Another win for the Yankees last night, another step closer to a return to the playoffs.
The Yankees now have a 7-game lead in the AL East. Everyday they're looking more and more like one of the best teams in baseball. Assuming they grab the division crown, however, how far will they go once Serious October Baseball begins?
They have one of the best offenses in baseball this year. The home runs just keep on coming, A-Rod's birthday blast and Didi's surprising shot the latest to be added to the list, last night. The one-two punch of Ellsbury and Gardner, the power in the middle and, most recently, the contributions from the bottom of the order make this a lineup to be feared. Will it be feared in October?
"Good pitching stops good hitting." At no time is this maxim more true than during the playoffs. Just look back at the Yankees' recent history during that time. They hit their way into the playoffs, then didn't hit a lick--as John Sterling is fond of saying--during the playoffs.
Put that together with the only truly weak link on this Yankee team, the starting pitching, and it could be a quick playoff exit for the Bronx Bombers this year.
That weak link has been stronger at times, and, at times, has been weaker. For that reason it is hard to gauge the need the team has for starting pitching. Should they go all in for Cole Hamels? Look for a Brandon McCarthy type? Stand pat? It really is hard to say.
Less than five days to go before the trade deadline.What happens before then will determine what happens in October.