DETROIT -- The Yankees have eyed their diminishing advantage in the American League East with some concern, entering play on Wednesday just 4 1/2 games ahead of the Orioles -- their smallest lead since June 29.
Manager Joe Girardi does not dispute the suggestion that the team has not played well and needs to perform better, but he also can't shake the feeling that his club has seemed close to breaking through.
"I don't think our guys are complacent," Girardi said. "You saw the fight in our guys in the ninth inning last night. I don't think there's complacency here. Sometimes you get that one hit that makes a difference, and sometimes you don't, but you come prepared every day. I think our guys are prepared every day, they work hard every day and they play hard every day. You do the best you can."
Girardi said there is not one glaring inefficiency that the Yankees need to fix at this time -- pointing to the offense, pitching, and particularly shutdown innings or clutch hits.
"You think, golly, you're one hit here or there away from having four or five wins," Girardi said. "You're talking about five hits and you might have four or five wins more, and we're not talking about this. But [despite] the fact that we haven't gotten those, we've been in most games. We're not getting blown out. I think I'd be more concerned if we were getting hammered."