MLB New York Yankees

New York Yankees Must Capitalize On Opportunity vs. Detroit Tigers

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Getty Images

The New York Yankees stunned the Detroit Tigers last night when they delivered eight runs on nine consecutive hits in the third inning. It was most miraculous because they did it against ace David Price, who had his shortest outing since 2009. Beating up on one of the league’s best pitchers is encouraging for the Yanks, but they must shift their focus to the opportunity that lies ahead today.

The Yanks and Tigers play the rubber match of their three-game set in Comerica Park this afternoon, a game that the Yankees need to take by any means necessary. With a month to go in the 2014 regular season, the Yankees need to capitalize on any chance they get to gain ground. Catching the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East is still out of reach, but New York is close behind Detroit and the Seattle Mariners for the second Wild Card spot.

Today is one of those days where the Yanks have a simple situation to gain ground. With the Mariners off today, all the Yankees need to do is beat Detroit and they’ll be gaining on the two teams they trail. A win would have them just two games behind Seattle and one game behind Detroit. It looked as if New York would fizzle out of the playoff hunt, but winning six of their last seven has brought the Yankees back into contention.

Another element that makes today very opportunistic is that the Yankees will not face Justin Verlander this afternoon, who was originally scheduled to start. Verlander is still recovering from inflammation in his pitching shoulder that has caused him to miss his last two starts. Instead, New York will face Kyle Lobstein, a rookie who will be making his second MLB appearance and his first career start. Even though Verlander’s had a subpar season, the Yanks would much rather see the rookie than the former MVP and Cy Young winner.

A win today will get the Yankees as close in the Wild Card race as they’ve been in two weeks. However they get it done, the Yankees need to capitalize on today’s opportunity and win their series in Detroit.