The New York Yankees' past week could not have gone more swimmingly. They took three of four from the fading Seattle Mariners (The Red Sox would demolish that team later in the week) and then went down to their personal house of horrors at Tropicana Field and took two of three from the front runners. Both of those wins came against the Bay Rays' stud pitchers, Tyler Glasnow and Blake Snell. Of course, they still haven't found a way to beat the abominable "Opener" whenever the Rays cheapen the game by using that strategy. Sorry, folks, just my opinion...
The best news of all came yesterday when Chad Green was called back from Triple-A and threw bullets and struck out three straight batters. Welcome back to greatness, Mr. Green.
And so the Yankees find themselves just a half a game back in the AL East and the Red Sox are starting to play like the Red Sox and are only three back. Everything is starting to gel just like I predicted it would. The Yanks have returned home to Yankee Stadium and this week will play the Baltimore Orioles and those same Rays for the weekend. The Red Sox will host the Rockies and the Astros this week.
I believe tonight will mark the return of Aaron Hicks. I don't know if that will be a good thing or not. Other teams get players back like the Rays did Austin Meadows and he hits moonshots all over the place. The Yankees get players back like Miguel Andujar and they get one hit in the month of May. I have to say that I was surprised that the Yankees sent Mike Tauchman down to the minors as the corresponding move. It seemed to me that it should have been Andujar who needs to get some playing time and figure things out. Perhaps he should have had that operation after all.
The Yankees also placed Jonathan Loaisiga on the DL for a shoulder strain (uh oh) and have called up Chance Adams, who might start tonight's game. Hmm...
Let's face it, the Yankees need to sweep the Orioles. Teams like the Orioles are going nowhere and the Yankees other AL East competitors have no problem beating the O's regularly. The Yankees need to do so as well. Anything short of a sweep will be disappointing. The Orioles have zero pitching. I mean, none. Baltimore is dead last in the AL in ERA and the Yankees face starters, David Hess, Andrew Cashner and Dan Straily. All three are struggling with perhaps Cashner being the best of the trio.
The Yankees will counter with Adams (perhaps), JA Happ and Domingo German. It would be nice if Adams could pitch well and give some hope that he is a prospect many have hoped he would be, especially after last year's abysmal three game debut. He is only 24. But the clock is ticking. The thing is, even if Adams blows up, the Yankees should win in a slugfest.
After an off day on Thursday, the Yankees will host the Rays. Glasnow went on the DL right after his Yankee start, so they will not have to worry about him. But they cannot seem to hit Charlie Morton, Blake Snell is elite and, to be sure, there will be an opener in there somewhere.
When the Yankees have the Rays at home, they have to win and winning two of three would be great if they can do that again next weekend. It is a lot to expect from this continuing rag band of players, but they have spoiled us by keeping things interesting (understatement alert). A 6-1 week would be great. Anything less than 5-2 would be disappointing.