On June 24 things were starting to look a bit grim for the Yankees. They were only 5 games off the division lead but that put them in a tie with Toronto for second and the schedule leading into the All-Star break signaled a real danger of falling further behind in the division. They were slated to play the same Atlanta Braves on the road and Seattle Mariners at home as the first-placed Red Sox but the other 4 series ahead of them featured the first-placed Angels and three second-placed teams (NYM, MIN, and TOR) while the Sox were due to lock horns with three cellar-dwellers (Nats, O's, A's) and second-to-last placed Royals. Mix in the fact that the Yanks were to face their toughest opponents on the road and – well – few expected them to close the gap to 2 games come July 12.
So take heart YFs – going 14-4 or 13-5 leading into the break is a good thing – especially given the circumstances.
On the flip side, the Yankees are 0-2 going into tonight against the team that has unequivocally been the toughest for them to beat over the past several years. Since their last WS appearance, the Yankees have struggled against the Angels as with no other team. Since 2005 they are 16-28 (a .363 W-L%) with especially atrocious numbers at Angels Stadium of Anaheim (5-16 !!!!). But that was all before CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett pitched for the Yanks, right?
CC tries to exorcise the Yanks' LA-demons tonight and squares off against John Lackey. Let's go into the break right fellas…