With all the negative storylines that have dominated the Yankee talk this year, it would be easy to think they were having a down season. They traded away their best prospect and lost the pitcher for whom they traded him for the season due to injury. They've had major injuries to their most important relief pitchers and their best starters. They've gotten inconsistent performances and declining production from key spots in the middle of their lineup. And they are too one-dimensional without their speedy starting left fielder and rely too much on the home run to score runs and win games.
And yet despite all of that negativity, the Yankees find themselves 23 games over .500 with an MLB-best 57-34 record. They've won 5 of 6 since the All Star break, 10 of 14 since the start of July, 26 of 35 since the start of interleague play, and 34 of 47 since their last West Coast trip. They've got a +80 run differential, which is 2nd best in baseball by 1 run, they lead everybody in team wOBA (.348) and wRC+ (115), and are top 3 in the AL in team ERA (3.72) and FIP (3.88). They've built a 10-game division lead in what is widely considered to be the best division in Major League Baseball, and have already started shoveling dirt on their competition for the division title.
Despite all the negative press from the MSM and occasional nitpicking from the blogosphere, it turns out that the Yankees are actually a pretty damn good baseball team. They're also in the middle of a stretch where they're playing damn good team baseball. They're hitting for average and power, getting good work from their pitching staff, and playing solid defense. Everybody on the 25-man roster is getting a chance to contribute and it seems like everybody is contributing something when their name is penciled into the lineup card or their number is called from the bullpen. It's good times in Yankeeland right now.
Saturday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 12/20/14
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