The Yankees are suddenly struggling, which is raising significant doubts as to whether or not the team can make a run at the AL East.
After a 13-game winning streak, the New York Yankees seemed primed to make a run at the division. Just 4.5 games back of Tampa, things seemed to be looking up and, although 4.5 games isn’t necessarily close, it’s still within striking distance. Now, as the Yankees sit 7.5 games back of the Rays at the time of this being written, is the division race officially over?
Yankees Drop Two in Oakland
The Yankees split two games this week with the Athletics, which isn’t a bad thing, all things considered. However, when you lose both games but only allow three runs in each, those losses are obviously harder to swallow. The offense definitely showed up in the first two games of the series, however, scoring seven and eight runs in the first two games, respectively.
Standing your ground in Oakland is obviously big. The Coliseum is a place where the Yankees struggle a lot, and with the A’s trailing the Bombers by 4.5 in the wildcard race at the time, a split definitely helps the cause. Although the Yanks didn’t gain any ground on Oakland, they also didn’t lose any ground, either, which I think most fans would sign off for.
The Yankees will finish off their three-game set against the Angels tonight when Gerrit Cole takes the mound. The Bombers lost their first game of the series 8-7 and are currently down in the second game. It’s safe to say that it’s crucial for the Yanks to avoid a sweep if they do indeed lose the middle game. Following this set with the Angels, the Bombers have an off-day Thursday but then will play 20 straight games. Thankfully, among those 20 games, the Yankees will face off against the likes of the Orioles, Indians, Mets, Rangers, and other beatable teams that New York should handle. If they struggle over the next few weeks, they’ll be facing a major problem going into the final three series of the season.
Is the Division out of Reach?
At seven or eight games back, the division certainly looks far from promising. Not only does it look like the Yankees are hitting another rough patch, but also the Rays simply don’t lose. It looks awfully difficult for the Yankees to make a comeback now, but anything’s possible. If the Yanks do plan on making a run at the East, however, they need to start winning big games now.