Monday, September 14, 2015
Big Yankee win maintains lead over Minnesota in Wild Card race, as fans prepare for big, one-game climax
Posted by el duque at 6:55 AM
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?