The Yankees began last Thursday 5.5 games behind the Red Sox in the American League East, with four games coming up against them and and 10 total games against their rivals still left on the schedule. Fast-forward to Monday morning, and New York was swept in those first four games following a come-from-behind, extra-inning walkoff win by Boston. The Yankees now sit 9.5 back of the Sox: despite having the third-best winning percentage in MLB this year, New York is the second-place team furthest behind the division leader.
The Yankees aren’t in any kind of trouble, as they’re still in the first wild card slot in the AL with a 2.5 game lead on the A’s, and their only competition in this arena is the Mariners, who are five games back of New York and have had an even tougher go of things in the last month-plus: the Mariners have been outscored on the season, allowing 19 more runs than they’ve put up, and are just 11-17 since July 1. Nothing is guaranteeed, especially not with three games left against the M’s, but the Yankees are probably going to win a wild card given Seattle’s decline.
The Yankees, though, have had their own troubles since July 1. They’re 15-15 since then, and July 1 was also the last day they were in first place in the AL East, when a few percentage points had them ahead of Boston. The Red Sox are 23-6 over the same stretch, which gave them the commanding 9.5 game lead they’re waking up to today. There’s a lot of season left, and the Red Sox could absolutlely collapse like the Dodgers did a year ago while chasing the single-season wins record. Like those Dodgers, though, there is some wiggle room here, as Boston is on pace for 113 wins on the year.
Again, though, it should be emphasized how good this Yankees team still is, as they’re on pace for 100 wins even after dropping five games in a row. There isn’t a single National League team on pace for 100 wins, and yet, New York has managed to put themselves on that pace despite “only” being in a position to win a wild card. This is a good time to remind everyone that just because this four-game series went the way of the sweep doesn’t mean a rematch down the road will. New York still has six games left to prove they’re a regular-season match for the Sox, and then, if they win the AL Wild Card Game, they’ll get a postseason series that will have far more on the line than this August one did.
- You might think August baseball trades are boring or not impactful, and you’d be wrong. Like, embarrassingly wrong. You should stop and think about how wrong you are, but do so after clicking on this story about memorable August trades first.
- The Red Sox just swept the Yankees, and are expecting a whole lot of injured players to return to the team soon.
- The Padres waived Tyson Ross, so now he’s on the Cardinals, in a move that surprised Viva El Birdos.
- This year’s trade market -- or lack of one -- hampered the Yankees in their quest to upgrade the rotation.
- The Giants have dead money in 2019 and beyond, and McCovey Chronicles took a look at it and what it could mean.
- Trey Mancini was an intriguing young player a year ago, but the way the Orioles’ rebuild is going puts him in a weird position.
- Mike Bates wrote up a history of ticket prices in MLB for Hardball Times.
- Roberto Osuna’s domestic violence suspension is over, and the Astros activated him, so be prepared to hear a lot more excuses made for a guy who has pled not guilty and hasn’t even started his trial yet and has had his lawyer say he feels no remorse for anything but the situation that exists.
- Speaking of Osuna, this from Rachael McDaniel is just about all you need to read on the subject.
- A report came out over the weekend that this would be Mike Scioscia’s last season managing the Angels, but Scioscia then refuted said report. He’s the longest-tenured manager in MLB, so stepping back wouldn’t be a huge shock.