LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees' Recent Success Good Reason To Watch Standings

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Yankees' Recent Success Good Reason To Watch Standings

Early in the season I didn’t look at the standings, because hey, it was too early to think of things like that. In the middle of the season I refused to look because, after watching the Yankees games, I didn’t need to see them to know the Yankees were near the bottom.

Lately, though, since the Yankees started making noise in the playoff hunt, I have been devouring the standings each morning before the Yankees play, after the game (whether they win or lose) and after the slate of games is done for the evening (which, yes, makes the morning check redundant but there you have it).

It’s exciting, nerve-wracking and frustrating all at the same time. Even when they are going well, they still need some help and, when they lose, it’s simply devastating. As the season winds down, the pressure ratchets up.

Occasionally, there are days like last night's, when the Yankees play a fantastic game and gain ground across the board. The Yankees beat the NL West leading Dodgers 3-0, with solo HRs from Jacoby Ellsbury (who started the game on the bench but came in for the injured Aaron Judge), Didi Gregorius (who has been playing banged up recently and who pinch hit for Ronald Torreyes) and rookie sensation Gary Sanchez.

CC Sabathia, who will forever be remembered by Yankees fans for his heroics in leading the team to the 2009 World Series, showed flashes of that brilliance. He threw 93 pitches, 41 for strikes, in 6.1 innings before giving way to Adam Warren. He didn’t get the win but struck out seven and, with the help of some solid defense, kept the Dodgers off balance.

It was an overall good game for the Yankees, both in terms of stopping the two game skid (ordinarily not too bad but, in September, it's significant) and in terms of the standings where the Yankees pulled within 2.0 games of a Wild Card spot and within 4.0 games of the A.L. Division lead. 

The Yankees are 3 games under .500 against their division and those stats reflect the recent success they’ve had. They’ll need to continue that success over the next 2.5 weeks as, with the exception of the Detroit Tigers, the Yankees play each team they need to leapfrog to get into the playoffs.

You’ll forgive the cliché but the Yankees really do control their own destiny from here on out.

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