Sunday, September 14, 2014

Don't Count Us Out Yet

That's not going to be easy to climb.

The mountain the Yankees need to climb in order to get into the playoffs seems insurmountable. With just 15 games remaining, they are 4.5 games in back of the Kansas City Royals for the second wild card berth. On top of that, they have to pass not just the Royals, but also the Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, and Seattle Mariners.

But it's not impossible.

I know... I know. Here goes Bryan again, being overly optimistic about the Yankees. But hear me out.

The Yankees are tied with the Indians in the standings, but the Tribe hasn't been "killing it" lately themselves (5-5 in their last 10 games). Therefore, getting ahead of them doesn't seem to be a big issue. Although, to be fair, Cleveland's remaining schedule isn't that hard, either. They will face Houston four times, and Minnesota and Tampa Bay three times each. So while ESPN has the Indians playoff chances at just 2.8%, you can't dismiss them.

Seattle faces Lester later today, and has seven games against the Angels... who have the best record in baseball. There other games are against the Astros and Blue Jays. The Mariners could easily lose today, lose four of the seven games against the Angels, lose one game out of the three against Houston (they are in Houston), and one or two games on the road against Toronto. Finishing the season 6-8 or 7-7 would not put them in a good spot at all, unless they are only concerned with where they will sit in order to watch the MLB Postseason.

Looking at the rest of the schedule for New York, it's definitely not daunting.

They will have to face Alex Cobb again, but if Michael Pineda can keep the game close then there's certainly a chance at a "W". The other two games versus the Rays are against Jake Odorizzi (10-12) and Nathan Karns (just one start this season), two guys that are absolutely beatable.
Edit: News just came that Alex Colome will start on Monday. Not sure how this affects the rest of the schedule, but it doesn't change my opinion any.

The Yanks will then come back home to face the Toronto Blue Jays, one of the teams standing in their way to the playoffs. Although the Jays are playing well as of late (7-3 in their last 10 games), none of the four pitchers they will put out there to start games are that imposing (RA Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Marcus Stroman, and Drew Hutchinson). I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Bombers swept the Jays, leapfrogging them in the standings with ease.

The team's last four games at Yankee Stadium this year (at least in the regular season) are against the first place Orioles. Although it's not going to be easy in any of those four games, the pitching matchups look good. In the first game it will be Brandon McCarthy vs. Wei Yin Chen, Shane Greene will face off against Kevin Gausman in game two, the third game will feature Hiroki Kuroda vs. Bud Norris, and finally it'll be Chris Capuano vs. Miguel Gonzalez. Again... not easy, but certainly not impossible to win games.

The final three games of the regular season will be played against the Red Sox in Boston, and there's no reason why the Yankees couldn't sweep that series and end 2014 on a great note. Not only will Michael Pineda take the ball in the first game, but Brandon McCarthy will likely get one of the last two starts, and we could see Masahiro Tanaka in one of those games as well. Even if Tanaka doesn't pitch, though, it's not as though Greene, Kuroda, or Capuano would be a problem.

No matter what happens in the final 15 games this season, 2014 has been a disaster. There's no way you can watch a team spend big in free agency like the Yankees did and not be big-time disappointed with a wild card berth into the playoffs. But you can't dwell on the past. This is what needs to be done now, and while the road will be rough it can be crossed. So let's get it done!


  1. 100% agree Bryan. I was considering writing one of these myself today

  2. I don't agree but I am a big supporter in all things optimism so I'll get behind this I guess. Quietly.

  3. I will join the team and be an optimist!
    The heat has turned up on the Yankees, two missed Play-offs in a row...unacceptable!
    We don't have the power of many other teams...injuries to Beltran and our pitchers has hurt us. The pitchers have come through with flying colors, Tex hasn't adjusted to the shifts, McCann has and Beltrans' elbow has sapped him of his power.
    Now, IF things keep going right for us with the latest additions, we may be able to win a few games.

  4. Yanks go undefeated starting last night. Woooo! Too optimistic??


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)