With just 25 games remaining in the 162 game schedule, the New York Yankees look to make a serious push to land at least a Wild Card berth. Sitting just 3 1/2 games back from the second wild card and just 4 1/2 games back from the division lead (their smallest margin since Apr. 28), the Yankees could put together a serious run.
When you have 22 of the last 25 games against teams in your division, you can make up some much needed ground. The only series interrupting the divisional match ups is one against the Los Angeles Dodgers at home in less than a week.
“I think you worry about tomorrow, tomorrow,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
It is clear that the feel around the clubhouse is as cliche as it gets. Spirits are high, the team is rolling, they are on the cusp of a sweep of the division rival Toronto Blue Jays, and with ground able to be made up in the coming weeks, the team is ready.
“We still have a realistic chance of making the playoffs which is our goal,” said Yankee outfielder Brett Gardner. “We just have to take things one day at a time and continue to help these kids along so that they could get off to a good start to their career.”
Outside of the Dodgers visiting “The House That Jeter Built” next week, the Yankees will be facing the Blue Jays in Toronto for a 4-games set, two series’ against the Boston Red Sox for a combined seven games, and finally end the season at home against the division leading Baltimore Orioles in a 3-game series.
“They’re all really important, I mean none more so than the other,” said Gardner in reference to the remaining games. “Just take things one game at a time and then try to win today. We’ll just worry about tonight and go for the sweep.”
The Yankees will turn to Tyler Clippard as their closer for the final game against the Blue Jays as Dellin Betances is coming off of three straight outings along with a career high in pitches last night (40). He was relieved of his duties in the ninth inning, Girardi called upon 31-year-old Blake Parker to finish the job and he did just that as the Yankees won their second straight over the Jays.
“I think it’s important that with the lead that we had in that game that we were able to close it out,” said Girardi. “In times, that’s been tough for us against Toronto and a lot of our games have gone that way but we’ve just come up on the losing end.”
If there was ever a time for the Bronx Bombers to buckle down, it would be now. Crunch time is upon them, and it’s do or die. The Yankees must win series after series to close out the season if they want a shot at the playoffs. If they get it, Yankee fans can only hope they don’t stink up the place like they did in last years Wild Card game.