Here Come The Most Important Games Of The Year

Today is the last day of August. We’re down to one more month of baseball, 32 games in total. The Yankees have controlled the American League East since June 12th, and were once 10 games up in the standings. Now we’re down to just a 4.5 game lead to the Rays and a 3.0 game lead to the Orioles. Last year, it felt like every important game came down to the last day of the year, when the Rays and Cardinals overtook the Red Sox and Braves for the Wild Card position in a spectacular fashion. This year, the AL East could very well be decided in the next two weeks.

#131 Friday, August 31st BAL  7:05 PM
#132 Saturday, September 1st BAL  1:05 PM
#133 Sunday, September 2nd BAL  1:05 PM
#134 Monday, September 3rd @ TBR  1:10 PM
#135 Tuesday, September 4th @ TBR  7:10 PM
#136 Wednesday, September 5th @ TBR  7:10 PM
#137 Thursday, September 6th @ BAL  7:05 PM
#138 Friday, September 7th @ BAL  7:05 PM
#139 Saturday, September 8th @ BAL  7:05 PM
#140 Sunday, September 9th @ BAL  1:35 PM
#141 Tuesday, September 11th @ BOS  7:10 PM
#142 Wednesday, September 12th @ BOS  7:10 PM
#143 Thursday, September 13th @ BOS  7:10 PM
#144 Friday, September 14th TBR  7:05 PM
#145 Saturday, September 15th TBR  4:05 PM
#146 Sunday, September 16th TBR  1:05 PM

The Yankees have now enjoyed their last off-day before an important 10 game stretch between the second and third place Orioles and Rays. 13 of the next 16 games will be played against the two teams that threaten their playoff hopes. With the injury bug that’s spread rapidly through this roster, now is the worst time for the Yankees to play their most important set of series of the year. Big wins here could mean they run away with the division, but big losses mean they’ll likely lose the AL East lead.

Since the Allstar break, the Yankees have put together a record of 23 wins and 22 loses. Some players have stepped up and helped the team surpass injuries to Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Ivan Nova, and CC Sabathia, but it’s only been good enough for .500 ball. Over the next two weeks, .500 ball won’t be good enough, and it’s time for players like Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano to forget their recent slumps. With the way older guys like Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez look lately, there’s no doubt this team is beat and exhausted, but there’s no time to rest.

Tomorrow, rosters expand to 40 players, providing the Yankees and other teams with a resupply of soldiers in August. We won’t know who will get the call from Triple-A, but  there’s a good chance that Mark Teixeira, Pedro Feliciano, and Aled Rodriguez return during the next two weeks. Hopefully this is enough, but if there was a time to overwork, it’s now.

Nothing appears guaranteed anymore, and we’re now in a make or break two week stretch. Any string of games short of domination will be painted as panic, but in the end, it’s simple, the Yankees need to win, now.

Mike is the co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money. Outside of blogging baseball, Mike is also a musician, a runner, and a beer lover.

3 thoughts on “Here Come The Most Important Games Of The Year

  1. hawaii dave

    Yes, these are very important games coming up. I’d like to see some passion. Cano needs to knock over a water cooler. Most emotion I see from him when he strikes out on a pitch 20 inches out of the strike zone is to spit out some seed shells. My beloved Yankees are barely a .500 team since the break and you’d think they were the best team in baseball by the outward appearances. Outward appearances do not win games. They often can be heard to say that they believe they can comeback and never stop believing in themselves. Cool! Except they are the only team in baseball without a 9th inning comeback win. So all the self confidence in the world will get you on the subway along with a dollar. Girardi needs to fire up this team. Someone needs to get thrown out of a game. Give me some passion. They could easily end up setting a MLB record for most confident team in baseball history that didn’t make the playoffs.

  2. Hawaii Dave said it all for me. Well spoken my friend. As much as I love my Yankees, if I were in Vegas I have to put my money down on a hungry team like the Orioles. At this point, honestly, I’m just hoping the yanks make the playoffs, much less winning the division. Was their remarkable success despite the RISP problems indicative of a team that can go all the way. Hopefully, they’re just in a slump, and it’s not a case of the emperor not wearing any clothes as I suspected since the All-Star break.
    We lose four straight to the White Sox… the White Sox lose three straight to Baltimore. Tonight’s game against Baltimore somehow seems crucial to me.

  3. FreeAgentID

    I agree.
    Go Yankees!

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