GAME 121 : Wild Card Race: Some less than sharp defensive thinking in the 7th inning cost starter Shane Greene a possible victory. But the Yankees scratched out the go-ahead run in the 9th for a 3-2 win at Tampa, breaking their 5-game skid. GWRBI goes to The Captain. And kudos to Greene for a career high 10 strikeouts! Here’s the box score and recap.
Wild Card: What Yanks Can Control
OK, stop laughing. Yeah, it’s only one game. They are still -39 in run differential. They can’t hit their way out of a paper bag. They’re not taking advantage of their ‘second-half home field advantage’. K-Long is still the hitting coach. The bullpen is worn out because the starter has to be lifted after allowing 3 runs — no matter the inning. Everything is stacked against them.
But work with me here for a minute. In the early 90s, I was in a car accident, if you could call it that. Sitting there waiting for the light to change, two cars ahead of me, vehicles on both sides of me, but no car behind me. Until I look in the rear view. Barreling at me is a big ‘ol 1970s Pontiac at a speed and distance where there is no way I’m not about to get pancaked. The driver finally realizes whats about to go down and slams on the brakes. Too little. Too late. In the rear view mirror I’m watching the front end of the Pontiac dip, as the sound of the skidding gets closer and louder. It seemed like an eternity, but finally BOOM! — it slams me into the car in front of me, and that car into the one in front of it. Luckily no one was hurt, as only fiberglass and metal took the brunt. The back story is the guy who caused it was in the country illegally, had no drivers license or insurance, and was drunk, to boot. And he sues me! But I digress.
Why do I tell you this? The unstoppable Pontiac is the Elimination Game of the Yankees 2014 season. I see it coming. I’m powerless to prevent it. The only thing I can do is sit and hope against all hope that somehow it will not happen. That there will be divine intervention, and everything will be alright.
Back to reality. There are now 41 games left. The Yanks are 4 games out of the second Wild Card slot, and need to climb over 2 teams to get there. Not to mention Toronto is also 4 games back, and the Indians (5 out) and Rays (6 out) are poised to pounce.
A peek at the Yankees schedule for the remaining games reveals the following head-to-head match ups with the above mentioned clubs, and any that might be a factor (other than spoiler):
- 7 vs TORONTO : (4 home, 3 road)
- 3 vs DETROIT (all road)
- 7 vs TAMPA (3 home, 4 road)
- 4 vs KANSAS CITY (1 road [make-up game], 3 home)
So they can’t do anything about Seattle, but can keep Toronto and Tampa at bay, no pun intended. And have direct impact on their deficit with Detroit.
Needless to say they not only have to wake up offensively and beat the good teams, but not let down against Houston, Chicago and Boston. The deal breaker could be the 8 games left with Baltimore.
But let’s see how tomorrow goes and we’ll take it from there.
TRADE NEWS: MLB Trade Rumors has updates on free-agent Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, of whom the Yankees, Red Sox, and Tigers are reported to be serious suitors.
MEMORY LANE: On August 16th, 1927 (hey, our favorite Yankees team!) Babe Ruth inaugurates the newly-constructed Comiskey Park grandstand roof by cranking a Tommy Thomas pitch over the addition.