Reporting Bob Haynie
With Thursday night’s 7-3 victory of the Cleveland Indians, the Baltimore Orioles were able to gain a split in their four-game series at Camden Yards. By defeating the Tribe, the Birds remained 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
Now the New York Yankees come to town for a showdown of division rivals.
The Yankees have lost three of their last four games and are 4.5 games back of the Sox.
I picked the Yanks to finish last in the AL East, so they have exceeded my expectations, so far. New York, which has lost 10 of 15, may, however, be beginning to fade in this tough division.
The Yankees have pitched fine, for the most part, in 2013. They currently rate 10th in ERA (3.76) and third in saves (28) in all of baseball.
Where they struggle is on offense. Long one of the top hitting clubs in the majors, New York ranks 22nd in runs scored (302), 14th in HR’s (80) and 26th in batting average (.238).
Injuries have been a major factor for the Yanks.
Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis have all missed significant time. As a matter of fact, Teixeira is done for the year with a wrist injury and Youkilis could be done with a bad back.
Let’s not forget that Derek Jeter hasn’t played an inning and neither has Alex Rodriguez.
History says the Yanks go out get what they need for the stretch run. Pickings might be slim this season for them this season as all contending teams will look to upgrade.
For the Orioles, the series this weekend is a good chance for them to distance themselves–a little–from New York and hope the Blue Jays can do a number on Boston at Fenway.
All in all, this will be yet another fun weekend of baseball in the AL East.