We hate to break it to you, but the Yankees going on the road for the Wild Card series in the least of their worries.
For everyone out there claiming that the New York Yankees need to play the Wild Card series in the Bronx, we hate to inform you that there are a number of other factors to be much more concerned about. There are no fans. This is the best roster in Major League Baseball. And after the WC series, everybody will be “on the road” in an unfamiliar place.
Before the Yankees start worrying about having to play in not Yankee Stadium, perhaps they should focus on tightening up their defense and stringing together hits in order to keep the offense alive. Because one error can upend a series. A long pause in the run production department at the end of the season could have them limping into the playoffs.
We really cannot be looking at home and road splits during one of the most unprecedented seasons in MLB history. There’s so much else to consider.
The Yankees statistically have one of the worst defenses in the league and their performance in that department doesn’t hinge on being home or away. They have serious issues with Gleyber Torries at shortstop. Gary Sanchez is not reliable behind the plate. The outfield is kind of iffy. The amount of injuries has no doubt resulted in some rust, plus, some guys (like Luke Voit) are playing with nagging ailments. The instincts are lacking, which was evident on the botched rundown and poorly executed bunt in extras against the Marlins on Friday night.
On top of that, we’ve once again seen the Bombers get too reliant on home runs. They don’t play small ball. The team pretty much lacks your basic baseball fundamentals. The absence of such an important foundation is what could hold them back before anything else.
Gerrit Cole on the road vs at home? Who. Cares. It’s his first season in pinstripes, and the right-hander facing more quality opponents is what’s more glaring here. Cole has largely dominated against the Blue Jays, Orioles, Red Sox and Phillies. He’s gotten tagged by the Rays and Braves, two of the top postseason contenders in MLB.
See where we’re getting at? If this was 2019 and the Bronx was packing a full stadium and shaking the entire borough, then yes, we’d agree with you. The Yankees would quite literally need to be home if they were also playing like they are at the moment.
But fan-less baseball actually helps them during these odd circumstances. Taking some grounders and laying down some bunts in the next practice would be more of a help than playing the WC series at Yankee Stadium.