The Yankees have held their own all season, missing the AL East title by a hair. They’re playing at the top of their game coming into the playoffs. So too, are the Minnesota Twins. Still, the Yankees hold the edge and are poised to win tomorrow’s game at the Stadium.
The Yankees, on paper and on record, are a far better team than the Minnesota Twins. Having said that, though, the two teams share a “you’re not supposed to be here” tag on their backs, but neither seems to care. On the surface then, this makes each equally dangerous to the other since both are playing with house money at this stage of the year.
Still, the Yankees are poised to prevail in a hard-fought contest tomorrow night at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees fought hard to earn home-field advantage in the one-game shootout and the joint will be rockin’, you bet. So, that’s advantage number one for the Yankees.
The second advantage is the guy Joe Girardi selected as his starting pitcher. Luis Severino has been lights out for two months and counting. Even at 23, Severino is unflappable and his body language supports his demeanor on the mound, which says call the next pitch, now!
Ervin Santana, the Twins starter, is no pushover but he does not compare to Severino and the Yankees bats should be able to push across enough runs to enable Girardi to use his shut-down bullpen to ward off the pesky Twins.
Make no mistake, the Twins are formidable
Remember, the Twins are the team that traded for Jaime Garcia with the Braves only to trade him a few days later to the Yankees for a bag of peanuts. The Twins players noticed the waffling of their front office. But, instead of throwing in the towel on their season, said, Hell no, we can do this (in spite of you), and they did, fending off as many as five other teams who breathing down their neck with less than ten games to go.
And yet, the Yankees sit there with the AL MVP (yes, it’s true), Aaron Judge and his 52 home runs and records that haven’t even been tabulated yet, All-Stars Didi Gregorius Gary Sanchez, and Starlin Castro, and a cast of support players who led the league in home runs with 247.
And if you missed that 484-foot blast, it’s a must see……..
True, the Yankees like any other team have seen their bats go quiet with no one rising to occasion to bale the team out. But, that has not been the norm and more often than not, it’s a Matt Holliday, a Todd Frazier, Chase Headley, and sometimes even the “little guy”, Ronald Torreyes, who deliver when the team needs it most.
If you are a Yankees fan, all you can do is tune into ESPN and watch the game as it develops, knowing that anything can happen, and it probably will.
For both teams, win or lose it’s a disrespect to the game that one game decides their season. And in a near-future post, we’ll examine ways MLB can improve on the format for the Playoffs.
In the meantime, please use the Comments section to voice your thoughts on this, the Yankees season that wasn’t supposed to be.