It’s July 26th, the Yankees are currently 5.5 games behind Boston for the lead in the AL east with 62 games to play. Impossible to overcome? Not at all. A lot of things needs to go in our favor but it’s not horrible and the fans who are saying the season is over and we don’t even deserve to play in the wild card game need to shut it. This team is 28 games over .500. 28! Boston is having a freak season led by J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts. They are beating the teams that are down in the dumps. Something that the Yankees seem to have a hard time doing. But today is where this team turns it around. So what do they need to do?
- The Yankees next 6 games are against the Royals and Orioles. Both teams combined are 83 games below .500. The Yankees have to make a huge statement and win no less than 5 of these games. I honestly think they should sweep both of these teams but I’m not going to push my luck. The Royals are a shell of a team compared to what they were 2-3 years ago. The Orioles who are now without Machado and Britton should be pushovers as they continue to be the worst team in the major league. 5 wins minimum out of this stretch is what they need and they better deliver.
- We need pitchers like Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray to pitch to their expectations. If Tanaka pitches the way he did to close out the season and in the playoffs last year he won’t be an issue whatsoever. I’m more concerned with Sonny Gray. Gray has not been even close to the pitcher everyone assumed we traded for. His numbers in the Bronx are cringeworthy and he’s not much better on the road. He has been showing flashes of some decent pitching his last couple starts so maybe Sonny is finally turning the corner. With the Yankees still heavily in the market for a pitcher come the deadline, no matter who they land or if they stay put, these two need to help the Yankees start putting together some wins and quick.
- Austin Romine needs to come through in a very big way. With Gary Sanchez returning to the DL with his groin injury until late August possibly even early September. Austin Romine will be the Yankees starting catcher for the next month maybe even month and a half. I would consider him a defensive upgrade over Sanchez but it’s well known that Romines bat is even a third of what Sanchez’s is. All we need is for him to come through a few times here and there. I’m not asking for him to rattle off a crazy month with 15 homers and like 30 RBIs because that’s unrealistic. Just hold down the fort until Sanchez returns and show everyone why you awarded he Hustle and Heart award earlier in the week.
- 10 games left against Boston. This is the main key right here. A sixth of our remaining games are against the team who is 5.5 games ahead of us. If we want to make up ground and keep this a close division race this is how. We have to smack this team around. We have to show we are able to get hits off of Chris Sale. We all know that David Price hates pitching against us and he doesn’t pose a threat but Chris Sale has been a major thorn in our side. We are currently winning the head to head matchup 5-4 against the Red Sox this year. If we can get 6-7 wins out of the 10 games we have remaining against them it’s going to make or break the season. Especially with the final three games coming down to a series against Boston. That series can decide the division the way things are looking.