After getting off to a relatively rocky start this season, the Yankees have really pulled it all together over the last two months and went into the All-Star break with the MLB’s best record at 59-33. The league’s best also sit at the top of their respective AL East division, with a well-padded 7.0 game lead over the second-place Baltimore Oriole’s.
It hasn’t been an easy road for the Yankees through the first half though, as they’ve faced some of the most unanticipated and tragic bumps along the way that nobody could’ve never imagined. Injury after injury nagged them to the point of sending all players, from the minors and the big Yanks, shuffling to fill all of the open spaces. On top of that, the team has been under high scrutiny for their offensive play. The Bombers weren’t finding much of a groove at the plate, having trouble advancing runners in scoring position and relying too heavily on home runs, left many to wonder how long they’d be able to compete that way.
However, the offense has been firing on all cylinders lately. They’ve been moving base-runners around through singles and walks and generating more runs through hits, rather than solely on the big fly. It’s almost as if the Bombers have found some sort of new life with the odds stacked against them and have something to prove now. Yankee nation has a lot more of this to look forward to in the second half of 2012, and hope to see continued improvement and success.
Despite an injury-riddled pitching rotation, this area has been one of the strong suites for the club this year and they should only improve as players return from the DL. C.C. Sabathia missed a few starts before the break due to a back strain, but is expected to be fully recovered and well-rested to kick of the second half with a start as early as this weekend. Joba Chamberlain is said to be almost ready to return after some rehab games in the minors. Rumors and expectations are also swirling regarding the return of injured Yankee legends, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte.
The club also hopes to see Brett Gardner back in action soon too, as his speed on the bases has been greatly missed. But it’s been made up for mostly attributed to the big bats in the lineup.
Mark Teixeira has come around from his early-season slump, which has become typical of him on his resume. Power swinging, Robinson Cano, has been having a good season but not so much at the plate with runners on. That tide has shifted as of late though and he’s had a much more productive bat. Who can forget Derek Jeter either. His story this season has been unbelievable, and the soon-to-be 38-year-old Yankee captain has been the surprise story of the team’s offense.
Everything seems to be collected and relaxed in the Yankee clubhouse after the good first half. But the road won’t get any smoother for them as this is crunch time. This is the half that matters most. They’ve put themselves in a great leading position, but they still can’t afford to get too comfortable. If they keep rolling like they have been and get a few people back into the lineup from injuries, they’ll have a pretty good shot at making a run for the franchise’s 28th World Series Championship.