On Sunday, the New York Yankees split a rarely seen, one-ticket doubleheader with the Pittsburgh Pirates. As game two started just 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one, fans were allowed to stay for both contests with just one stub.
In game one, a pair of Pirate home runs were not enough as New York triumphed 4-3 behind three shutout innings out of the bullpen. In the second game of the day, Pittsburgh got some revenge, topping the Yankees 5-3 with another pair of home runs for good measure. Gerrit Cole notched his fourth win of the season, but the split was good enough for New York to hold onto first place in the American League East.
The AL East has been a scary place thus far in 2014:
- No team has a better record than New York’s 23-20 mark.
- No one has even a one-game winning streak going.
- Everyone is .500 or worse in their last 10 games.
- Only one team in the division has a positive run differential, and that’s the Toronto Blue Jays at +7.
For a division used to immense success in recent years, including World Series titles, this year’s version has been anything but successful. Right now, according to ESPN’s playoff percentages, no squad in the division has more than a 39 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Of course, it’s not yet Memorial Day, meaning there is plenty of time for any of the five to get on a roll. New York has a favorable start, holding onto that narrow, half-game lead at the moment.