On Friday night, the New York Yankees won the first game of a crucial 10-game homestand by defeating the Baltimore Orioles 8-5. This win was huge for the Yankees because it helped them get one game closer to clinching a playoff berth.
This win was very special for the Yankees because every hitter reached base at least once. The team’s starting pitching has been mediocre for the majority of the season outside of Hideki Kuroda and Ivan Nova since he was activated off the disabled list.
The Yankees will be playing two high-scoring offenses during this stretch in the Boston Red Sox and Orioles, so they will need every run they can get. One thing that the Yankees definitely need for this homestand is for outfielder Alfonso Soriano to continue his torrid hitting. Since the Yankees acquired him, he has hit 11 home runs.
Robinson Cano hits in front of Soriano and he will continue to see great pitches if Soriano continues to torment opposing pitchers. Cano went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Soriano hit a home run in the Friday night victory.
The Orioles are only a half game ahead of the Yankees for third place in a tie with the Cleveland Indians, depending on the outcome of their Friday night game against the Detroit Tigers in the Wild Card hunt. If the Yankees could sweep the current three-game series against the Orioles, then they could have one less team blocking them from a playoff berth.
Following the series against the Orioles, the Yankees will have a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox and a four-game series against the AL East division-leading Red Sox. The Yankees are eight games behind the Red Sox, so they have a better chance at earning a playoff berth by finishing the season as a top-two Wild Card seed.
The Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics currently own the top two Wild Card seeds, and they are four and 4.5 games ahead of the Yankees respectively. The Rays and Athletics began a three-game series late Friday night.
If the Rays or Athletics manage to sweep that series, then the Yankees could potentially be three games closer to a playoff berth. With only 28 games remaining for the Yankees, every game is a must-win for them to be playing in October.