The New York Yankees have taken the series against the Boston Red Sox demonstrating that, perhaps, a miracle is possible.
Resiliency is the term that describes what the New York Yankees have demonstrated with these last two games in Boston.
After coming back on Wednesday night with eight runs in the seventh and eighth to prevail, the Bombers put on a sequel on Thursday night by putting up three runs in the eighth to overturn a 2-1 Red Sox lead in their favor.
The loss for Boston sent them to three games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East and a half-game ahead for the second AL Wild Card. On the flip side, the Yankees are now just 3.5 games behind Boston in the Wild Card race.
The charge is led, by the rookie catcher Gary Sanchez – despite Alex Rodriguez absorbing all of the spotlight for the week.
Since his promotion on August 3, the 23-year old ignited New York to the most wins in the AL East and the third most in the American League while helping them average 5.9 runs per games in which he has played in.
He is batting .313 in his brief time in the show, but the offense as a whole has followed in his path. In the last week, the Yankees have scored the fourth most runs despite having the fourth fewest at-bats among AL teams.
So, while people are focused on the embarrassing “farewell tour” of Alex Rodriguez, New York is low-key proving that they have a chance to contend with the best in the league.
However, their playoff odds still appear very slim as MLB.com gives the Yankees a mere 2.7% chance of sneaking into the postseason as one of the two Wild Card teams, but it doesn’t seem too far-fetched.
The teams ahead of them in the Wild Card race include the likes of the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, and Houston Astros.
Although they have been stuck on mediocracy for some time now and are around the .500 mark (22-21) against the teams they are competing with for a playoff spot, the kids could help get it done down the stretch against formidable opponents.
We’ve seen prospects tear it up en route to a postseason berth in the past. Back in 2005, Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang weren’t the best prospects to emerge in the Bronx back in 2005 yet Cano hit a steady .297 with an on-base percentage of .320 while Wang put together an 8-5 record with a 4.02 ERA.
Beyond those numbers – which weren’t very influential – their youthful presence was a tremendous positive to the team, as they overcame a 10-16 start to end up finishing 95-67.
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With the inevitable call-up of Aaron Judge, he could use his ogre-like strength to provide a significant improvement over Aaron Hicks in the lineup. If he does put on a show like he has in Scranton (team-leading 18 home runs in 92 games), then he and Sanchez could make the Yankees’ lineup a headache for opposing pitchers.
However, it’ll take more than just the presence of youngsters to ignite the Yankees to a playoff berth. It will take consistency, fire, and a little bit of luck for them to pull within 12 wins of their 28th World Series title.
Blind optimism? Call it that if you’d like but one cannot deny that a 3.5 game deficit can quickly be eradicated in a week of baseball if the team as whole plays the way they have displayed against Boston.
Just like in both of those games, the Bombers could have been like the front office and waved the white flag. However, their manager, players, and the kids coming up have other ideas.
There’s a tough road ahead, but don’t count this team out just yet.