The Yankees had quite the eventful week. The team went from looking completely lost, getting swept by the Oakland A’s, to taking a series from the Los Angeles Dodgers—arguably the best team in baseball.
In a series in which the Yankees were outscored by the A’s 17-9, you’d have thought the sky was falling. The pitching looked absolutely horrendous, giving up a total of 15 earned runs, including 10 from Masahiro Tanaka and Domingo German, two of the teams most trusted pitchers.
The offense wasn’t bad, but they only scored nine runs across the series, a number they’re easily capable of matching or beating in a single game. The pitching proved the main issue, as that has been a concern for most of the season. This was undoubtedly a bad way to begin a nine-game West Coast trip, especially considering they had to head down to L.A. to play the Dodgers next.
How did the Yankees respond after looking so pedestrian? They simply crushed two of the best pitchers in the game and were maybe a botched call away from sweeping. All concerns going into this series were immediately erased after it.
Many fans also expressed concerns over a struggling Aaron Judge. Judge had a decent series against the A’s, one in which he pulled his first homer of the year for a 467-foot bomb. He then doubled down on that performance by hitting three homers in his next three games, one each against Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
After all that, the Yankees find themselves in essentially the same position. Don’t get too high or too low around this time of year, especially considering the Yankees’ self-made situation. After the Dodgers series, the Bombers are 85-47 giving them a nine-game lead in the AL East, a tie for first place in the AL, and one game back of the best record in baseball.
So much has happened, yet not much has changed. Don’t get me wrong, it is of very high importance that the Yankees continue to win to acquire home-field advantage in the playoffs. Something like a Judge slump, or a few bad pitching performances shouldn’t be of high concern.
As September approaches, there is a lot of time for the team to make adjustments, whether they’re big or small. The final two or three weeks of the season probably mark the earliest occasions to begin worrying. That’s when you want to see your team playing well and getting healthy. It’s always good to have the A+ roster ready to face the toughest opponents.
So yes, these games do matter, and continuing to win right now is of utmost importance. One bad performance or a slump, however, can easily get fixed before October. It’s not worth stressing over right now, even though it’s what sticks out on a game-to-game basis.