For the first time in three years, the New York Yankees have clinched the division and secured their ticket to the Division Series. Throughout the roller coaster of a season that they have endured since April 8, they have finally found their groove again.
In the last 10 games played, the Bronx Bombers have managed to go 8-2 with some rather dominating wins in that span. With the offense finally starting to find the consistency they’ve been looking for, runs have become more commonly found.
Aaron Judge continues his chase for the Triple Crown as he has remained the leader for all three main offensive categories. But, fans have continued to watch every at-bat of his because he still remains just one home run away from breaking the record of 61. Judge sent home run no. 61 over the left field wall in Toronto into the home bullpen.
Going into the postseason
Currently, the Yankees seem to be in a rather optimal spot as the postseason approaches. With a little less than two weeks until their first Division Series game, the Yankees have begun to refocus on the future.
The name of the game this season for the Yankees this season has defiantly been one word; momentum. As fans have witnessed as the year has proceeded, the entire team seems to affect by it regardless of whether it is good or bad. We have seen a team that can do nothing wrong, and also a team that can’t seem to do anything right (unless your last name is Judge).
This was made very apparent at the start of the season when they blazed their way to 70 wins before anyone else in the league. Everything was working for them so well. Pitching was also at its most dominant stage at that point of the year.
Nestor Cortes burst on the scene of the 2022 season with one of the best first-half pitching performances in the last few years. Clay Holmes also established himself as a very important piece of the back-end of the bullpen. He quickly became one of the most dominant relief pitchers in the MLB and replaced Aroldis Chapman as the closer.
Manager, Aaron Boone Speaks on Cole
Ace pitcher, Gerrit Cole has been a major driving force in the Yankees’ overall success this season and has put up very impressive numbers. However, there has been a sore stat that remains in his otherwise elite numbers; home runs allowed.
Over the course of this season, Cole has been quite the workhorse, pitching 188.1 innings while recording his league-leading 244 strikeouts. However, he currently leads the league in home runs allowed with 31. For someone that remains as dominant as Gerrit Cole, he still struggles with keeping the ball in the field.
During his outing against the Boston Red Sox on September 24, he was ejected after giving up a game-tying home run to Alex Verdugo. Aaron Boone offered some comments on questions regarding his role in the postseason.
“I thought he threw the ball awesome last night,” Boone said. “If he executes at a high level, he can shut down anyone.” As these comments would suggest, he is fully backing Cole as they go into the postseason and will continue to trust him in big games.
Despite the fans’ concern about him potentially giving up game-changing hits or home runs, he is trusted regardless. His performance in the playoffs for past seasons, his numbers speak for themselves. Over the 10 total playoff series that he pitched in, he posted a very impressive 2.93 ERA and 111 strikeouts.
That type of ERA is never anything to sneeze at even in the regular season, but during the playoffs, it’s a completely different beast.
How Will They Fair?
Given what the Yankees have been able to accomplish over the past couple of weeks, they seem to be in a grove. With the offense producing runs at a more consistent rate and pitching starting to lock down other teams better, the team seems to be firing on all cylinders.
While they may be on a hot streak to the end of the regular season, it is important to note how volatile their success has proven to be.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorite for the National League to get to the World Series. They currently have 106 wins on the season and have been charging through the NL this entire season. Some say that they are having the season the Yankees were supposed to have. Back at the All-Star break, the Yankees were the clear favorite for the best team in baseball.
It will be important for the Yankees’ entire roster to come together and focus on their goal together. Only time will tell how they will perform, but you can be sure that the Yankee fan base is going to have their back the whole way.
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Featured image courtesy of Dan Hamilton / USA TODAY Sports
Video clips courtesy of MLB.com and ESPN
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