August was the most optimistic month since April for the 2013 Yankees, although it also was the month where it finally became official from manager Joe Girardi- only a Wild Card spot could be on the table, and only if the Yankees went on a winning streak. At the end of August, the Yankees sit 3.5 games out of a Wild Card slot, with Tampa Bay and Oakland ahead.
August marks the first month where the Yankees had such players as Derek Jeter, Alfonso Soriano, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Reynolds, and Alfonso Soriano in the lineup together. Soriano has hit 12 homeruns for the Yanks since coming over in late July. It speaks volumes on how Brian Cashman should be removed immediately- after all, he was against the trade and clearly had written off this team’s chances. It also demonstrates that Cashman made a mistake in getting Kevin Youkilis instead of Mark Reynolds in the offseason, as Mark could have been the every day third-baseman.
With the lineup looking much better, and Robinson Cano getting hot again (and Ichiro being Ichiro) the Yankees finally started to score some runs.
With A-Rod finally back on the field and doing well, I’ll finally write about him. I think Ryan Dempster is a fool and he sparked A-Rod and the Yankees, although statistically the Yanks have been a different team since acquiring Soriano. A-Rod is an attraction and ratings monster now, because everyone knows it may be the last time we see him. The bottom line is that he’s a right-handed bat and better than any 3B the Yanks have fielded this year. The lineup is 100% better now. ’nuff said, folks.
The Bad News
The Yankees would be on all cylinders and probably already be #1 with the Wild Card if Hiroki Kuroda’s arm wasn’t dead. The man needs a rest; this happened last year. Kuroda was the ace all year, but now he has nothing. If the Yankees are to go ANYWHERE in the post-season, he needs to REST UP. But so far, Yankees management has not been keen on skipping a start. CC Sabathia gives up 3-4 runs a game now. I guess you can say he has “settled down” but he’s no longer A-List, so that is not cool down the stretch. Phil Hughes is once again inconsistent and homerun prone. Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova saved August for the Yankees by being true leaders.
The media was circling Mariano Rivera like vultures because he blew three saves in a row, but this was just Mo’s annual dead arm. After he got around 5 days of rest (by accident) he came back strong and is back to normal. The bullpen has continued to be a great part of the team- the most consistent element for sure. I liked Adam Warren’s spot start and David Huff surprised me. I don’t agree with Preston Claiborne getting sent down due to roster limitations.
Hard to imagine things getting worse, but they did: Cano was hit by pitch and missed a few days. Jayson Nix is DONE after getting hit. Eduardo Nunez, who is having a horrible season, busted his leg up running again. I find it amazing that David Phelps and Travis Hafner seem to be on a perpetual DL. Seems to be like the Yanks are in NO rush to bring them back.
It’s actually an exciting race! I thought the Yanks were going to go on a big winning streak but the Rays and Jays put a major wrinkle in their chances. However, the Yanks are moving up the standings, so anything is still possible.
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- Snapshot Joe: MLB Standings Report