It was on Saturday that Joe Girardi essentially called the finale against the Red Sox a must-win, but that was as much about the team in the opposing dugout Sunday night as the one that’s coming to town Monday.
Beginning Monday night, the Yankees will take on the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles in a four-game set that might very well decide if the Yankees dismantle the team.
On the mound for the middle two games will be Nathan Eovaldi — the subject of swirling trade rumors — and Michael Pineda, who is 3-9 and hasn’t won since June 7.
After the Orioles? It’s the Giants, who have the best record in baseball.
Pineda also has been mentioned as possible trade bait, along with the usual suspects, Carlos Beltran, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. By Friday, all of them might have a better idea if any of those trades comes to pass.
Going gets tougher
It won’t get any easier for the Yankees, who are under .500 after the All-Star break for the first time since 1995 and play 23 of their first 26 second-half games against teams with winning records. Starting Monday, they’ll play 55 of their remaining 71 games against teams currently over .500.
Beltran inching up HR list
Beltran is one home run away from tying Alfonso Soriano with 412, 52nd on the all-time home run list.