Monday Morning Food For Thought: The Road Warriors

On the morning of July 24th, the Yankees were 5.5 games up in the division and heading out on a 10-game road trip.  At the time they were a sub-.500 road team and their inability to score runs away from the short porch of Yankee Stadium was starting to become more of a concern.  10 games against pseudo-Wild Card contenders the Twins, Rangers, and White Sox would be a good test for the offense and the team as a whole.  If they were going to make the playoffs and make any kind of noise in the playoffs, the Yankees had to start figuring out how to score and win on the road.

10 days later and I'd say they passed the test with flying colors.  The Yankees went 6-4 on the trip, securing that winning record with a big victory yesterday afternoon in Chicago.  Not only did they find a way to score more runs outside of Yankee Stadium, they found a way to score a ton of runs.  A combination of the traditional team power and patience along with a bunch of hot streaks from guys up and down the lineup resulted in 78 runs scored over the 10 games.  They didn't just score, they were a scoring machine.

The Yanks scored 6 or more runs in all of their 6 wins and the way they went about scoring them in some games was thoroughly impressive.  Their 8 in Minnesota on July 25th came unanswered after the Twins went up 5-0 in the first 3 innings, and culminated with a 4-run 9th to secure the comeback victory.  The 21-run outburst in Texas started after the Rangers went up 5-0 in the 1st inning and included 11 runs in the top of the 2nd.  They hung 11 on the White Sox in the first 4 innings on Friday night and 8 on Jeff Samardzija in a 2-inning span yesterday.  You don't put up numbers like with just 1 or 2 guys hitting and that certainly wasn't the case on this trip.  Everybody was contributing and everybody had at least 1 or 2 big games.  Teix is on fire, Didi is on fire, A-Rod is still jacking home runs, Chase Headley has woken up, and Stephen Drew is right on the cusp of cracking the Mendoza Line.

The Yanks showed on this trip that they can score runs on the road, they showed how good and deep their lineup can be when everybody is healthy, and most importantly, they came back from the trip with a bigger division lead (6 games) than when they began.  Now they've got 6 in a row at home with a chance to put some more distance between themselves and their AL East competition.  Not a bad position to be in and just another reason to love this team.