Photo: Boston Herald
by : Rich Bauer
The Yankees are home in the Bronx starting tonight to play three games against the Division leading Boston Red Sox and then a two game showdown with the crosstown rival Mets.
But wait a minute, next Wednesday they pack up to bus across the Whitestone Bridge to play two more games vs the Mets in Queens. And then on to the shuttle to Boston to lock horns with the Red Sox three more times.
The Yanks have won six out nine games from the Sox’s this year. They have outscored them 38-16 but all that goes out the window starting Friday night.
The Sox have been successful in shutting down Aaron Judge. He has only one home run, 2 RBI’s and is hitting only .194 over those nine games. The Sox pitchers have been throwing hard stuff inside not allowing Judge to extend his arms and then they frustrate him to chase sliders and curveballs way off the plate.
For me I think it is safe to say the Bombers season is on the line. Four huge series against their largest rivals over the next ten days. The dog days of August are here and the Yanks are trending in the wrong direction. Four and half games out of first place. Injuries are back, CC Sabathia and Clint Frazier going on the 10 day DL this week and Starlin Castro struggling to get back on the field. Every loss is highlighted with double digit runners left in scoring position.
Now is the time for not just Judge but all the Yanks “To All Rise” to the occasion.
Brett Gardner needs to get on base, show some speed and score some runs. Didi Gregorious batting fourth is not going to work for me. Gary Sanchez, Todd Frazier, and Judge need to stop trying to hit the ball 500 ft. and just be satisfied with singles and doubles, the dingers will follow. Aaron Hicks, Chase Headley, and Jacoby Ellsbury, the veterans, need to lead by example and get a big hit when needed. Garrett Cooper needs to keep proving he belongs in the majors.
Jamie Garcia and Sonny Gray have to prove they can pitch on the big stage and in big games. Luis Severino has to continue his All Star year. Jordan Montgomery needs to look like Andy Pettitte and Masahiro Tanaka needs to be the pitcher of 2014 and 2016.
The bullpen has been the strength since the addition of David Robertson and they cannot waiver now.
The Yankees season is at the crossroad. What has been a very surprising and satisfying performance to date can very easily be washed away by August 20th if they don’t win 7 out of the next 10 games.