The New York Yankees are struggling. They dropped yesterday’s game to the Dodgers 2 to 1 giving them 6 losses in their last 10 games. This game was the most bizarre of this little funk as after loading the bases with 1 out in the 9th inning Gleyber Torres scored what would have been the tying run, only to be told by home plate umpire Gabe Morales to return to 3rd. Mike Tauchman, and Gary Sanchez then both struck out against Kenley Jansen to end it. The rubber game with being tonight on ESPN as Domingo German takes on Clayton Kershaw.
It’s been 2 weeks since I have checked in. Adulting is often complicated. I don’t know how people do it sometime, but I digress. The Yankees biggest concern as adults playing a kids game is as they wake up today they have to be asking themselves who do they want to play in the playoffs? After yesterday’s loss the Yankees are now tied with the Astros for the best record in the league. This is important as we all know because the team with the best record in the league would get the winner of the Wild Card game. The Yankees have to decide as at this point what is the better matchup the AL Central winner (at this moment the Twins) or The Wild Card winner.
If the playoffs started today the WC game would be an Indians vs Rays matchup. We saw what the Indians are capable of last weekend in New York. The Yanks are just 3 and 4 against the Tribe this year. They are close to getting Carlos Carrasco back from his illness, and Corey Kluber may also return. Yankee killer Jose Ramirez got injured last night. With or without Ramirez this is not a team the Yanks want to face especially with Mgr Terry Francona at the helm.
The Rays are just a pain in the butt. Yes New York is 12-5 against them this year, but they are always difficult to play. They have solid pitching, play hard, and manager Kevin Cash is always willing to think outside of the box. The Tropicana field factor in a series can’t be underestimated either. This once again would not be an easy matchup in a 5 game series.
The biggest reason in my opinion to potentially want to avoid the Wild Card team is the Oakland A’s. As play starts today Oakland is just .5 game behind Tampa for the 2nd spot. The A’s absolutely cleaned the Yankees clocks this week in Oakland in their 3 game sweep of the Bombers. Even during the dynasty years New York has not played well in the Coliseum. The A’s power, and grit just don’t make things easy for the Yankees. I do not want to see Oakland in a 5 game series. 7 I’d take my chances, 5 not so much.
In reality New York is not going to take it’s foot off the gas, and try not to get the best record. Best case scenario is they get the best record and Cleveland and Tampa edge out Oakland. Then I feel like we have to root for Tampa, and take our chances against a team the Yankees will have seen 19 times when the playoffs start. If New York gets Sevy, Betances, and Encarnacion, and potentially Stanton back they should be able to handle the Rays. If Houston gets the best record that shakes things up. I think you would have to want Tampa to miss the playoffs making the WC game Cleveland vs Oakland. I just feel those 2 teams could take out the Astros. If the Yankees can knock off the Twins the path to the World Series gets easier if the stacked Astros lose. One thing is certain this next 31 games is going to be extremely fun to watch just to see how this all plays out.
So yesterday afternoon I got into a little Twitter spat with fellow NYYST Blogger Beth Wellington. Beth knows her stuff, and is a great writer. Yesterday she was annoyed that I tweeted that Gary Sanchez would K in the 9th(as he did) I had to explain to Beth I was actually trying to “reverse jinx” the moment like the famous Minnesota game when I almost lost a steak to Chris Stacy. My hope was Sanchez would get a knock, make me look stupid and the Yankees would win. Beth feels I am a Sanchez hater. So I am going to set the record straight. I don’t hate any Yankees. I never want them to fail. Nor do I care if I am right about a prediction. I have seen too much baseball to be a troll. Yes throughout my life as a fan there have been players on every Yankee team I don’t “care for”. Aaron Hicks is a current example. Boomer Wells, Chuck Knoblauch are others from past teams. Gary Sanchez is just not my cup of tea. It’s as simple as that. He is just kind of meh to me. That is my right as a fan. Just like the people who think he is the best catcher in baseball have that right. He is obviously immensely talented, and I feel he should be a better player. When one of his mentors Alex Rodriguez calls him out for trying to hit a “12 run” homer as he did in a recent Sunday night telecast that should tell you all you need to know if you ask me. I don’t agree with Phil Mushnick, but there is something to be said about Gary’s intestinal fortitude, mental makeup, and his approach to the game. He is hitting .236. A guy with his talent should not be hitting that low. Yes, I understand batting average is not what it used to be in today’s game, but come on. Yes, Gary Sanchez is a really good player. He is a great power hitter. There is no doubting that. I just want him to be the superstar his talent should indicate he should be. If he can do that I will be more positive publicly about him. I promise.
Today’s terrible tweet goes to The Keeper of the Dogs @FrankGibney Frank tweeted Friday: “The Yankees got one good player” Clearly Frank has one working brain cell.
Keep listening to the NYYST Pod. Keep those 5-star ratings coming. Keep reading, and go Yanks!