With more games left in the season, or fewer teams left to jump over, the Yankees taking two out of three games from the Rays may not be disappointing. Maybe if the Yankees hadn’t gotten swept out of Boston, winning a series would be enough. They did, though, and it isn’t.
The Yankees got a good game out of Luis Cessa. He pitched six innings of two-run ball, and allowed just six hits. He did enough to put his team in a position to win against a last place team like the Rays. Luis Severino was great out of the bullpen again, holding the Rays to just one hit in two innings of work. None of that matters when the team fails to score even a single run, though.
New York actually out-hit Tampa Bay 8-7. Billy Butler, Didi Gregorius, and Aaron Hicks all had two hits each. Some kind of witchcraft held Gary Sanchez hitless, and that witchcraft was him walking twice. The team collectively left 11 men on base and went 0-8 with runners in scoring position. They had their chances! It makes it all the more frustrating.
One hit with a runner in scoring position might have given the Yankees a win, the sweep, and put them on the plane to Toronto feeling like they can still do this thing. They still can, I guess, but the odds are very bad. New York would need to jump over four teams to secure a Wild Card spot. Houston is losing, Detroit is tied, Baltimore is losing, and Seattle is off today. It isn’t impossible, but it just doesn’t feel possible.
The Yankees will now head to Toronto for a four-game set against the Blue Jays. It’s pretty much their last chance to keep their heads above water. Can the team put together one final hot streak and maybe win six or so in a row? They’ll need to for any chance at the postseason.
Obviously this recap is more about what it means for the Yankees’ chances to make the postseason, but that’s all that really matters right now. The season is winding down and it’s truly win or go home. Losing even one game to a team you should beat feels significant.