After a series loss to the A’s in Oakland and a series win against the Mariners in Seattle, the New York Yankees find themselves right back at square one. The Yankees could have gotten to a highwater mark for the season of 37 games over .500 with another win. Yet with the loss in the finale against the Mariners they are 35 games over. Still, an impressive mark although it pales in comparison to the Boston Red Sox’s being more than 50 games over .500.
The Yankees will now head off to Minnesota to face the Twins, where they have enjoyed great levels of success throughout the last decade. In Minnesota, the Yanks must find a way to separate themselves from the red-hot Oakland A’s. As the Yankees have seen their once tremendous lead for the first AL Wildcard spot dwindle down to just 2.5 games over Oakland. We have documented a lot this season about the struggles the Bronx Bombers have dealt with this season. But we are now at the most crucial juncture of the season.
Dealing With Uncertainty
We covered the biggest questions facing the Yanks in September, and one of those questions was about health. Namely the health of the wrist of Aaron Judge. And while we got some good news, with Judge taking swings two days in a row. We’ve also gotten hit with some bad news as well, in the fact that the fractured wrist is not pain-free. Judge will have to find a way to manage and tolerate the pain and try to contribute for the remainder of the season. Aaron Judge isn’t the only Yankee that there is uncertainty with as closer Aroldis Chapman has yet to leave Tampa to begin facing real hitters. The Yankees will need their bullpen at full strength if they are going to have any chance for success in October.
Beyond the health concerns, the Yankees cannot continue playing baseball the way they have been for quite some time. In the playoffs playing .500 baseball is playing losing baseball. The Yanks must dig deep and find the reservoir of talent they possess and pull up from that well. If not the unexpected deep playoff run of 2017 will not be outdone in 2018.