clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The postseason has illuminated the Yankees’ strengths and weaknesses

New, comments

So far, the Yankees have been exactly the team we know them to be.

Divisional Round - New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

We’re three games into the postseason, and we know that the Yankees will play at least two more games in October. The Bombers have a chance to win the ALDS in the Bronx, but it could come down to a fight to the death in Boston. We can count on these next few games being both exciting and anxiety-inducing.

They may have only played three games so far, but the Yankees’ strengths and weaknesses have been on full display. The same things that propelled them win 100 games also helped them take the Wild Card Game and Game Two on Saturday. However, their pain points were on full display in Game One. Hopefully they won’t lead to their downfall.

Strengths

The bullpen

New York has possessed one of the best bullpens in baseball for several years now, but they made it even better with the addition of Zach Britton. They have such great relief depth that they aren’t even carrying a mediocre reliever on their postseason roster. The talent of the ‘pen has been made even more apparent when comparing them to the pitchers that the Red Sox have had to turn to.

Between the first three games, Yankees relievers were called upon for 15 innings of work, and surrendered just three earned runs. Boston’s relievers gave up five earned runs through just 11 innings so far. Keep up the good work.

Ability to mash home runs

The Bombers have lived up to their nickname through the first three games of the postseason, as they already have hit six long balls. Aaron Judge has been responsible for half of them. His two-run bomb in the Wild Card Game got the offense rolling and gave the Yankees the early lead. They also handily won Saturday’s contest after five of their six runs came via the home run.

Weaknesses

The rotation

Even before the season started, we knew that the rotation would be the greatest weakness of this team. Jordan Montgomery’s early injury and Sonny Gray’s ineffectiveness made matters worse. Just think of how much better this team would have been if they hadn’t been forced to give so many starts to Gray and Domingo German. Then, of course, there were no ace pitchers to be found at the trade deadline.

J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn have been pretty darn good since coming over at the end of July. However, the fact that Happ was the Yankees’ best option to start a Game One versus Chris Sale is problematic. Sure, he had pitched well in pinstripes during the regular season. He also dug the team into what ended up being an insurmountable hole on Friday. They really have to find a way to make improvements to the rotation during the offseason.

Hitting with runners in scoring position

Seriously, what is the Yankees’ deal with this? It is borderline absurd at this point. Even after Happ imploded early in Friday night’s game, the Bombers weren’t out of it. In fact, it was so perfectly winnable that they ended up losing by just one run.

After scoring two runs in the sixth inning, Gary Sanchez walked to load the bases. That brought Gleyber Torres to the plate, and he struck out swinging to end the threat. It was even worse in the seventh inning when they loaded the bases with no outs, and only were able to push one run across the plate as Luke Voit grounded into a force out. They are 5-for-21 with runners in scoring position through the first three postseason games.