The Yankees have 29 games left in this amazing season. I say amazing because no one, including the Yankees, expected them to be in the running for the post season this year. They were in a self proclaimed re-build mode and how ever they want to spin that into, “Oh no, we knew we could compete” baloney, the fact of the matter is that they have over achieved with rookies and assorted non stars all year. Sure they hit a dead spot after the All-Star game, but that just goes to show you how much of a lead they had over everyone in the American League East before the All-Star break.
These next 29 games are going to be a true test for the “baby bombers.” If they come away with 15 to 18 wins, they should be okay for the playoffs. That is easier said than done, as they will be facing Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Minnesota, Texas and a make up with Kansas City. That accounts for 25 of the 29 remaining games. Oh did I forget these four upcoming games with the division leading Red Sox this weekend? I love the fact that they will have to earn a spot in the playoffs. Every good team needs to be playing in tough, meaningful games to see what they’re made of. The Yankees will get that chance in the next four weeks.
I may not be fair by calling them over-achievers. They do have some really good young players, who now have a year of experience in the big leagues. They have a slightly watered down version of the three headed monster in the back end of that bullpen, from what they had last year, but still solid. Didi Gregorius has made us all but forget “what’s his name” at shortstop.
Sure there are some question marks with some of the youngsters’ play. Gary Sanchez could use some work in the instructional league with his defense, particularly with blocking and simply catching pitches. Aaron Judge needs to be able to better understand plate discipline in a less pressure filled arena and Jordan Montgomery has to go more than five innings. Obviously more time to season in the minors is not going to happen and they will be making the normal mistakes young players do on the big stage. Don’t get me wrong, the Yankees are sitting pretty, now and for the future. The rest of the league is not yet in a panic over this new “monster” lurking in the dark. At least they will tell you that.
Funny how the season began with the Mets being the New York team everyone thought would be in this position in September and the Yankees looking to finish somewhere in the middle of the pile, where they would have felt successful for a re-build year. Bottom line is, no matter where they end up at the end of the season, it has been an amazing one.