30 Sep 2012
Think about this for a second. We are four days from the end of the season and not a single team in the AL has clinched a playoff spot. That will almost certainly change by the end of the day today, but I find it remarkable nonetheless.
As for the Yankees, Game 158 proved to be as frustrating a game as they have played all year. They loaded the bases two separate times with nobody out and scored a grand total of two runs. They had the leadoff hitter on base in the first five innings and scored a grand total of two runs. Joe Girardi was at his jumpy worst, bringing in Jeter as a defensive substitution in the SIXTH inning, which meant he lost the DH and didn’t have anyone left on the bench to play short or second if he needed an injury substitution. (Nix was in New York getting his hip examined.)
So, we reach the final Sunday of the baseball season with the Yankees tied with the Orioles for the AL East, but needing only a win and an Angels loss to clinch a playoff spot. So, what will a “perfect” day in Yankeeland look like today?
1- Start with a win, obviously. And while we are at it, make it a blowout. 15-2 would be perfect.
2- And follow that with an Orioles loss.
3- And then let’s see the Rangers and Angels split their doubleheader. Assuming the Yankees won, that puts them into the playoffs, while leaving them with a chance to get the best record in the AL.
4- A Tampa win. The Rays are almost, but not quite out of the wild card picture. Since they play the Orioles next, we need them to stay in the race.
5- An Oakland win. It would hurt the Rays wild card chances, but it would leave Oakland with a chance to sweep Texas this week and take the AL West crown.
None of this is too much to ask, is it?