Yankees: They’re “better than they look” – Prove it!

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Yankees are, according to some fans and commentators, “better than they look” right now. And that may be true. But the question I have is when are we going to see it on the field?

The Yankees are easy pickings of late. Their 4-6 showing over the last ten games only scratches the surface when you consider that, aside from the team’s jump-start 21-9 aberration to begin the season, the Yankees are 39-44 since then.

Their starting pitchers, as seen again last night with Sonny Gray allowing only three runs over six innings, are pitching well enough to lose. They have a catcher who is trying to learn his position in the middle of a pennant race. And they moved too late or too little to grab a bat or two

They have an All-World right fielder whose shine is now only a dull finish on what would have been a spectacular season. Half of their starting infield is still trying to make their way back from injuries.

They moved too late, and maybe not forcefully enough with the Mets, watching as Lucas Duda and Jay Bruce were both scooped up by other teams. And they have a manager who’s looking down at the bottom of his bag of tricks.

Where Is David Justice When We Need Him

Like most Yankees fans, I believe this team is far better than what they are showing on the field. But I also believe the season is running low on time, and to some degree, patience is eroding with the team, as the games click away with little or no proof that anyone has the answers needed to break the slide the Yankees are in.

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Perhaps along with Joe Girardi, we sit there peering up and down the Bombers dugout, looking for that one guy who is going to step up to carry the team for a month or so. And we ask ourselves, has Aaron Judge hit bottom yet, or is his second half going to be as epic as his first half, only a record breaking effort in the opposite direction.

And is Matt Holliday finished for the season, and did the Yankees got all there is for him to give in the first half? Will Starlin Castro come back healthy from his hamstring injury, and stay healthy this time? Questions are many; answers are few.

Following last night’s shutout loss to the Blue Jays, Girardi tried to put the best spin he can on the Yankees woes, speaking once again with terse and forthright words. But he also looks forward to this weekend and the opportunity it presents for his team.

The Yankees are coming home tonight, and the sell-out crowd will be uproarious, as they should be, in cheering their Pinstripes off the recovery table and into a run similar to the one those damned Red Sox are having, spinning off eight in a row and coming in here red hot.

Boston comes in with a 4.5 game lead in the Division. And to accent, the importance of these three games, each game played represents a two-game swing in the standings. If the Yankees win tonight, for example, the lead dwindles to 3.5 games. But if they lose, the edge goes up to 5.5 games.

Not Do Or Die, But Almost Though

This is serious business for the organization, and if they have any chance at all of capturing the division, they must win a minimum of two games this weekend. Following the Red Sox, the Yankees play four games in a home and away series with the Mets, who should be easy pickings, before they hit the road again next weekend for another series against these same Red Sox.

The margin for error is shrinking. Since the departure of David Ortiz, the Red Sox have lost their swagger. No one in their lineup puts the fear of God in a pitcher, or at least they shouldn’t. They are a good team with flaws just like the Yankees.

Except the Red Sox are in first place, and the Yankees are not. And it may be there’s something wrong with that picture, and for some, it might appear out of focus a bit.

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Nevertheless, though, it’s the Yankees who need to show up by putting a good whacking on their nemesis, while making a meaningful dent in the standings by Monday morning.

Anything less and maybe it’s time to move the bar from concern about this team to worry about the Yankees, who at the three-quarter pole in the season, are still seeking to find their identity.