The Yankees have had a roller-coaster season in 2019. Hopefully, their recent play is here to stay for October.
Many say the MLB season goes fast. Perhaps too fast. Understandably so, this is troubling to most casual or non-baseball fans, acknowledging a baseball season as a 162-game marathon, from April through September. This year, however, things have been different. With only 60 games to work with, teams need to make their mark quickly to not only ensure they make the playoffs but have a sustained run in October, too. Thankfully for the New York Yankees, it appears they’re making their said mark at just the right time.
On September 8, the Yanks were at an even 21-21 following a lifeless 2-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, barely clinging onto a playoff spot. Now, a 21-21 record doesn’t seem bad. Instead, it seems perfectly average, because, in a general sense, it is. But factor in the fact that the Bombers were a World Series contender prior to the start of the season and that this same 21-21 ballclub got off to a lightning-quick 16-6 start, that 21-21 mark doesn’t seem so average anymore. Rather, it seems awful, because, well, it is.
Today is September 21, thirteen days later, where the Yankees are set to begin a crucial four-game set against, you guessed it, the Blue Jays. How have the Bombers done since that 2-1 defeat nearly two weeks ago? They are now the 5th seed and have clinched a postseason spot following the Seattle Mariners’ extra-inning defeat to the San Diego Padres. Following a 10-game win streak that was snapped Sunday by the hands of Boston, New York is sitting pretty at 31-22. A potential run for the division is still in play, too, although slim, trailing the Tampa Bay Rays by 3.5 games with 8 games left to play.
Yankees-Twins Round 3?
As the Yankees are the 5th seed, they are currently set to match up with the Minnesota Twins in a best of three series, at the time of this being written. As many Yankee fans know, the Bombers and Twins have a history, and not a good one if you’re a Twins fan. Of course, you could pull up the Yankees’ postseason dominance of the Twins dating back to the 2000s, but for more recent evidence, all you have to do is look at the late 2010s. In 2017, the Yankees bested Minnesota in the AL Wild Card game, winning 8-4. Looking back as recently as 2019, the Bombers swept Minnesota in the ALDS, continuing their mastery of the Twins.
Despite the gaudy numbers against Minnesota, the Twins are no team to be taken lightly. With an offense led by Max Kepler, Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario, and Miguel Sano, among others, there’s no debate Minnesota has some serious firepower. Pitching is one thing that consistently haunts the Twins, but with the emergence of Kenta Maeda as Minnesota’s ace, they’re not a team to sleep on.
But let’s get to the obvious here. No one is playing better baseball than the Yankees right now, and with the return of superstars like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, this looks like a team that can take on anyone.