The Yankees are in the midst of their final homestand of the season and they will face a tough test. New York holds their fate in the palm of their hands.
The Yankees have been unable to go on a long win streak since the early part of the season. They have spent much of the latter part of the season as a .500 ball club and have been as inconsistent as it gets.
However, if they are able to carry their confidence from the Boston series throughout the rest of the season they should be in good shape.
AL East Division
A month ago the Yankees were counted all but out of the AL East Division. And to be far it will take a Herculean effort from the Yankees and Pompeian collapse from the Red Sox for the Bronx Bombers to take over the lead in the AL East, but this is baseball and anything can happen. However, to this point that hasn’t seemed to be the case.
Now let me be clear, this is not a situation I foresee happening, as the Bombers are 9.5 games behind the Red Sox in the division and Boston’s “magic number” to clinch the AL East is down to two. So any combination of Red Sox wins or Yankee losses dwindle that number. The Yankees would need to win the rest of the season and Boston must lose nearly every game from this point forth for the Yanks to win the division. So the Yanks must turn their attention.
AL Wild Card
As I said a month ago, the Yanks were presumed to be out of the AL East Division and that their only path to the postseason was as an AL Wildcard representative. At that same moment in time, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the one game AL Wild Card game would take place in the Bronx. However, as play begins the today the Yankees hold only a 2.5 game lead in the Wild Card lead.
The Yankees find themselves in a must-win scenario for the rest of the season. Every series holds significance as the Yankees try to stave off elimination. The red-hot Oakland A’s are chasing down the big bad boys from the Bronx and are right on their heels.
If the Yankees continue playing as they have, a .500 ballclub, they will face the worst case scenario for themselves. The scenario would be having to fly 3000 miles out west to play the one game wildcard game in Oakland.
In their recent trip to Oakland, they Yanks were outplayed by the A’s. The A’s would outscore the Yanks 15-10, outhit them 23-17, and continue proving that they are a formidable foe. The A’s would be much more successful with runners in scoring position. With runners in scoring position the A’s would be 7-28 (.250) while the Yankees would manage just 2-15 (.134.)
The Yankees control their fate, but there will need to be a major offseason audit to understand what caused this late-season collapse. The Yankees are very likely to make the playoffs. But, the seemingly season-long struggle must bring about reflection and evaluation.
If the Yankees make another deep playoff run then the struggles could be forgotten. But before a long run can be made the Bronx Bombers must get passed the AL East-leading Red Sox and the Oakland A’s.