It was just more than a month ago that the Yankees looked to be in serious trouble. They were only one game over .500 on May 21 after losing to Kansas City, their third loss in a row and their sixth in their last seven games. They were only one game out of last place in the AL East. David Schoenfield at ESPN's SweetSpot blog wrote a convincing piece arguing that the Red Sox — considered one of baseball's biggest disappointments at the time — might actually be better off than the Yankees. (Choice quote: "I see a flawed team, certainly one as flawed as the Red Sox.") Matters have turned around since then.
After that game, that loss to Kansas City, the Yankees rattled off five straight wins, and they haven't looked back. Since May 21, the Yankees are 22-7, counting last night's 7–1 win over the Cleveland Indians, and comfortably in first place in the AL East, three games up. In fact, with the Rangers' loss last night and the Yankees' win, the Bombers now have the best record in baseball. That's quite the turnaround.
Last night was an excellent blueprint. Hiroki Kuroda threw seven efficient innings, the Yankees staked him to an easy early lead (thanks in large part to another Robinson Cano homer, speaking of people who are hot), and they just cruised along. It almost made you feel sad for Johnny Damon, who's still hanging around with the Indians, going 1-for-4 last night to raise his average to .203. (If Johnny Damon is only hitting .203, there's really not much reason to have Johnny Damon around.) The Yankees are just sort of piling it on right now.
They're so monotonously victorious in the way the best Yankees teams have been in recent years — this is sort of the signature feature of the Joe Girardi era, along with all the bullpenning — that Brian Cashman is already downplaying any trades at the deadline, which isn't for another month still. (It's very possible, thanks to the extra wild card spot in both leagues, that this will be the least active trading deadline in recent memory. Nobody wants to give up.)
The Yankees' rotation has looked anemic at times this year, the offense has been streaky, and, oh yeah, they lost the best relief pitcher of all time in a brutally random fashion. And here the Yankees are, with the best record in baseball. Same as it ever was, really.