The New York Yankees aren’t winning the AL East this season. We already know this. They’re 10 games out of first and the Boston Red Sox are already at 100 wins. But now, they’re in danger of not even hosting the one-off wild card game against the Oakland Athletics.
Wednesday, the Yankees would lose their second straight while Oakland won their sixth. Now the Athletics trail the Yanks by only one game in the wild card race. Again, this is a big deal for one reason. Home-field advantage. We already know that these two teams — barring an incredible collapse — will be the wild card participants. But we didn’t think Oakland would eventually catch New York.
And manager Aaron Boone knows they have to be better.
“We expect more, and we’ve got to get rolling,” he said via ESPN’s Coley Harvey following another loss. But it doesn’t get too much easier for them over the next two series. Though they do welcome Toronto to town starting Friday night, they get Boston right after that. Meanwhile, Oakland has one more game against Baltimore tonight before staying on the road to face a tough (but not Red Sox) tough Tampa Bay Rays. After that they host the struggling, injury-ridden Angels.
The Yankees went 4-5 on their road trip, dropping the series to the Athletics in the process. And what was a 4.5-game lead before arriving in Northern California has turned into a one-game lead heading back home. Reliever David Robertson says he’s not focusing on that, though. As a matter of fact, he claims he hasn’t even looked at the standings.
“I haven’t looked. I know we’re close. That’s about it.”
Oh they’re very close, and only getting closer. Yet Robertson suggests they can get out of this slump just as easily as they got into it.
“…We’ve got plenty of time,” he adds. “We’ve just got to put some good innings, good at-bats together and pick up some wins.”
If only it were that simple, right? Because something tells us the Athletics will have the exact same gameplan.