Perspectives – Just 4 Games To Go…
It took forever to get here, and once it got here, it came and went too quickly.
The 2020 regular season has just four games remaining in it. Just four games…
Here are some quick observations:
The Yankees have clinched a spot in the playoffs. They’re in. They’re pretty much guaranteed a middle of the road seed – maybe the 4th, but probably the 5th seed. I don’t think they really care all that much. They’re in and that’s all that matters.
When healthy, the Yankees have the talent to dominate. There isn’t a team (outside of the Rays, maybe) that would give a healthy Yankees lineup trouble in the playoffs. For that reason, I think the Yankees will play this final weekend cautiously. They will (hope to) keep the players healthy and prepare to head into the playoffs at full strength. That, I believe, is their goal. I agree with that.
In the end, no one cares if they were a division winner or an eight seed in this playoff race. In the end, all that anyone will care about is if the Yankees reach and win the World Series. That’s the goal now.
I found it difficult to get into the “regular” season this year. The energy and excitement wasn’t there like it had been in the past. That being said, playoff baseball is playoff baseball and it’s about time that the Yankees won a championship. It’s way past time for that. I will care, deeply, about the Yankees playing deep into October.
The headlines, the narrative, (etc…) is already written if the Yankees end up as World Champions – “In the most abnormal season ever, baseball returns to normalcy with the Yankees back on top where they belong.”
In the playoffs, minor players often rise up and big time players sometimes fade… this is the magic (or curse) of small sample sizes. My early prediction here is that Gio Urshela will have a big post season and that Luke Voit will not.
I also think Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will slowly get warmer as the temperature gets cooler. I can see them having a poor first round, a less poor second round, and then I can see them mashing. How about 5 or 6 homers between them in the World Series?
How about this? Judge and Stanton have a combined Reggie Jackson like game where they hit a combined four World Series home runs but they come back-to-back both times… YES! That’s my prediction. (Of course, they’d have to hit back-to-back in the lineup… maybe they will as they get hotter and hotter.)
Similarly, I see Gerrit Cole pitching better and better throughout the playoffs. He’s ready to dominate and he’ll only get better.
The Yankees will probably need J.A. Happ to be outstanding in order to keep advancing. He CAN do it.
I do worry about Aaron Boon’s bullpen management in the post season. I hope he learned from last year.
The regular season, even if it wasn’t all that exciting for me, went too quickly. This playoff race better not. I’m looking forward to playoff baseball.
Let’s Go Yankees!!!