By Dominic Lancella on August 12, 2014
The New York Yankees and manger Joe Girardi have done well to sustain a decent record and stay in the playoff hunt despite much adversity. The team has dealt with many key injuries and several new acquisitions that have equated to an uphill grind throughout the season. The Yanks are still very much alive in the hunt for October, but here are five reasons why the Bombers will ultimately fall short of the postseason this year.
The starting rotation was decimated by injuries, and New York lost 80 percent of the opening day staff. The replacement starters have done a great job filling in, but it still isn’t the same as having guys like Ivan Nova, C.C. Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka healthy. Ultimately, the injuries have made every win a struggle, and despite New York’s ability to maintain solid pitching, it just isn’t enough to get them a playoff spot.
The Yanks have maintained relevance in the AL East race, but it doesn’t look like anybody will catch the O’s this season. They have the largest lead of any division leader in baseball and have a very strong team. Baltimore’s pitching has been very consistent this season, which pairs well with their powerful lineup. There’s a lot of baseball to be played, but it seems that the Yanks have little to no shot at winning the division.
Of New York’s remaining 44 games, 38 are against either a division rival or a winning team, including nine vs. Baltimore. Besides that, games within the division are tough regardless of the records. The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox are behind New York, but Sox-Yanks are usually close games and New York has a 3-7 record vs. the Rays this year. It doesn’t look like the type of schedule that will yield a long winning streak down the stretch.
It’s been a problem all season long, and it’s been extremely tough considering the pitching injuries. The lack of offense has put even more pressure on the Yanks’ remaining starters and made the margin of error very small. They have trouble hitting with runners in scoring position and haven’t gotten a good return of their investments in Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann from an offensive standpoint.
A lot has to go right for the Yankees to pull off a postseason berth, but that most likely wouldn’t be enough. Even if New York plays well, there are too many teams in the hunt for the second Wild Card spot. New York currently sits just three games out of the second spot, but there still three teams ahead of them. Realistically, there are still six teams alive that are all fighting for one spot, and it’s hard to imagine that spot being the Yanks.
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