(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)
The Yankees resume their regular season
tomorrow night tonight and they'll start it deep in enemy territory with a 3-game weekend series in Boston. At 51-44, they currently sit 4th in the AL East , 6 games behind the Sawx (5 in the loss column) and 3 games behind both the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays for the Wild Card. As luck would have it, the Yanks play their first 10 games of the second half against those 3 teams in what could be the make-or-break stretch for their postseason hopes.
After Boston, the Yanks will travel to Texas for 4 before heading right back east for a 3-game home set against Tampa. Then it's travel off day to the West Coast, 2 games against the Dodgers, travel off day, 3 at San Diego, 3 at the White Sox, travel off day, and 3 back at home against the Tigers. 21 games, 15 on the road, the first 10 against the 3 teams they're chasing in the playoff race, and the final 3 against the reigning AL champs. The extra off days are nice, but that's still a tough stretch. There's the soft underbelly of the 6 against the Padres and White Sox, but after going 3-4 against KC and Minnesota last week even those games can't be called gimmes anymore.
The end of this first second half stretch will bring the Yankees to August 12th. The trade deadline will pass in that span, and perhaps a player or 2 will return from the DL. By that Monday, we should know if the Yankees are serious postseason contenders or packing up the tents for the season. They don't necessarily have to gain a ton of ground in the next 3 weeks, but they can't afford to lose much more.