For the Yankees to win 90 games this season - the traditional bar signifying a memorable team - they must go 38-12 the rest of the way. They must win eight out of every ten.
What a joke.
Of course, we're not chasing the divisional title. The Astros last year took the majestic Away Field One Game American League Wild Card Berth with 86 wins. Two years ago, the A's took it with 88. Let's imagine that MLB - run by the socialistic billionaires - is inexorably moving toward pure statistical parity. Thus, thus 85 wins could take the coveted Wild Card nothing sandwich. To get to 85 wins, the Yankees must go 33-17. They need two out of every three. Not impossible, I guess. Do you believe in Bigfoot? Fairies? Mermaids? A-Rod?
To imagine such a streak requires magical thinking that strains the limits of juju. We must believe that A-Rod and Tex will suddenly get molten hot, that Pineda, Eovaldi and Nova will continue - for the first times in their careers - to pitch lights out consistently, and - here's the craziest notion of all - that nobody will get hurt.
What's maddening here are the under-stories of the Yankiverse. Interesting things happening below the surface. Tyler Austin, a 24-year-old former 1B prospect who was pretty much written off by fan blogs - is killing it at Scranton. He hit his 12th HR last night and raised his average to .323. Yes, it's nutty to get an erection from Triple A box scores. But Tex can't even climb above .200. Could Austin do worse?
We look at under-achieving Yankees and wonder: How much worse could the youngsters do? Brett Gardner seems to be stuck at .260 with no power and diminishing stolen base numbers. How much worse would Ben Gamel or Mason Williams be? Brian McCann, who homered last night, can't solve the over-shift. Would Gary Sanchez be that much of a letdown? (I'm not even sure I buy the "McCann as team leader" line; every catcher is a team leader.)
We have a week to trade the bloated contracts and dead weight that has reduced this team to rubble. A few wins have done nothing to change the reality: Do you see this team going 38-and-12?