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The Yankees must take advantage of their opportunities against bad teams

The Yankees swept the Orioles this past weekend, and if they’re going to win the AL East they need to continue to beat down on bad teams and win games that they’re supposed to.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are coming off their first sweep of the season this past weekend as they beat down on the Baltimore Orioles in a powerful fashion. After suffering through an alarming amount of injuries and two horrible series losses to the O’s and the Tigers to start the season, the Yankees offense woke up in a big way.

With four homers from Gary Sanchez, three from Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres and two from Aaron Judge, the Bronx Bombers did what they do best and hit the ball out of the yard all weekend.

Last season, the Yankees went 25-13 against their divisional opponents that finished under .500 (Baltimore and Toronto). The Red Sox, on the other hand, finished 31-7 against these opponents in 2018. This is a six-game difference, and while that six-game difference does not win them the division outright, it certainly brings them a little closer instead of being eight games back to end the year.

This past weekend is an example of what the Yankees need to do throughout the remainder of the season against bad teams that they should beat, especially the divisional foes who they’ll play 19 times during the regular season. We heard from Judge already this season, talking about how their backs need to be against the wall every game, and it’s true. A win in April is just as valuable as a win in September. While the Yankees handled their business properly in Baltimore this past weekend, nothing will get back those four losses against the O’s and Tigers to start the season, and those are games they should and need to win.

Now I digress, you can say they should have done this or could have done that but the panic button was pushed a little too early. In baseball history, how many scenarios can you find where ten of your players are hurt to begin the season, five of them being everyday players, two of them being part of your starting rotation and the another being a staple in your bullpen? I would guess little to none.

So, the Yankees got hit with the injury bug worse than other teams maybe ever will in their franchise history. Sure, you can say those are games they should have won even without those players, based on their opponent. All these roster moves and adjustments to begin the season take a mental toll on the team, though.

Now that the Bombers finally showed up, everything is back to normal and the panic button is no longer being pushed. They did what they needed to do against a bad team and that is squash them like a bug. Yankees fans should still not expect the team to go 13-0 against the Orioles for the rest of the season, regardless of how bad they’re expected to be. 11-2? 10-3? That’s a little more reasonable.

However, it shouldn’t be much worse than that. Even with a dwindled lineup, we saw what this team could do. There is no reason this can’t continue. This team will only get better than the team that played the Orioles this past weekend as some of their everyday pieces come back from their injuries. Take this performance and add Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks to the mix, then maybe a start from Luis Severino. Just with the addition of those guys, this team provides entirely new and more daunting threats to an opponent.