The New York Yankees are beginning to realize that there is a real possibility that the team will miss out on clinching the wild card spot. A once largely padded lead has since diminished to only a single game. The team has been away from the Bronx for 10 days, going 4-5 and losing their series against the Oakland Athletics and the Minnesota Twins. The team will be back in New York for their final home series of the regular season in hopes to prevail with a wild-card slot.
In September, the Yankees have seen a season-low in production from the offense. Within the past 11 games, the team averaged .194, collected 67 hits and struck out 95 times. The Athletics, on the other hand, have seen a recent spike in performance, which only creates additional pressure for the Yankees. If the team wants to have any chance of playing in October, then they will need to fine-tune their game in a hurry.
Since Aaron Judge went on the disabled list, the offense has been suffering. Many are hopeful that Judge will be back soon, but the reality of the situation is that he is still having pain in his wrist. It is promising that he has been taking swings in preparation for live pitching, but at this point, it is unclear when the powerhouse will make a full recovery. Judge is the bloodline of the team’s offense, therefore if he manages to return within a reasonable amount of time, then the ballclub will likely be revitalized at the plate.
Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has been feeling the pressure too, managing to muster only four hits in 10 games. Stanton has been under a microscope for the entire season, especially since he was the reigning NL MVP with the Miami Marlins. In the baseball world, New York is one of the hardest environments to perform in as a player, but a player of Stanton’s caliber should not struggle with the transition. Unfortunately, Stanton is not adapting well, as he continues his seasonal struggles at the plate. The absence of Judge will likely cause fans to look to Stanton for run production. It should be interesting to see if Stanton rises to the call of duty, or crumbles under the pressure.
The Yankees, at one point were one of baseball’s best teams this season, but now find themselves struggling to secure a playoff position. There are many teams in the league that will make the playoffs, however, few are as talented as the Yankees. If the Yankees are going to make an appearance in October, then they will need to fight through September to get there.