New York Yankees: Team backing into the playoffs?


The New York Yankees certainly have a flair for the dramatics, but even they couldn’t have imagined that they would be fighting for their playoff lives this late in the season. Such is the case with these Yankees, who after a second consecutive loss to the rival Boston Red Sox, now find their American League Wild Card lead at three games.

Here is the wildcard standings as of this morning.


The saving grace for the Yankees is that they still lead the surging Los Angeles Angels by three games. However, they are now a 4 ½ game turnaround away from being fourth in the wild card standings. With the Angels and Minnesota Twins being on seven and three-game winning streaks respectively, the Yankees could be seeing their hopes of reaching the postseason dwindling.

That seemed unlikely back on July 31st when the Yankees had a six-game lead over both the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays; the same Blue Jays that can clinch the American League East tonight.

What once seemed like a formality, is now (at least slightly) in doubt.

All is not lost for the Yankees, though. With five games remaining, all the Yankees have to do is win two of those games, regardless of what happens with the Angels, Twins, and Houston Astros. Two wins would be enough to earn (at least) the second of the wild cards.

Ideally, though, the Yankees would want to host the wildcard game on October 6. Winning is the only way to ensure that.

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For the Yankees, that is easier said than done. They have now dropped the first two games of this four-game series with the Red Sox. This comes on the heels of winning three out of four from the Chicago White Sox. Manager Joe Girardi mentioned that the team was on an emotional high after that series.

“We’ve lost a couple of games in a row,” said Girardi to the New York Post. “Everyone was feeling pretty giddy over the weekend when we won three out of four [against the White Sox] and then we lose a couple in a row. That’s the emotional roller coaster you’ve got to guard against.”

The thing is, though, the Yankees have been here before. They know what it takes to get to the postseason. While there might be some on the roster that haven’t been to the playoffs, the Yankees are rich with playoff success.

“We just need to relax,” said Alex Rodriguez to the New York Post. “I think everyone is anticipating. It’s important to keep it one day at a time one pitch at a time one at bat at a time. We’ve been doing that all year. Nothing is going to be easy.”

The Yankees, at least lately, haven’t made anything look easy. And if they continue their current downward trend, then their best chance at making the playoffs would be to back into it.

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