You can be sure MLB will be pumping this as best it can, given the need and the media market, that the Yankees, now 21 games over .500, can’t lose.
They beat the Braves on Monday night for their 10th win in a row, and 18th in 22 August games. They’ve moved within touching distance of the Rays in the AL East (4 games back), while taking over the first wild-card spot ahead of the Red Sox.
It’s not hard to spot the reason for the spurt, as the Yankee offense is finally healthy and the Yanks have gotten back to that situation where it seems like they’ve got 12 guys for nine positions and yet all 12 get to hit every night. Giancarlo Stanton has kept from having anything fall off of him in August, and has a wOBA of .410 in the month. Aaron Judge has a .394 wOBA while bouncing between right and center to accommodate the plethora of hitters the team has. Getting Stanton onto the field, despite the risk of injury, either to him or whatever wall he eventually runs into, opens up the DH spot for Luke Volt who’s healthy again and is slugging .620 since rejoining the lineup. Even Tyler Wade has turned baseballs into plasma, and all of this has helped mask Anthony Rizzo’s unvaccinated ass either being on the IL or an automatic out.
With the Yankees it’s always about the pen, and they’ve been able to balance Aroldis Chapman’s injury problems and Zack Britton’s tendency to play with matches with great work from lesser names like Albert Abreu, Chad Green, and Jonathan Loaisiga, who is great at being able to keep everything on the ground. While the rotation has been in flux, everyone save Luis Gil has shown remarkable control, with no one walking more than three hitters per nine innings. While Gil has issued his fair share of free passes, he’s been able to dance through those rain drops by striking out 28 percent of the hitters he’s seen.
It is a terrifying lineup for anyone to have to negotiate come the playoffs assuming everyone stays healthy (always a huge if in the Bronx), even if manager Aaron Boone has to piece together innings on the mound after Gerrit Cole, a process of which he has experience.
And should the Yankees solidify their spot, they can save Cole for the coin-flip game and not really worry about not having him again until a Game 3 in the Division Series.
Let’s just hope they don’t play the Astros. Those games will take six hours.