Forty-eight games into their season, the Yankees are tied for first place in the AL East but have been up and down, according to Joe Girardi, though the sunny skipper believes better days are ahead, too.
"It seemed like we played really well for four or five weeks, ran into a two-week struggle, and it seems like we've started to come out of that," Girardi said. "It's been an up and down two months for us. The fact is, we're in first place, and there's a ton of baseball to be played.
"You go through a two-week stretch where you really struggle, and in some divisions, you could be way back. In a sense, we're somewhat fortunate that it's been an up-and-down season for every team in our division."
The Yankees have not been their usual juggernaut at home, going only 17-13 so far. No one besides Curtis Granderson is having an exceptional season offensively, and while Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia are good stories, their presence in the rotation highlights that the Yankees have been hit by injuries or didn't get to sign the guy they wanted -- Cliff Lee -- last winter.
Both the Rays and the Red Sox endured horrible starts, but Boston is percentage points behind New York at the top of the division, and Tampa Bay is 1 1/2 games back. Rather than admit the Yankees might have blown a chance to bury either rival by not playing better so far, Girardi says, "You could ask them the same question, too: Have they missed one? But it's baseball, you're going to go through weeks when you struggle, and that's just what happens in the game.
"I think we're better than this, I do, because I've seen the guys do it. We have some guys going through some tough stretches and hope they come out of it."
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