Monday, September 11, 2017

Hurricane Bud's one-game Wild Card is three weeks away and approaching NYC dead-on

At last, we're seeing the Yankee storm surge - that long-anticipated rise within the MLB Cone of Mediocrity - as the team's one-game, wild card, Bud Selig Memorial post-season destiny becomes apparent. 

Today, the only thing that can keep New York City from hosting the Selig Single Game Home Field Wild Card Fake Post-Season is a directional change from Hurricane Jose, currently lonely and drifting somewhere out in the Atlantic.

Barring an unspeakable collapse - (wait, is that not a hallmark of the '17 Yanks?) - the former Evil Empire will reach the one-game post-season, allowing Cooperstown Cashman and his army of front office interns to claim YES Network vindication, as the team pursues its first playoff victory in six cold years. Close your eyes, and you can hear the accolades raining down from W.P. Mason and the Yankee Radio Network, driven by Jeep.

The Yanks have 20 games left - most against teams that are still sand-bagging the windows - and 17 of them in Gotham, thanks to the savagery of an increasingly angry god. If we win 10 - that is, play feeble .500 - the sad and measly Angels must go 16-3 to snatch away our rightful away-field spot. 

Ainta. Gonna. Happen.

Joe Girardi will also have the luxury of altering his rotation so either Sonny Gray or Luis Severino pitches. In the last month, both have gone 3-2; Gray has a 2.64 ERA, with Sevy at 3.16. There is no case for letting Masahiro Tanaka or CC Sabathia near the Wild Card, unless we're down by five in the third, and the boos are already cascading down from the upper decks. 

There remains, however, one major concern. It's not who'll start the one-game season, but who will finish it. Neither Gray nor Severino will pitch beyond seven innings. Neither has a complete game this season. Since the All-Star break, the best Yankee relievers - by far - have been David Robertson (1.50) and Chad Green (2.10) neither of whom are allowed to close games. Nope, the eighth and ninth belong to our two two most explosive cans of gasoline: Dellin Betances (2.84 since mid-July) and El Chapo (4.10.) (Joe will want them feeling good over the winter.) Both are overly stretched bungees, ready to snap at any time, if a call goes against them or a bloop single drops in. Can you imagine either holding a one-run lead? (Think of that 3-2 count on the lead-off hitter, or the speed merchant coming in to pinch run... ugh.) 

As we stare into the clouds of September, three things are now clear:

1. The Yankees will make the 2017 Wild Card.

2. The Yankees can beat Boston in a seven-game series.

3. It's hard to see the Yankees beating Cleveland or Houston, and thus reaching that seven-game showdown against our mortal enemies.

Eleven and nine, folks. For where we're going, that's all we need.


John M said...

So to catch Boston (disinfect hands after catching), we'd have to be four games better than them down the stretch.

We could go 15-5, so they'd have to go 10-9. That's not inconceivable. They're as erratic as we are. Of course, we'd have to not be erratic. Yeah, well.

They could be sub-.500 down the stretch. Not inconceivable, but not something to count on, either.

I think the mission is clear. We have to run the table, or close to it, in order to catch them. I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that if Girardi had made half as many dumbass decisions during the season, we'd be the ones with a three, four, or five game lead on the Sux. Maybe more.

But instead, here comes the wild card.

Leinstery said...

They just have to end up with an identical record. The Yankees won the season series and hold the tiebreaker.

That however does not start tonight as CC takes the mound against Evan Longoria. How many dingers will CC give up to Evan tonight? Smart money is on 2 which account for 5 RBIs.

HoraceClarke66 said...

My question is, whatever happened to Jaime German? Was our goal just to pitch him until he finally had a (pretty) good game, so he'd feel good about the rest of the reason?

I loathed that deal. But how exactly is he worse than CC or Monty right now?

The Mysteries of the Binders...

HoraceClarke66 said...

I suppose we could win it all if Severino, Gray, and Tanaka ALL got hot, and started pitching at the very top of their games, e.g., Sevvy's one-hitter the other day.

I guess it's even possible that Betances and Chappy could get hot for a couple weeks.

This is why, yes, the 4-tier playoff system is indeed a crapshoot. But I don't see it happening.

Anonymous said...

I bow to your prescient abilities, Nostra-Duque-mas: it certainly appears that you may be correct - - but don't forget what the Master always says: you can't predict BB.

John M, I agree with you 110+%, re: Girardi; he screwed the pooch, in my book...not to mention the Yanks' chances for Division Winner. LB (No J)