First off I’m not going to dance around it I am a Red Sox fan and while I respect the Yankees I still hate them but what they have done this year on top of the countless injuries to top players has been impressive. It’s not about the number of injuries either its guys like Judge, Sanchez, Severino, Stanton, Hicks, Betances, Bird, Voit, and Encarnacion all guys that you expect to contribute significantly to your year. This is not why they remind me of last year’s World Series champions though, let’s take a look.
As the trade deadline clock ticked lower and lower I could literally hear the profanity being shouted in the Bronx as the Yankees failed to make any moves to bolster the roster, specifically to the starting rotation. The offense has been able to hide a lot of their struggles this year as scoring 10 runs a game can certainly do and the bullpen makes every game shorter but overall guys like Happ, Paxton, and Tanaka have struggled mightily. What makes playoff baseball so great though is something clicks in a professional athletes mind and it doesn’t matter how they performed during the regular reason the playoffs are a new lease on life. Does anyone doubt the talent of the three guys I just mentioned? Not a chance they are proven veterans with lengthy track records. With the offense the Yankees have, the elite bullpen, and the emergence of Domingo German (granted he is 16-2 with a 4.00ERA but that’s beside the point) all they need is 1 or 2 of those three to pitch like they are accustomed to pitching in order to make a deep October run and potentially win it all.
Think about the Red Sox last year they were winning games solely on the back of the offense all year long. Down the stretch and into the playoffs Sale was struggling, they had no depth in the bullpen, Price was solid but not the ace they signed, and Porcello was winning games but had an elevated ERA. What happened in the playoffs though? Price was an ace, Braiser and Barnes stepped up to be the bridge to Kimbrel, both Porcello and Eovaldi were used in multiple ways which helped solidify the bullpen and the offense kept hitting. The similarities are there and if the Yankees keep hitting like they are, which they will, they only need a few guys to outperform their regular season and they could be repeating what the Red Sox did last year.