The Yankees are in! Postseason baseball returns to the Bronx for the first time since 2012. It's been a hell of a roller coaster since then, as the Yanks said goodbye to some iconic players. Mariano Rivera in 2013 and Derek Jeter in 2014. They almost said goodbye to Alex Rodriguez for good both years but in 2015 he found the fountain of youth and became a clutch everyday 30 home run hitter. Now with a new group of players, the Bombers find their way to Tuesday night's Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium.
THIS Yankee team that takes the field on Tuesday will have more question marks going into that ONE game than it did going into the season. How does Masahiro Tanaka pitch with the season on the line? Who starts at second base? Who's Joe Girardi bringing into the game from the bullpen? How can Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury get out of their second half funk? How much more does Alex Rodriguez have left in the tank? There's more but you get the point. I'm really worried about this team and I'm afraid I know what fate awaits us on Tuesday night.
The Yanks will play the Houston Astros to determine who goes on to play the defending American League Champion Kansas City Royals in the ALDS. It was the one team I didn't want them to face because of their ace Dallas Keuchel. He's shut the Yankees down everytime he's face them and he neutralizes the lefty bats in the lineup, especially at Yankee Stadium, something we don't need in this sudden death situation. Any lefty getting thrown at the Yankees will be successful. Girardi has admitted such this past week.
To be honest, ANYONE taking the mound would've been successful against the Yanks this past week. A week that saw them go 1-6 needing to win only TWO games to clinch the Wild Card and Home Field Advantage in that sudden death game. A week that saw Girardi make some of the most baffling moves of his tenure here in the Bronx. That is what scares me as a fan.
Now to the positive. Last year saw BOTH Wild Card winners catch fire and go to the World Series. There's not reason to think the Yankees can't do the same. The One Game Playoff has proven to be the momentum swing that every team looks for come this time of the year. Tanaka gets the ball and I believe he can be the $175 million ace. I believe the bats of A-Rod, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran still have a little magic left in them. I believe that Girardi can bring in Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller in the late innings and secure a victory. I've seen it so many times this year. Why not again Tuesday night to an Astros team that is young, inexperienced in a big stage and is worn down. It can happen.
The 2000 Yankees stumbled into the Postseason losing 15 of their last 18 games and they went on to win the World Series for the 3rd year in a row. Not saying we're winning the World Series.....yet, but I am saying anything can happen to change the misfortunes of the present and turn them into a steamrolling truck all the way to the end. I'm just happy we have Postseason baseball back in the Bronx. It belongs here.
Prediction:Yankees lose due lack of urgency in the lineup and they're not able to get the "big hit" when they need it. It'll be close, but after 2-3 missed opportunities, it's time to pack up and head home.
I'm 29 years old. Im a die hard fan of the NY Yankees. I spend most of my time working, writing, in the gym or hanging out with friends. You can contact me at NYYanksDynasty@msn.com
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