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Game 89: "Long is the way, and hard, that out of [the All Star Break] leads up to light." --John Milton, Paradise Lost

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Today I woke up on the couch at 7am with all the lights on, SportsCenter still blaring. And I started thinking about the whole day stretched out before me, after what was a trying week at the office. One hour into shoveling in Cinnamon Toast Crunch while watching Buster Olney, and I hear "Friday night, we got Tigers at the Yankees, 7:05..." and I realize today isn't Saturday at all, and I'm late for work.

This is what happens when I don't have baseball in my life for 4 days: like the Silly Race in Marble Madness, "Everything I know is wrong."

But tonight that mercifully changes, and we're reunited with the Bombers opening a nine-game homestand, starting with this weekend's Detroit series. A.J. Burnett (8-4, 3.77) faces rookie (*fantastic*) Luke French (1-0, 1.93), who just picked up his first career win against the Royals by letting up 1 run in 6 innings. The game will be decided by the offense, and whether the formidable 1st-half bats of Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez are interested in coming out. All A.J. needs to do is hold his own.

Apparently, the Yankees have struggled against first place teams, going 5-15 against Detroit, Red Sox, and the Angels (as if this is a damning 2nd half habringer... I'd be more worried if they were going 5-15 against the cellar dwellars.) Despite the threat of a starter with only 3 games in the books, it feels like the pendulum of momentum is swinging towards the Bronx. Welcome home, Yanks. I missed you like I miss oxygen.