The Yankees have played four games so far this season and some fans are already starting to panic. They need to relax, everything will be okay.
Less than 24 hours after losing their second consecutive game, the Yankees had an opportunity to erase their “losing streak” with a win at home on Monday afternoon. That was until the snow came and forced their home opener to be postponed.
The Yankees have now stood at 2-2 for a full two days, which is far too long for a fan base who is already on edge after the weekend in Toronto. Should the Yankees play today at their scheduled 4 PM start (rain in the forecast), they will look to avoid falling below .500.
Should the Yankees fail to win their home opener, how will the Yankees twitter-verse react? I would prefer not to have to find out. But in the event this does happen, I want to leave you with why we should not hit the panic button.
This would not be the first time a Yankee team has had a losing record through five games. In fact, I was able to locate three Yankees World Championship teams that started the season 2-3 or worse.
The 1996 Yankees (2-3).
These Yankees ended up winning the AL East at 92-70. They did so with just two players (Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez) hitting 20+ HRs. On the pitching side, they had Kenny Rogers, Dwight Gooden, Jimmy Key and Ramiro Mendoza all sporting ERA’s north of 4.50 while Andy Pettitte and David Cone held down the fort.
The 1998 Yankees (1-4)
Arguably the best Yankee team ever went on to win 114 Games (and went 12-0 in the postseason) in the 1998 season. Derek Jeter finished 3rd, Bernie Williams finished 8th and Paul O’Neil finished 12th in the AL MVP Voting. David “Boomer” Wells finished behind only Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez for the AL Cy Young Award. And there was this guy named Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez who had ice water in his veins come the postseason.
The 2009 Yankees (2-3)
This team ranks 12th all time for Home Runs in a single season (244) and were just 20 short of the 1997 Seattle Mariners who hold the all-time record with 264 HRs. A power lineup of Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Hideki Matsui made this happen. CC Sabathia was the anchor of the rotation while AJ Burnett and an aging Andy Pettitte complimented as best they could. Joba Chamberlin started 31 games this season and sported a 4.75 ERA and 1.544 WHIP.
Should the 2018 Yankees fall to 2-3, think about the following. We may still be without a HR from Judge and Sanchez, two guys who barring injuries should combine for at least 70 long balls. They would still be yet to show that their bullpen is one of their biggest strengths. And they are yet to play 81 games in the Bronx, a place where they won 51 games a year ago.
Despite the outcome of these first five games, this team hasn’t changed. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are still teammates, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka are still at the top of the rotation, and it isn’t too late to write a better story than the 96, 98 and 09 teams.