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Nova's swoon rankles Yanks, Girardi

Joe knows struggling starter's among biggest reasons AL East lead is dwindling

Updated: August 22, 2012, 1:39 AM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

CHICAGO -- A little more than a month ago, the AL East race was a joke. The New York Yankees were ahead by 10 games and their starting rotation, a weak link in the chain in April, had solidified into one of the most reliable units on the team throughout June and the first half of July.

But no one is laughing now.

Since the All-Star break, the team loses just as often as it wins -- Tuesday night's 7-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox made the Yankees' record 19-18 since the break -- and ...

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