9:29 am Jul. 31, 2012
The Yankees lost Monday night, 5-4 to the Orioles, despite home runs by Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez and Ichiro Suzuki's first as a Yankee. That's three losses in a row, eight losses in eleven games. Every single loss in those right has come by one or two runs.
The loss drops the Yankees to just 6.5 games ahead of the Orioles. In the unlikely event Baltimore should speed past the Yankees, leaving the wild card for the only prize, they are 4.5 games ahead of the Angels for the second wild card spot.
Still, they'll need to turn things soon, and they'll need to do so without Alex Rodriguez until mid-September. Andy Pettitte just had a setback, leaving his return unknown. And Monday night, Mark Teixeira aggravated a wrist injury. He'll go for an M.R.I. Tuesday, but the Yankees could be without both of their corner infielders for a decent stretch of August.
The Yankees don't have much time ahead of the 4 p.m. Tuesday trade deadline to find out what Teixeira's diagnosis is. There's not a great internal option to fill in if Teixeira is out, with Russell Branyan, a slugging retread, the likely call.
But trading would ignore the significant possibility that Teixeira is fine, meaning the Yankees would be dealing value for a first baseman to go sit on the bench. It would also ignore the fact that even if Rodriguez, Pettitte and Teixeira don't return, the Yankees are still a strong team, and in good shape in the standings.
No need to panic just yet.
Elsewhere in New York sports:
The Mets won a wild, ten-inning affair in San Francisco, 8-7. The Mets' bullpen stank again, but Scott Hairston, who the Mets may have to think about trading, hit two home runs that more than made up for it.
Matt Harvey will make his second start Tuesday night. If it goes like his first start, prepare for a Strasburgian level of attention.
Frank Francisco will throw back-to-back rehab stints Tuesday and Wednesday. Johan Santana will throw a bullpen session Thursday. If all goes well, expect Francisco back within a few days, Santana around August 9.
Tim Cahill was introduced to the media on Monday. On Tuesday, he'll debut for the Red Bulls in a friendly against Tottenham Hotspur.
Tyson Chandler didn't understand why he was named Defensive Player of the Year by the media, but not to the All-N.B.A. Defensive Team by the coaches. His puzzlement is likely shared by anyone who saw the Knicks defend with and without Chandler.
Poor Terrell Thomas, coming back from a knee injury that ended his 2011 season before it began, injured that same knee again.