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June 20, 2005

Long Distance Request and Dedication
by Sean McNally

Ten days ago, if someone told me the Yanks would be the hottest team in the division, I'd have laughed at you. Hell, you would have laughed at you.

But here we are seven days, six games, two come from behind wins and a dominating Randy Johnson performance later the Yanks have closed the gap to three games behind Boston, five games behind Baltimore and just two-and-a-half games behind the wild card-leading Minnesota Twins.

Going into the homestand, I said the Yanks would need to go 10-3 to get back into things in the division and they are well on their way to doing that, and realistically much better.

Projecting out, the Yanks have a decent shot to go 11-2 or better. It stands to reason the next four games should go like this:

Henn v. Fossum
Johnson v. Nomo
Pavano v. Kazmir
Wang v. Hendrickson

To me that looks like three wins, discounting a loss in either the Henn or Pavano start. Then the Mets come to town for this set up.

Martinez v. Mussina
Henn v. Glavine
Johnson v. Benson

That looks like a two-game split one way or the other . . . I'd say at this point toward the Yanks.

Now, that's five and two through the start of a trip to the first meaningful series against Baltimore in a long time.

A six-game winning streak is a good start, but the job is not over yet.