Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Stick a Fork In the Yankees, They're Done

From September 20:

Stick a fork in the Yankees.  They’re done.  At least, for this season.
Once again, Hiroki Kuroda did not have good stuff, allowing 8 hits and 4 walks over 6 innings (although he struck out 7), and was lucky to leave losing only 3-1.
Justin Louis Chamberlain threw 14 pitches in the 7th, and didn’t get an out, and it was 6-1 when he was removed.  This could well be the nail in his coffin, as far as the Yankees are concerned.  For the season, his ERA is 4.97, and his WHIP is 1.68.  Only 2 of his last 6 appearances have resulted in him not allowing any runs.  Joba, thank you for the thrills of late 2007 and for helping us win the World Series in 2009, but it’s time for you to go.
The Yankees loaded the bases with 1 out in the 9th, but only got 1 run across, and it was a weak 6-2 loss to those pesky Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees are now 3 1/2 games, 4 in the loss column, behind the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers, who are tied for each of the American League’s Wild Card berths.  Three are 9 games to go.  The elimination number (or “Tragic Number,” if you prefer) is 7.  And combination of Yankee losses and Rays wins, or Yankee losses and Rangers wins, adding up to 7, and the Yankees do not play a Game 163 this season.
As Woody Paige of the Denver Post and ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption would say, “Look at the schedule”:
* The Yankees come home to play a 3-game Interleague series against the San Francisco Giants.  (This includes Saturday’s Mariano Rivera Day.) The Giants have won 2 of the last 3 World Series, but were never in the Playoff race this season.  They are 11 games under .500.  The Yankees should be able to win at least 2 out of 3.
* After a day off on Monday, the Rays come to town for the last 3 Yankee home games.  It’s at the point where the Yankees will have to sweep, but it’s also at the point where if they get the runs, they don’t get the pitching, and vice versa.  I don’t see any more than 2 out of 3 here.
* The Yankees close the season with 3 games in Houston against the Astros — who, of course, are now in the American League.  The Astros have lost 315 games over the last 3 seasons, and are likely to post their 3rd straight season of losing at least 106.  For a team that is not an expansion team in one of its first 5 seasons, that is historical ineptitude. * So the Yankees have a shot at a sweep.
* If the Yankees do what I’m suggesting here, that’s a Borg winning streak, 7 of 9.  That would give them 87 wins.
* Presuming the Yankees do take 2 of 3 from the Rays, that would give the Rays at least 84 wins.  They have 10 games left.  So they would have to win 4 of their last 7 to get one of the Wild Card berths.  They have 4 home games against the Baltimore Orioles, who are also fighting for the Wild Card.  They might get only 2 out of those 4.  That would give them 86.  But they close with 3 in Toronto, and I don’t see the Jays giving them much of a fight.  Winning 2 out of 3 would give the Rays the 87 wins they need to finish ahead of a Yankee team winning 7 out of 9.
* The Rangers also have 10 games remaining, and also have 83 wins.  The first 3 are away to the Kansas City Royals, who are also fighting for the Wild Cards.  I can see the Rangers dropping 2 out of 3, giving them 84 wins.  But their next 3 are home to the Astros, and that’s 87 wins right there, even before they close the season with 4 at home against the Whatever They’re Calling Themselves This Season Angels of Anaheim.  So even though they’ve blown the AL West title to the Oakland Athletics for the 2nd year in a row, the Rangers are in the driver’s seat for the 1st Al Wild Card.  The Rays will almost certainly get the 2nd,
* And that’s before I get into discussing  the chances of the Orioles, the Royals, and the Cleveland Indians, all of whom currently have higher elimination numbers than the Yankees.
So the only thing left to play for is pride.
The Yankees haven’t shown enough of that this season.
Oh well.  It could be worse.  The Mets are now 68-84, and 18 1/2 games behind the 2nd National League Wild Card.
“Well, tonight, thank God it’s them, instead of you!”
*
* I looked it up: aside from the expansion Mets, who lost 340 in their first 3 seasons, 1962-64, the record for most losses in a 3-year period is 321, by the 2001-03 Detroit Tigers.  They lost “only” 96 in 2001, but an AL record 119 in 2003 puts them at the top of this list.  Prior to those Tigers, the worst 3-year stretch for a non-expansion team was the 1952-54 Pittsburgh Pirates, with 317.

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