Monday, September 14, 2015

Big Yankee win maintains lead over Minnesota in Wild Card race, as fans prepare for big, one-game climax

Well, we're nearing the end. Keep your head down, and concentrate:

To win one of the two Wild Card slots, Joe Girardi's heroic Yankees must beat off Minnesota. It's not easy, beating off the Twins. Actually, New York must also beat off California and Cleveland. That's hard work, beating off three teams, especially after the Blue Jays won't have to beat off the Yankees, because the Yankees this weekend basically beat themselves off. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) It's just that, well, it's a lot of beating off, and I feel as exhausted as our bullpen arms must be.

OK, it's gotten that bad. I'm back to the mid-eighties, writing for the National Lampoon (my finest work, BTW.) But you want hope? You want giddiness over Sunday's win? It aint me, babe; It aint me you're cooking for. We avoided a sweep, they're telling us, which would have been devastating. Would have? WTF? We WERE swept... in a doubleheader... at home, on the weekend of September 11th. It was the most devastating Yankee debacle in 11 years - yes, since the collapse of 2004, since the Armageddon Outahere! We're supposed to shake it off and get excited about a Wild Card birth? Nope. Sorry. Not a-gonna happen. GO AWAY.

Over the next two weeks, get ready to hear a thousand times how last year's two Wild Card teams made it to the World Series. And it's true. Both KC and SF were Wild Carders. Trouble is, there were four Wild Card teams. The other two enjoyed a nine-inning post-season. Winning a Wild Card birth is not making the post-season. It's just beating off the rest of the league's mediocrity.

So we have a four-game lead over Minnesota in the loss column. If we take the Wild Card - and there's still plenty of time to collapse - the "victory" will be feted both by the Yankee employee media (YES, MLB, River Ave) and the team's courtier press, much of which is comprised of people hoping to someday get jobs in the Yankee employee media. And --  yes, as everybody is telling us, over and over - nobody thought the 2015 Yankees would make it this far, nobody thought... blah, blah, blah... go away, dammit.

One game. We'll have Tanaka - that is, if we're in a position to line up our starters. That's no guarantee, either. We might need Tanaka to pitch us into the Wild Card.

One game. We'll play Stephen Drew, the worst Yankee 2B in at least 30 years - I mean, was Lenn Sakata that bad? - We'll play him, regardless of whether Drew breaks that magical .200 batting average threshold. Joe never tried anybody else. Cashman never went after anybody else. So we'll play him.

One game. Joe will use Betances and Miller, regardless of how overworked they are. (Yesterday, Joe used Betances with a four-run lead, and he had Miller warming for the ninth. If they hadn't scored the fifth run, Miller surely would have pitched. How many times can we use that formula before it simply falls apart?)

One game. We'll keep the pinch-runner, Rico Noel, one catcher, one reserve OF and an IF. We have no big bat to come off the bench. We'll probably go with 12 bullpen arms. Will our season hinge on Chasen Shreve? In a one-game season, it might.

One game. That is... if we can beat off Minnesota. Exciting thought, eh?


KD said...

My wife asked me what this wild card stuff is. What does it mean?

I told her it means we have a chance to be one of the two best losers in the AL.

Made my heart swell with pride, it did..

Dutchfan said...

Maybe I missed it but is there a stat that equates the defensive runs saved (as a 2nd baseman for instance) against offensive opportunities squandered? I cannot help but think that there are second basemen (generally speaking of course) that do not compensate with their glove what they destroy with their bat.

Tom said...

If we can sneak into the wild card game for a home game by beating off Minnesota and the other contenders, it will be a wonderful climax to a long, slow season of ups and downs, ins and outs.

We will all be entitled to a short nap.

ceeja said...

Well let's face it, we're not that good. Just like we weren't very good in 2004 when we had no pitching.

Look at the guys Toronto has in the lineup -- Donaldson-Bautista-Encarnacion. 3 of the best hitters in the league. We don't have one hitter in that class. We used to be able to beat Toronto because they had no pitching, but they match us in that category as well. I'd like to think we have a better bullpen, but we didn't seem to be able to hit them very well either.

Realistically, we should make the playoffs and if we get lucky we may win one or two playoff series. Don't think we have the all around talent necessary to run the table.

Chicken Stanley said...

John calls your name... :(