Let’s do the Math. The Yankees have played 27 games since the debacle in Beantown when the Red Sox embarrassed the Bombers in a 4 game sweep at Fenway Park (August 2-August 5). In the 27 games since, the Yanks have gone 18-9.
18-9 is a .666 winning percentage.
The 27 game stretch brings the Yankees overall record to 86-51 (.628), which is the 2nd best record in MLB. After the Red Sox series the Yanks had a 4 game lead over the A’s and a 6 game lead over the Mariners in the loss column. Now they have expanded their lead over their two closest WC contenders. The A’s are 5 back & the Mariners are 10 back in the loss column. So in essence, the Yankees have a 10 game lead for the last Wild Card, making them a virtual lock for postseason play. But there is another side to all this good news. The Yanks played teams with .500 or below records. They ended the stretch losing 4 of 7 at home vs.the White Sox and Tigers, 2 teams with identical 55-82 records. Their offense has a feast-or-famine feel to it, where they are way too dependent on the long ball. Their starting pitching is still a question mark, despite the July trade deadline additions of Happ & Lynn, their bullpen has been far from automatic, and their fielding & base-running has been downright atrocious at times. 18-9 is a good record but if you watched all the games you realize that the Yankees let at least 4 winnable games get away. Those 4 games would have made the divisional race a reality. Instead the Red Sox survived a mini losing streak and still lead the Yanks by 7 games in the loss column, locking up 1st place in the AL East barring a total collapse in September. Not impossible, but also not within the Yankees control who play the Sox head-to-head 6 more times. In addition, the injuries continued to mount in August. Both Gregorius & Chapman went on the DL. There is no set return for Chapman, however Didi should be back after the A’s series. Speaking of the A’s series, the Yanks now start a 3 game set in Oakland, kicking off a 9 game road trip, which will go a long way in deciding the AL Wild Card teams, and where the game will be played. The Yanks have CC, Happ & Severino lined up starting this afternoon (Labor Day). If they take 2 of 3 they will all-but lock-up the 1st WC. In fact if they at least take one game they would still be in relatively good shape leaving the Bay area with a 4 game lead in the loss column. The calendar has turned to September, this series is likely a preview of the WC game. Time for the Yankees to focus and elevate their game NOW. The last 7 games of the Yankees schedule are .. 4 at Tampa Bay where the Trop has been a house-of-horrors & 3 at Fenway. Don’t let the season come down to those games. Just do the math.
Go NYY !!