Even though the rest of the New York Yankees’ season seems to be for nothing, it actually is one of the most important ones for this team.
The playoffs are right around the corner. Wednesday night for the New York Yankees could be the start of something incredible.
Once they clinched a playoff spot, the series in Boston didn’t seem to mean as much. Boston had already snagged the division and the Yankees only needed to gain home-field advantage for the Wild Card game on Oct. 3. There was essentially no ground to gain for the Yankees.
Or was there?
While many Yankees fans and even Red Sox fans are commenting on how the two Yankees victories so far in this series means nothing against resting starters and with nothing to really play for. However, this series means a whole lot more for a team that needs to get hot right now.
The Yankees have been in the Wild Card game in 2015 and 2017 with the new format. For that one-game playoff, the Yankees have but nine innings to move forward or their season is over. It’s do-or-die. In 2015, they died. Why?
Because the Yankees limped into the playoffs and found themselves facing Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros with no energy and no momentum. In their final 10 games of the 2015 regular season, the Bombers went 3-7, losing to the lowly Baltimore Orioles and their rival Boston Red Sox.
In 2017, the Yankees approached the Wild Card game with a different tune. They finished their final 10 games with a 6-4 record and roared into the one-game playoff. The result? The Yankees were able to overcome an early deficit and bury the Minnesota Twins.
Beyond that, the Bombers rode that momentum to an ALDS series win and then a seven-game marathon ALCS, which unfortunately ended their road to the World Series.
So the Yankees need this series. They need to come into Oct. 3 in full force, riding momentum to get them prepared for a potential deep playoff run.
Not only is riding into the Wild Card game on a high note incredibly important, so is planning for beyond that. In this season’s case, if the Yankees do make it past Oakland on Oct. 3, they will face none other than the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS.
The Bombers need that confidence in knowing that they can hang with the Red Sox after the Wild Card game is through. This weekend, they’ve done so in pretty impressive fashion. Regardless of whether or not their full lineup is playing, this is the confidence boost they need to start preparing for a potential ALDS matchup with the Sox.
It’s not just about this series. It’s about what this series entails for the future of the Yankees. They need to win the Wild Card game. If they do, the Red Sox are their next opponents. After their last series in Boston, the Yankees looked like they were no match for their foes.
Now, with everyone heating up at the right moment, they are more than prepared.
We may have one more game left to watch for the Yankees but it will be an important one. No, it does not have World Series implications. Instead, it is necessary for their confidence heading into their do-or-die matchup next week.
Red Sox fans can say all they want about the boys in pinstripes facing an incomplete team in this final series, but that doesn’t matter. To the Yankees, this is a confidence boost, a momentum builder.
If the Yankees keep playing like this, the Wild Card, ALDS, ALCS and, heck, even the World Series are far within their reach.