COMMENTARY | The New York Yankees were 3-3 in week 12 of their 2013 season, splitting series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays. A .500 record for a week that was spent at home in the Bronx is nothing to get too excited about.
But these days, .500 baseball is about all you can expect from these Yankees. The Yanks have been a .500 team (24-24) since May 1, when they were 17-10.
Is the writing on the wall for the New York Yankees?
At 41-34 and only 2.5 games out of first place in the American League East, many Yankee fans are holding out hope that this replacement Yankee squad can keep overachieving.
But their run differential says reality may soon come crashing down on this version of Yankee baseball.
Their current run differential (-1) dictates that they should be a 37-38 ballclub. But amazingly, the Yanks have scored one less run (293) than they have allowed (294) and stand seven games over .500.
This means that they are winning the close ones. And if they are to have any chance at remaining relevant in what has become a dogfight of an AL East, they must continue to do so.
Oh, and scoring more runs would probably help a little too. The Yanks currently rank 12th out of 15 teams in the AL in runs scored.
And if your looking for a sign of the 2013 Yankeepocalypse, here it is: the worst team (by far) in the American League, the Houston Astros, have managed to score three more runs than this year's lackluster Yankee offense.
Zoilo Almonte: The biggest Almonte on a team from the Bronx since little-leaguer Danny, Zoilo electrified Yankee fans this past week going 7 for 12 (.583) with two doubles, a home run, and 4 RBI in his first five major-league games. Even his name is fun to say. It's definitely way too early to anoint him the savior, but it was truly exciting watching this kid play the past week. The Yanks' offense could use this guy more than Aaron Hernandez could use a good night's sleep.
Jayson Nix: Now the every day shortstop, Nix saw his average drop 10 points from .259 to .249 in the span of a week. Nix went 3-20 (.150). The last thing the Yankees need right now is a struggling Jayson Nix because, believe it or not, he has been one of the Yanks most consistent hitters all season.
Game of the Week: June 22, Yankees 7, Rays 5
This game had a little bit of everything.
The legend of Zoilo continued to grow, as Almonte had a hit, two walks, and 3 RBIs.
CC Sabathia was spinning a gem only to see it all come unraveling with one swing by the Rays' Wil Myers: a back-breaking two-out grand slam in the top of the 6th inning to turn what had been a 3-1 Yankees lead into a 5-3 deficit.
But the Yanks showed a rare instance of resiliency in the bottom half of the 7th, with the unlikeliest of Yankees playing hero.
With two outs and the bags juiced, Vernon Wells hit a double to deep right field that cleared the bases and gave the Yankees the lead back for good 7-5.
Mariano Rivera came on in the ninth to nail down his league-leading 26th save of the season.
What To Watch For Week 13
It's going to be a tough task ahead for the Yankees this week.
The AL West-leading Texas Rangers (44-32) come to town for a three-game set in the Bronx, followed by a trip to Baltimore for another three-game series against the O's.
It should be one heck of a pitching matchup on June 25 with Hiroki Kuroda (7-5, 2.78) facing off against the Rangers' Yu Darvish (7-3, 2.84). The Orioles (42-35) are currently tied for second place in the division with the Yanks. Look out for Chris Davis, whose batting .331, with 70 RBIs, and a league-leading 27 home runs.
It could very well be one of those make-or-break weeks for the New York Yankees.
Tobias Rosen is from northeast Pennsylvania. He has been an avid Yankees follower his entire life. He is the creator of the recently launched sports blog Not Quite Grantland.
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