Why not us? The youthful Yankees are legit, and it is not too late to make a postseason run

Why not the New York Yankees? Who is to say the youthful Yankees can’t make a run towards the postseason? Riding a four game winning streak against the two teams above them in the AL East (one win against Baltimore followed by a three-game sweep against Toronto), the Yankees now sit 4.5 games out of the top spot in the AL East behind Boston, and just 2.5 games out of the second wild card spot behind Baltimore. Unfortunately for the New York Yankees, they are going to need some help in order to get to the postseason, but they’re hanging in there by taking care of business against division opponents. Trailing by 2.5 games is not an insurmountable deficit with 24 games left and if the Bombers can stay hot, the Yankee team that had previously been playing for 2017 and beyond may become a contender in 2016.

AP Photo
This past series with Toronto had a playoff atmosphere all the way around. Two division rivals went toe-to-toe in three straight tightly contested games. And in the heat of the moment, things have begun clicking for the Yankees.

Luis Cessa has established himself as a more than formidable starter, and although the bullpen isn’t overly impressive, the combination of Blake Parker, Tommy Layne, Adam Warren, Tyler Clippard, and Dellin Betances is respectable. Bryan Mitchell could also provide a very nice spark for this team. This Yankee team is a streaky team, but Jacoby Ellsbury is hot, Gary Sanchez is still hot, Starlin Castro is hot, and Tyler Austin is coming around. Combine that with guys like Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Chase Headley, and Aaron Judge to come up in big spots every now and then, and this team, at least on paper, looks like a team that could make a run.
AP Photo

The problem is, the Yankees have to leapfrog three teams to win the AL East, and three teams to win the second wild card spot. The AL East is not overpowering, but having four teams going tooth-and-nail for a playoff spot is unique, and that could make the Yankees one of the greatest fourth place teams of all-time, if the standings hold where they currently stand. The Yankees now start an absolutely crucial four-game set in the Bronx with the lowly Tampa Bay Rays. It seems as though every game is more important than the last one at this point, and the Yankees cannot afford to even split this series. The Yankees have won five of their last six series, and they desperately need to continue their winning ways against the last place Rays by taking three of four, at least.
Getty Images
On the other hand, the Red Sox begin a three game series with the Blue Jays on Friday, in which the best case scenario is that the Red Sox take two of three, while the Yankees win their series to continue gaining ground on Toronto. The Orioles also start a three game series on Friday, but they will travel to Detroit. Ironically, all four teams in this paragraph not named the Yankees lead the Yankees in the playoff race, which is why the Yankees need to hope that the Red Sox win two of three, and the Tigers win two of three against the Orioles. This is a lot to ask for, but if it happens, the Yankees will be sitting pretty.

As you can probably tell from the paragraph above, the Yankees are going to need a lot of help to turn this postseason dream to a reality. But, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic with the Yankees. The pitching has been matched with clutch hitting, and that is a recipe of success for this team. With every win, this hyped-up Yankee rebuild that everyone cannot stop talking about gets shorter and shorter. Sure, the Yankees began setting the table for another dynasty with their trade deadline moves, but this team had a plan to compete in September, and they are vastly exceeding expectations.
AP Photo
Led by young studs, this new-look Yankee team is in prime position to make a run over the last three and a half weeks of the regular season. This team has proven that they still have some fight left in them. They do not roll over and die like Yankee teams of recent years, and that is a credit to the Yankee youth leading the way. Tensions are rising. Every game is bigger than the previous one. And it's time to get excited about Yankees baseball. 

Article by: Chad Raines
Follow me on twitter @Chad_Rain
Follow the BBB @BronxBomberBlog

Comments