When Hall of Famer Joe Torre was the manager of the Yankees in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he placed a lot of emphasis on the importance of winning the series over each opponent. He was a man who was fearful of overconfidence during winning streaks and despair during losing streaks. The adage of “one game at a time” seemed too small scale while worrying about weeks or months of a season at once seemed to large. For him and the Yankees, the emphasis was put on winning the series. This is exactly the concept that needs to be adopted by current Yankee skipper Joe Girardi and the rest of the Bombers.
Most series during the regular season are three game sets. That means to win a team would need to take at least two games of the three. The idea sounds simple enough, but if you were to do that throughout the course of the season, a team would have a .666 winning percentage and a 106 win pace. Besides the obvious advantage of winning 2/3 of your games it has the added mental advantage of putting increased pressure on the first and third games of a series. Winning the initial game of a series means you only have to one of the next two to take the series. The third game ends often ends up a rubber match between the two teams or could be a chance for a sweep which would essentially be playing with house money.
The Yankees have been a thoroughly consistent inconsistent team all year. The Bombers have been a team that follows a five game win streak with a four game losing streak. They need to garner consistency over the next two months by starting to win several series in a row. This needs to start on Sunday night against the Red Sox.
The Red Sox are a last place club that traded away its starting rotation at the trade deadline in a play for 2015. New York and Boston have split the first two games of the series with the finale coming on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. This is effectively a must win game for the Yankees. They need the win to take the series and because of what is on their schedule for this week. After the game Sunday night, the Yankees will return to Yankees Stadium to open a four game series against the Detroit Tigers. They will face Max Scherzer in Game 1, David Price in Game 2, Justin Verlander in Game 3, and Rick Porcello in Game 4.
When you are in a tight pennant race, as the Yankees are, every win counts. The Yankees will need to focus on winning every series from now until the end of the season. A win on Sunday night to take the series from Boston will go a long way as the Bombers face an extraordinarily tough matchup against the last three AL Cy Young winners and a guy with 13 wins already. For that reason, the Yankees absolutely must win on Sunday night.
Tags: New York Yankees