Incredible as it may seem, that is what this has come down to: 21 games left to play and the Yankees desperately need to find a savior or risk suffering the most ignominious regular-season collapse in their history.
Will it be Derek Jeter? Alex Rodriguez? Robinson Cano? Or someone you would never expect, like a Steve Pearce or a Casey McGehee? Remember, there once was a Yankee hero named Jim Leyritz.
Could it be a pitcher? Will CC Sabathia reassert his status as an ace in his last four or five starts? Or will it be something more dramatic, like the return of 40-year-old Andy Pettitte or the sudden emergence of David Phelps?
I don't have the answer for you but I do know that someone has to step up and grab this team by its pinstriped lapels and shake it back into consciousness.
So I leave it to you, in our Question of the Day: Who do you think is most likely to spark a Yankees resurgence over these last three weeks of baseball? (Of course, you can vote "no one" if you think this death spiral is irreversible). Give us your answers below.
Up now: My column off last night's fiasco, the one that convinced me that maybe this team simply isn't good enough to win the division, or go very far into October even if it manages to.
Coming later: A W2W4 on tonight's matchup, Phelps (3-4, 3.55) vs. RHP Aaron Cook (3-9, 5.17), and the big question is can Phelps rebound from his poor performance against the Orioles over the weekend. I'll have the weekly Yankees live chat at noon -- link to come later this morning -- followed by the clubhouse opening at 3:40 for tonight's 7:10 p.m. start. I'll be there with lineups and all the pregame news so check in often, and as always, thanks for reading.
Top 9th R H E Cubs 0 3 0 Yankees 3 5 0 7:05 PM ET Cubs Yankees Bot 1st R H E Mets 0 0 0 Diamondbacks 0 0 0