Finding consistency crucial for Yanks

Finding consistency crucial for Yanks

NEW YORK -- The Yankees enter Saturday's game against the Royals with a chance to be at .500 ... again.

It is indeed a familiar position, a straddle between two sides of the win-loss column. At 30-31, New York is only the third team to have a .500 record at least 20 times through the first 60 games of a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

At the core of the Yankees' effort is consistency, and the continuing search for it.

"Inconsistency is something that bothers all of us, because to be a good team, you have to be very consistent, and we haven't been," manager Joe Girardi said. "In all phases, we haven't been. So we need to be better at that."

New York has won 10 of its last 16 games, but Girardi said that it is understandable if his players are frustrated at this point. The Yankees are in last place in the American League East, 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Red Sox.

"We expect a lot more," Girardi said. "I don't expect them to feel any different. I would be mad if they were content with where we are. I want to be frustrated, and the great thing about it is you have a chance to do something about it today."

Wilson Betemit, who will start at first base against Kansas City on Saturday, said that New York isn't far from consistently producing more victories.

"[We have to] keep on playing like how we're playing," Betemit said. "Then we'll be on the way to above .500. We've lost so many close games, and everyone just needs to continue doing what they can to win games.

"This team, everyone knows, is a winning team. This year we're at a stage where we haven't had the luck to win some games that we needed to win. That's something that happens in baseball."

Willie Bans is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.