But is that where the good news ends for this team? Without question, June will test the mettle of the Bombers.
On tap for the month are road games versus the Tigers, Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, and New York Mets. They face the Mets, Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. The combined record of those teams is 194-162, a winning percentage of .545.
Starting a brutal seven week stretch the Yankees are 27-23, good for third in the AL East. They rest a game and a half out of first place. Odds are they must play better just to keep pace with the Baltimore Orioles and Blue Jays who share first.
Situational statistics clearly display the problems on offense. Through the first two months of the season the Yankees have hit .223 with runners in scoring position as a unit. That is 13th in the league just ahead of the Oakland Athletics. Despite being tied for the league lead in home runs (76) and third in overall batting average (.266) this team has only managed 232 runs scored. That pales in comparison to the league leader, the Texas Rangers, who lead the AL with a .291 team average.
Individually, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Russell Martin have all failed to his .200 with runners in scoring position. Curtis Granderson is bating .220 in those circumstances. Mark Teixeira is slightly better at .231.
Yet it's the starting pitching that is most concerning. Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes both sport ERAs in excess of 5.50. Nova, despite a 6-2 record, is most concerning given the league has hit a robust .313 against him. He has surrendered 31 runs in his last 43.2 innings pitched (6.34 ERA over seven starts). Meanwhile Hiroki Kuroda has been inconsistent. His record is 4-6 while his strikeout rate is one of the worst of his major league career (37 in 61.1 innings pitched).
The Yankees have firmly placed their pitching hopes on CC Sabathia and soon-to-be 40 year old Andy Pettitte.
June may not be a make or break month for the Yankees. However the games do count as much in June as they do in September.
Sources: Yahoo! Sports
Robert Watkins is former investment professional and partner. A native New Yorker until 9/11, he considers Pa. his adoptive home. A passionate Yankees fan and Pennsylvania sports enthusiast, Robert is a frequent contributor to Yahoo! Sports and News.
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