The New York Yankees took two out of three games against the Tampa Bay Rays in their latest series, and the gap between them is back to 5.5 games.
It was 3.5 games at one point last week, and people were panicking over the Yankees losing a division lead that was as broad as 15.5 games in early July.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone spoke with the media about the division lead and its implications.
“Boone on whether there is more ‘comfort’ in Yanks getting the AL East lead back to 5 1/2 games: ‘By definition, it feels better. But we got 20 [games] or so to go, and we got to get ourselves right and play our best. That’s what we’re searching for and striving for,'” Marly Rivera of ESPN tweeted, quoting Boone.
Boone on whether there is more 'comfort' in Yanks getting the AL East lead back to 5 1/2 games: "By definition, it feels better. But we got 20 [games] or so to go, and we got to get ourselves right and play our best. That’s what we're searching for and striving for." #Yankees
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) September 11, 2022
Returning To Form Is The Priority In The Bronx
What Boone is trying to say is that it doesn’t matter if the Yanks are up 10, 5.5, 3.5, or a single game: the biggest priority should be going back to playing at the level they played in the first half or somewhere close to that.
The Yankees were 64-28 before the break, but have slumped to 21-28 after it.
If the Yankees can have several injured players back within the next couple of weeks – Luis Severino, Aroldis Chapman, Miguel Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Harrison Bader, Andrew Benintendi, and others – and have them play several times before the playoffs, they should be in good shape for October.
The Yankees aren’t perfect, but they remain a solid team.