The New York Yankees are one win away from 100, yet they still have to play a one-off wild card game. But hey, at least they’ll get to host it.
With an 11-6 win over the Red Sox Friday night, the Yankees clinched home-field advantage for the wild card game. And it wasn’t just a win. The Yankees would go on to rout the Red Sox at Fenway (11-6). And that’s not all. They also tied the single-season home run record with No. 264. That ties the mark set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners with two games to go.
Plus, Aaron Judge got his first dinger since returning from a wrist injury. In other words, it’s all coming together at the right time.
“There’s nothing like it. I don’t know if I can really describe how they do it,” Judge said via ESPN’s Coley Harvey when asked if he thinks the home fans make that much of a difference. “They’ve got some kind of magic, man, coming to the jungle. It’s just a crazy atmosphere. It’s what you play for.”
As for the home run record, it’s not like one player is running away from the rest of the team. The team-high belongs to Giancarlo Stanton, and it’s only 37. In fact, just last week the Yankees became the first team to have 12 players hit for 10 home runs or more in a single season. And manager Aaron Boone believes that’s a testament to the entire team. They’re not going out there having to rely on just one guy every time out.
“If you would’ve told us we’re going to break that record at the beginning of the year, you would’ve probably thought Giancarlo’s hitting 50 or 60, Judgey’s hitting 50 or 60, and because of injuries and different things, that hasn’t been the case,” Boone said.
Imagine if they were healthy…
” In a lot of ways, we’re built for our ballpark,” he adds. “Our power plays, a lot of our guys, especially our right-handed hitters, use that right field to their advantage. It’s played out that we’ve been a very good team at home.”
The Yankees finished with a home record of 53-28 this season. The only team with a better mark? Boston, of course, who are 56-23 at Fenway with two games left to play. For what it’s worth, the Oakland Athletics (46-33) haven’t played poorly on the road this season. But one thing is certain.
Knocking the Yankees out in the Bronx will be no easy task.