Michael Pineda, Brandon McCarthy Push New York Yankees into Wild Card Race

By Brandon Bell
Michael Pineda
Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

This season, Michael Pineda has been known for his pine tar incident on April 23. Since then, he has only started three times including tonight against the Kansas City Royals. His recent injury has sent him backwards, however, the New York Yankees gave him enough time to recover from the injury that he has been stellar since his return in August.

The Yankees are also allowing Masahiro Tanaka to recover completely before returning to the much needed Yankees rotation. Tanaka may not pitch again this season due to his elbow injury, but Pineda could very well put the Yankees into the playoffs with his recent success.

On a four-game winning streak, the Yankees are facing the Detroit Tigers in their upcoming series, who are only a game away from the last Wild Card playoff spot. The Yankees will make it easier for them to see the playoff picture if they win the series against the Tigers.

Even more significant to the Yankees’ winning streak has been Brandon McCarthy. His cutter has changed his performance completely. Not being allowed to throw it with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Yankees saw the advanced statistics when he threw the pitch and were all for him throwing it. He now throws the cutter just under 20 percent of the time, nearly doubling his rate in Arizona this season.

In Derek Jeter’s final season, Yankees’ fans want to see Jeter’s last game being played in the playoffs and these two pitchers are providing the spark they need to advance.

Brandon Bell is a writer for the Philadelphia Phillies on RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @BDB92, or “like him” on Facebook

Check out ScoreBig for Yankees vs. Royals tickets for the remainder of their series in KC, and also make sure to check the Yankees schedule to see Pineda when he returns to the Bronx!

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