The New York Yankees (79-71) still find themselves in the running for a Wild Card spot despite a miserable weekend in Fenway. The Boston Red Sox were able to sweep the Bronx Bombers as they were able to get clutch grand slams against the middle relief of the Yankee bullpen (Friday) and beat up on both CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova over the weekend. The Red Sox finished the season at 13-6 against New York and winners of six of the final seven games. Despite all the losses and the recent injuries to Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees are still just 2.5 games behind the Texas Rangers for the second Wild Card spot heading into Tuesday’s action. They will face a Toronto Blue Jays’ team that they dominated early in the season, but suffered a minor setback the last time the team went up to Canada.
The Toronto Blue Jays (68-81) have been officially eliminated from postseason contention as they will finish up a season that has been filled with injuries and a lack of exceeding expectations. The offense is still top ten in runs, including five players having 20 or more home runs this seasons. The problem for John Gibbons‘ team has been their starting rotation. The Blue Jays loaded up on starters over the winter, but injuries to Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow as well as ineffectiveness by R.A Dickey. In fact, their pitching as a whole is 25th in the MLB in ERA and second to last in baseball in quality starts. That has put a lot of pressure on the bullpen, which has shined this year behind 30 saves from Casey Janssen. Toronto was 1-12 against the Yankees before they took two of three from New York at home from August 26-28. This series may look easy on paper, but you always have to be aware of a team that is looking to play spoiler in the division.
On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show presented by BaldVinny.com (recorded Sunday), I give my take on whether or not the Yankees’ playoff chances are over and how the schedule could still work in the Bronx Bombers’ favor over the final two weeks of the season. Also, Alex Dineley from Jays Journal joined the show to talk about what to watch for in the series from Toronto, including players he is watching going into 2014. One of the players he mentions on the show is JP Arencibia, whose future with the team may not last past this season. Without Jose Bautista or Melky Cabrera, who does Alex think will be the key player for Toronto in this series if they are going to ruin the Yankees’ playoff hopes?