In grading the Yankees first-half performances this morning, I was struck by the fact that every question mark the Yankees had on offense coming into the season has been answered positively. Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, Nick Swisher, and Melky Cabrera have all returned to their pre-2008 levels of production. Posada’s shoulder, Matsui’s knees, and Alex Rodriguez’s hip have all held up to regular play. Age hasn’t been much of an issue for the 35-year-old Captain, and has been only a minor hindrance to Posada, Matsui, and Johnny Damon. Brett Gardner has translated his minor league production to the majors, and Mark Teixeira has hit like Mark Teixeira.
Lest we take any of that for granted, consider how things have turned the opposite way for the Chicago Cubs. I take a look at the Cubs disappointing first half and offensive collapse over at SI.com. It looks a lot like what the Yankees went through last year with injuries and poor performance combining to sabatoge a would-be playoff team. The key question now is whether the respective good and bad luck of these two teams continue in the second half. Only time will tell.