You heard it here first. I don’t think the New York Yankees will make the playoffs and here’s why…
Last night was one of those nights in New York that just doesn’t happen at ‘The Stadium.’ Rafael Soriano blew just his third save of the season when Colby Rasmus smacked an absolute bomb into the right field seats for a three run home run giving the Toronto Blue Jays a 7-6 lead in the top of the ninth. The Yankees answered in the bottom of the inning on Derek Jeter’s solo homer, but Toronto won it in the 11th when pinch runner Mike McCoy’s advanced from first to third on an errant pickoff throw to first by Derek Lowe and then scored on a slow roller to third as he took off when the throw went to first, beating the return throw home from Eric Chavez.
When Jeter hit the home run to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th, who didn’t think the Yankees would win? How many times before have we seen the Yankees either come from behind or give up a lead only to tie the game back up and or win it in their final at bat at home? It’s almost expected. The replays of the instances are so prevalent in our minds that we are conditioned to think that way.
I haven’t heard anyone talk about the possibility of the Yankees not making the playoffs. The closest thing anyone has said is that they may not be able to get their pitching setup for the playoffs the way they want to. The fact is however that they are only 3.5-games in front of the Baltimore Orioles and 4-games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. Sure there are two Wild Card spots this year but the Oakland A’s only trail the Yanks by 3.5-games and the Detroit Tigers only trail them by 4-games.
Here’s where the Yankees stand vs. the pack with regard to the AL Wild Card should Baltimore or Tampa win the AL East.
The Yankees have 34 games left in the regular season, seven with the Orioles, six with the Rays, and three with the A’s, all who have a legitimate shot to pass them in the standings if they don’t finish strong.
While Soriano has had a good year filling in for Mariano Rivera and as mentioned, this was only his third blown save all season; this was not the time to blow a save. Listening to talk radio in NY this morning, all of a sudden no one, including the players on his own team, feels comfortable with Soriano being able to close out games in a playoff situation.
The Yankees have no Mariano, they’ve now lost Mark Teixeira for a while, there’s no Andy Pettitte, to help them in early September, and A-Rod isn’t there either. There is no guarantee that the Yankees will hold on to win this division and no guarantee that they are assured an AL Wild Card spot either.