Once again the Yankees prove their offense is just too good. They have done what they had to do to get back into the American League playoff race by leading the Major Leagues in wins since the All-Star break with a 20-8 record. The Yankees find themselves closing in on the American League Wild Card, but the real test is about to begin. Seventeen of the Yankees’ next 20 games come against the Indians, Tigers, Red Sox and Angels — all teams that are in the thick of the playoff hunt. As much as I truly dislike most things Yankees, never count that team out.
Closer to home, the dreaded Cardinals will make their way into Wrigley this weekend and certainly have a buzz about them. Just 10 days ago, St. Louis was eight games behind Milwaukee. The Cardinals have won four straight to match a season high, batting .376 while scoring 38 runs, and now seek their longest winning streak since a six-game run in July of last season. In the middle of the heated battles of first place between the Cubs and Brewers, the Cards were forgotten about. Although I am curious to know, the Cards surge has taken place through playing .500 baseball. Are they that good or are the Cubs and Brewers just that bad right now? I hate the term must win baseball because it is over-hyped and overused, but this weekend the Cubs should be playing must win baseball.
Speaking of the Cards making there way to Wrigley Field, the feel good story of the month has to be Rick Ankiel. Ten years after being drafted, seven years after winning 11 games as a too-young-to-drink rookie lefthander and six years after virtually vanishing from the Major Leagues, Ankiel is close to accomplishing feat of moving from a major-league starting rotation to outfield Babe Ruth Style. Ankiel completed his comeback in dramatic fashion when he homered in his first game back last week. St. Louis Cardinal or not, as a baseball fan, this is a good story and he will be fun to watch.