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Yankees Take Control of the East

Just days after a four-game sweep over the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees are looking as amazing as ever.

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Finally, the three big players they signed before the season (CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Texeira) are really paying off. And veterans such as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettite, and Mariano Rivera are playing to perfection.

Even Joe Girardi, who replaced beloved manager Joe Torre, has won over the fans in New York. But what’s next? How has this series affected both the Yankees and the Red Sox?

Personally, I believe the four games sealed the AL East for New York and created a situation where Boston may not even earn a playoff berth.

Now I’m not saying that the Bronx Bombers automatically own the AL East pennant. They can’t just slack off and play with little effort for the rest of the season because the Red Sox and the Rays are both amazing teams that are capable of giving the Yankees a run for their money.

It just so happens that history is on New York’s side. The Yankees organization has never blown a 6.5 game lead (which they had after the sweep) to drop from first place in their division. I think history will continue as long as Sabathia, Burnett, Andy Pettitte, and Joba Chamberlain all pitch well as the season expires. The Yankees lineup is nothing to worry about, as Mark Teixeria is tied for the American League lead in home runs and every hitter from Johnny Damon to Nick Swisher is performing well.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, may be starting to worry. Their “deep” pitching rotation has now been limited mainly to Josh Beckett and Jon Lester (Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield have been hurt and John Smoltz was underperforming and just got released). Plus, their lineup is starting to struggle. There is the controversy following David Ortiz (very similar to the one following Alex Rodriguez earlier this season) and he isn’t hitting the same amount of homers he was back in 2007 when the Sox won the World Series.

Also, what’s going on with Jason Bay? He’s been hurt and isn’t hitting to his potential either! Boston is in major need of a player who can consistently hit balls out of the park. What happens if the Sox can’t catch the Yankees in the AL East? It’s time to look at the Wild Card spot, but that will require outplaying the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays.

So while this four-game sweep may have changed the probable outcome of the AL East, remember that anything can happen. Both New York and Boston need to play good baseball as the playoffs inch nearer.