The 'Comeback Kids' Expectation is Killing the New York Yankees 1
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 04: Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians tags out Ronald Torreyes #74 of the New York Yankees at home plate in the fifth inning at Progressive Field on August 4, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

It benefitted them early on in the season but currently, the New York Yankees’ “Comeback Kids” title is ruining them.

Remember the days when the New York Yankees were able to put up seven runs in the late innings, overcoming deficit after deficit on a nightly basis?

They were just months ago but now it seems like ages, especially with the Yankees playing in a fashion that only roller coasters would envy. Twists and turns have defined their season, with winning streaks common and losing streaks far more common.

The Yankees did the world a favor by making themselves the league’s “Comeback Kids” early on in the season, striking fear in the hearts of opponents whenever the ninth inning rolled around.

No lead was safe and the Yankees made sure they were a force to be reckoned with.

Now? The story is very different. Their offense can barely get runners on, let alone bring them around to score. They have put up at least four runs in only one of their last seven games.

But what really is ailing the New York Yankees? Sure, the offense has failed miserably as of late. But the biggest thing is that the Yankees are too comfortable.

Wait, what? Does that make sense?

In a way, it does … just not the way you’re thinking. The Yankees are too comfortable when they fall behind, knowing that they’ve staged massive comebacks before. They let themselves get behind by too much, too soon and aren’t able to make up the ground like they used to.

They are setting themselves up for failure by not caring when they get behind early. One run? No big deal. Five runs? It used to be no big deal but right now, they don’t have the offensive power to climb out of the holes they’ve dug themselves.

Take Thursday night, for example. The Yankees found themselves down after the first inning 2-0. Three errors gave the Indians the lead and the Yankees weren’t worried.

But then they found themselves facing the ace Corey Kluber. But, hey, they destroy bullpens, let’s wait until then. Too bad Kluber was in for the entire nine innings of play.

They can’t rely on waiting for the bullpen to come out to blow the lead because that isn’t going to happen all the time. They have to start taking the early innings more seriously because more often than not, they are waiting to make things happen offensively and it isn’t working.

This hasn’t been a problem for the Yankees all season but they are confident in their comeback skills. However, that magic has not been working in their favor as of late. They are waiting to make things happen when they should be doing it all along.

CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 04: Jaime Garcia #34 of the New York Yankees hnds the ball to Manager Joe Girardi #28 as he leaves the game the fifth inning at Progressive Field on August 4, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Just because they’ve completed these comebacks in the past doesn’t mean that they can do it now. This is not the same Yankees team that overcame a seven-run deficit against the Orioles back in April. They may have the same players but the magic and drive aren’t there.

It’s fine for the Yankees to believe in their own comeback skills. It’s another to let the lead become far too much that the struggling offense can’t dig them out of it.

It’s similar to Cardiac ‘Cuse, aka the Syracuse University basketball team. The Yankees aren’t the first to rely on the comeback and be disappointed again and again when they struggle. They certainly won’t be the last.

Is this a proven fact? No. Nobody will admit why the Yankees continue to lose. However, it certainly seems that a big reason why they’re losing is because they’re getting behind far too early in the game.

Can they overcome this? Maybe. But right now, they don’t look like they used to. They don’t look like a team that can overcome early deficits.

They’re digging themselves a hole they can’t get out of. Usually, it’s no problem but as of late, it’s been the entire problem for this team.

Sorry, the New York Yankees are no longer the “Comeback Kids.” Maybe it’s time for everyone to realize that, especially the team themselves. The longer they believe they are, the more they’ll struggle heading towards October.


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