The regular season has come to an end, and as Derek Jeter said in an on the field interview with YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits, “Now the real season begins.” Oh so true. After 162 grueling games and a mentally draining final month, the Yankees will get some much needed rest before learning of their next destination for the American League Division Series.
The division championship became official while New York was batting in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Tampa Bay Rays used three homers from Evan Longoria to spoil the Orioles bid at the East crown. The Yankees were well on their way to winning anyway holding a 12-2 lead at the time in an eventual 14-2 drubbing of the last place Red Sox.
The lead came after the Red Sox jumped ahead of the Yankees in the first on a Cody Ross RBI-single. Curtis Granderson put the Yankees ahead for good with a three-run home run in the second inning. He would later hit a solo shot and break his career high for homers in a season with 42.
You would think a two-homer game would be hard to beat as the starring effort, but Robinson Cano managed to one-up Granderson’s effort. Cano continued his torrid final nine games of the season going 4-for-4 with two homers and six RBI. Cano ripped 24 hits in his last 39 at-bats during the span.
With the four home runs the Yankees ended the season with 245 as a team which sets a new club record previously held by the 2009 World Series Championship club.
Hiroki Kuroda won his 16th game of the season and the Yankees finished the regular season 95-67, two games better than the Orioles.
The Bombers will play the winner of the Orioles one-game wild card play-in game with the Texas Rangers which will be played at Camden Yards on Friday. The Yankees first game in the ALDS will be played on Sunday at the winner’s park. This season the lower seed gets the first two games at home while the higher seed gets three straight.
The Yankees probably don’t care where they play at this point. They are just happy to be division champs with a few days of rest ahead of them before they pursue championship number 28.