The Full 408: The Yankees Lose Sight Of First Place In AL East

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Last week wasn’t the best for the New York Yankees as their hopes of coming back in the divion grew less likely. The Yanks lost two out of three to the Blue Jays which put them 4.5 games behind. Following that tough series in Toronto, the bombers came home to start their last home stand against the White Sox winning two out of three. It was very unlikely the Yanks would get another shot at first in the AL East, but they’ve maintained a strangle hold on the first Wild Card spot for quite some time now. Along with that, they just need two wins for the rest of the season to clinch a playoff birth, of course the home-field advantage is what they should be worrying about until the end of the season. Here’s all you need to see and know on this week’s edition of The Full 408.

The Good

  1. Track: Adam Warren continues to give the Yankees manageable games in his starts. Just as his starting work from earlier in the season, he stays three runs or below, which for the Yankees is still a game that should be won most days. Should the Yankees make it past the Wild Card, Adam Warren and Ivan Nova could be two wild cards of their own if they perform as they have in the last week. Warren threw six innings Saturday and gave up three hits with a run.
  2. Wall: Andrew Miller‘s effectiveness sometimes goes overlooked with how easy he makes things look (most of the time). He is 36-38 this season in saves, and he has 97 strikeouts in 59.1 IP. He’s also a big reason the Yankees 2015 bullpen is about to take control of the record for most bullpen strikeouts in a season. The bllpen’s importance isn’t exaggerated with how many close games the Yankees have won this year, but at the end Miller is always the one to close it up. Going off of this season it’s safe to say the money was well spent, and Brian Cashman knew exactly what he was getting
  3. See Ya!” “See Ya!” is very fitting for Greg Bird. The ways he has helped this team since the loss of Mark Teixeira cannot be overemphasized. Bird has five RBIs this week and provided a long ball in the 10th inning in Toronto. If the Yankees are going to have any chance of doing what they could’ve done in the playoffs with Teix’ in the lineup, Bird will be the key to just that.

The Ugly

  • If there’s one thing that’s certain about the rookies in the bullpen it’s that Joe Girardi needs to get it figured out very fast. The digression of Chasen Shreve hasn’t helped, as Joe is back to just three guys he can put full trust in. However, now it’s uncertain whether Shreve will even be on the playoff roster and it’s going without saying that’s a big problem. Nick Rumbelow, James Pazos, Caleb Cotham, and the veterans Andrew Bailey as well are basically in a big battle for who’s higher up on the depth chart if needed in a game. It’s no easy task to have this all going on in games that you hope to win easily, but it seems that nothing will be easy the last week of the season.
  • Chase Headley seems to be the coldest hitter on the team and there’s really no other options at third to give him time off besides Brendan Ryan. Dustin Ackley seems to be the answer for the rest of the season at second base, Ryan could start playing at third as much as possible to maybe give Headley a break. Whatever the answer is, if Headley isn’t hitting this last week and a half of the season, he will most likely be of no use against playoff pitching.

The Reel

Normally I have highlights from the week in this section, but with the loss of Yogi Berra it’d like to take this spot to show some of the great moments the Yankees had before their first home game after Berra’s passing.

What’s Next?

With the division mostly out of reach, the Yankees look to maintain the first Wild Card position and possibly see if Toronto has a historic downfall. Look for Masahiro Tanaka to make his last start of the regular season after his minor injury. Also the rest of the rotation all had fairly decent starts this week, look for it to continue as they head into the playoffs. See you next week on The Full 408.

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