On this date last year the Yanks were 21-29, 14.5 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. Comparatively, 26-27, 4.5 games behind the Sox doesn't look too bad. The problem is, the Yanks went on to finish 73-39 en route to a 94-68 record.
Assuming 95 wins will be needed to get in the playoffs, the Yanks will need to go 69-40 (.633) over the duration of the season. For some reason, we all expect that to happen, no?
I am fairly confident that the Yanks have an extended good streak in them, and that they are a better team than their .500 record indicates. Are they capable of playing .633 ball over 109 games? Not unless the bottom of the rotation is straightened out and the offense becomes more consistent.
It is very possible that unless the turn-around happens immediately we Yankee fans will need to temper our expectations for the year - not yet, but soon.