A baseball season is a marathon. Unlike football or basketball, even the best teams are bound to go on losing streaks or endure tough times. Over 162 games, too much can go wrong, and it often does.
On Wednesday, July 31, the Yankees went through one of those times. They stood pat at the trade deadline while the Astros added an ace. This sent Yankee fans into a panic. Brian Cashman was criticized far and wide for not being aggressive enough. The Yankees decided to hang onto their young talent rather than pay the steep price for a number two type starter.
Since then? The Yankees haven’t lost. They’ve cruised to six victories in a row, casually sweeping Boston in the process. They’ve also lost Edwin Encarnacion and Aaron Hicks to injury without missing a beat. Whether it’s Mike Ford slamming a go ahead home run in the 8th inning on Monday night, or Breyvic Valera delivering a two out, two run triple, the Yankees keep finding ways to produce.
Monday night’s game had all the makings of a hangover game. After sweeping the Red Sox, the Yankees had whipped out the fog machine and turned the locker room into a night club. Furthermore, Gio Urshela could barely walk, and Gleyber Torres was sent to the hospital for tests on his core. Somehow Urshela avoided the IL, and Torres was in the lineup on Monday. Nobody would have batted an eye if the Yankees had mailed it in and punted last night’s game. But they didn’t.
After trading for Zack Greinke, Twitter and Vegas essentially declared the Astros World Series champs. Fans should pump the brakes on the Houston hype train. I remember the 2011 Phillies trotting out Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. They lost in five games to the Cardinals. I remember the 2014 Tigers with Max Scherzer, David Price and Justin Verlander. They got swept by the Orioles. Neither super rotation made it out of the first round.
The deadline was a bit of a disappointment for Yankee fans. However, their recent play, combined with the failures of past super rotations, make a World Championship just as likely as it was before the deadline.
See you at the parade.