2005_08_smussina.JPGMost baseball teams would love to be tied for the wild card lead and three and a half games out on August 24th. The Yankees found themselves in that position before Wednesday’s 9-2 loss to Toronto, but of course, the Yankees are not most baseball teams. They have played inconsistently all season, and given the status of their pitching staff, there is no reason to think the season’s last five weeks will see the Yankees cruise into the playoffs like years past.

Who would have thought that Shawn Chacon, who starts against the Blue Jays Thursday, would be a major factor for the Yankees down the stretch? Or that the loss of Chien Ming Wang would hurt so dearly? Or that the Yankees would be desperate for a healthy Jaret Wright? Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman has been dealt some bad luck with his pitching staff, but Gothamist was never able to justify the signing of the injury-prone Wright and the overrated Carl Pavano out for the year. The Yankees’ offense will not prevent them from missing the playoffs. It will either need to cancel out a below average pitching staff or get some help from the arms in order to see the October sky. Only for a team with a history of the Yankees does their position really seem so undesirable.