of 9 positions the additions of Jeter, Soriano, Granderson and who ever mans 3B (NY currently gets 3rd worst offensive contribution in all of MLB by position at 3B) should give them a huge bump. The question is can the pitching rebound with a little more run support to give them a chance.

    A side note: After today with Santiago homering while playing 3B it is likely that Detroit will have an OPS of double what NY has (currently 1.106 to .560).

  • Hassey

    time to call in Flash Gordon

  • Jack P

    Any writer who mentions A Rod + Cervelli coming back in August has lost all credibility in my book. There is 0% chance any of them will be playing with the Yankees in August. There is optimism and then there are wildly imaginative scenarios that are not going to happen.

  • Shittyshittybangbang

    Wow, a lot of fucking maybe’s and what if’s in that article. That usually means fuckville for the subject who said article was written about. To quote a famous American from the future, ” Jane, get me off this crazy thing !”.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Well since a lot of people hate Mike’s views they need basically something to counter it.

  • dkidd

    prediction: one way or another, there is no chance mariano throws his last pitch in minute maid park

  • Duh Injuries

    Second half? After the first game against the Padres Friday night the Yanks will have only a third of a season left to play.

    The Yankees need to split with the Dodgers (win tonight), take two of three against the Padres, the same against the White Sox, or basically go 5-3 on this roadtrip (with last night’s loss), take three out of four against the Blue Jays at home August 20-22 (or split those four games if they sweep the Padres or White Sox on this roadtrip or sweep the White Sox at home in early August), reel off a six-game winning streak outside of those games, and sweep the Astros so they could play just .500 ball in the other 36 games and still finish with 90 wins which would probably give them a wildcard slot. The more series they win the less they have to rely on a winning streak to reach 90 wins.

    What has killed the Yanks this year and will have killed them if they don’t win a wildcard slot is their EIGHT losses where they’ve given up only a run or two. They have a pair of 1-0 losses at the hands of Justin Masterson and Chris Archer and SIX 2-1 losses (no 2-0 losses), so they also have eight one-run losses outside of ones where they gave up three or more runs. Had they won even just half of those eight games where they lost 1-0 or 2-1, they’d be a half-game ahead of Baltimore for the wildcard going into tonight’s game. They’d be only a game and a half behind Baltimore if they had won as little as three of those eight games.

    The Yanks should be at least 58-48 a half-game behind Baltimore right now, not 3.5 games.

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