By: Joe Auriemma
To say that I went off the grid for a little bit is an understatement. On June 12th, I got married to my lovely wife Kelly. I’m quickly learning to say things like that in the early stages of married life. However, the week leading up to the wedding and then the honeymoon thereafter has made me lose touch with the team that I not only have been covering for the last eight seasons, but watched faithfully since I was a little boy.
Before I left, the Yankees again got swept by the Red Sox but were still in decent shape in the division — even after the Fenway massacre. I would try and get some sports updates in Aruba, but I was lost. It wasn’t until I came home and watched the team lose to Atlanta 4-0 and saw Chien-Ming Wang fall to 0-6 on the season that I realized how much trouble the Yankees could be in soon. The Red Sox are now five games up in the division, the Yankees still have not beaten them, and they are losing series to the Nationals and the Marlins. No offense to the Nationals and Marlins, but the Yankees that were rolling along in May wouldn’t have had that much trouble with any team.
Are the Red Sox still in their head? Will the offense start to show up again? How long are they going to go with Wang continuing to lose and not give them length in his starts? What happened to that powerhouse that we all saw in May winning day in and day out?
Over the last 13 games, since the beginning of the Sox series, the Yankees are 4-9 and the offense has sputtered. They are averaging four runs per game while hitting .240, and have hit one home run per contest over this span. To make things worse, A-Rod’s batting average is now down to .207. The previous 29 games before this 4-9 stretch, the Yankees were 21-8. Over that time the Yankees were hitting .279, scoring 5.8 runs per game and hitting 1.8 home runs per contest. The numbers speak for themselves.
This team is at a crossroads right now and it could start spiraling out of control sooner than later. I still think this team is good enough to compete for a championship, but they need to start answering some of the questions surrounding them and move on.
Well I’ve finally given in and I have my own Twitter account. You can follow me at https://twitter.com/JoeAuriemmaNYY. I’ll update it as much as possible, but I’m still on my Facebook kick. I’ll catch you next time.