Over the weekend the New York Yankees faced off with the Baltimore Orioles for the second annual “Player’s Weekend.” The Yanks played the type of baseball that resembles what Yankee fans have been looking for over the last couple months. However, the best part of Player’s Weekend for the Bronx Bombers came from Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay Rays have been playing solid baseball all season long as evidenced by their 70-61 record. For fans of the Bronx Bombers, they know this all too well. But this weekend the Rays helped the Yankees cause with a sweep of the Boston Red Sox. In their last 10 games the Red Sox are 4-6, this weekend alone they were outscored 24-5. This has taken the once seemingly insurmountable lead of nearly 10 games down to only 6 games.
Significant of Six
The significance of the lead being down to six wins is the fact that the Yankees have six games remaining against the Red Sox. We discussed in a previous piece “Yankees Not Far Ahead, Not Entirely Out Either” in which the Yanks still have a chance in the AL East. The Yanks still have a lot of work to do if they want to win the division crown. As the blip created this Player’s Weekend by the Tampa Bay Rays, showed the humanity of the Red Sox.
This upcoming week the Bronx Bombers are set to face two teams in the midst of rebuilds, the Chicago White Sox, and the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees have already swept the White Sox in their series on the South Side of Chicago. With Boston off tonight, if the Yanks can play against the White Sox as they have played against Baltimore this past weekend they can continue closing the gap on Boston. A win by the Yanks tonight can bring the lead in the division to just 5.5 games back. We also covered how forty years ago the Yankees came back from a similar deficit to overtake the Red Sox. If history were to repeat itself and the AL East came down to those last three games in Boston, what a fitting end to an up and down 2018 campaign.
The New York Yankees are starting to play better baseball again. They are beginning to look more like the ballclub from May and June. Gary Sanchez has already begun his rehab. Didi has been feeling better. Both men should be returning to the lineup before the Yankees west coast trip. If the Yankees keep up this level of play and the reinforcements provide the aid expected the Yanks should have an opportunity to catch Boston.