Yankees hope for a miracle in season’s final week

It all comes down to this, the final week of the 2016 regular season. While some teams are getting ready to play some October baseball, other teams are already prepared to head off to the golf course. As for the New York Yankees, their fate is yet to be decided.

For the last month, the Yankees have been flirting with a potential Wild Card spot, but with a recent five game skid, including being swept by the Boston Red Sox, they put a break to their momentum. Last week the Yankees faced off against division rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays. From Michael Pineda striking out every batter he sees, to blowing ninth inning leads, to getting shutout three games in a row, the Yankees finished both series with a mediocre 3-4 record. The team now finds itself five games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second Wild Card spot.
Not only will the Yankees have to worry about their performance, but they will need to monitor the teams in front of them. More specifically, the Detroit Tigers and the Seattle Mariners find themselves just two games out, while the Houston Astros are lurking at 3.5. The two spots are currently owned by the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees will need to have all sorts of magic on their side if they want to surpass the teams ahead of them and get into the playoffs. With an AL East division crown completely out of the question, shots are getting thinner and thinner. As of September 27th, the team’s Wild Card Elimination Number (WCE #) is down to two. This means there are very few combinations possible for the playoffs to even happen. First off the Yankees pretty much cannot lose a single game for the rest of the season. There are six games left, so the team will have to tie their highest winning streak. However, even if the Yankees somehow sweep both the Red Sox and Orioles, the team will need to hope that the Orioles will win less than two games this week. Nonetheless there is a catch, the Orioles, currently holding the second spot, will actually be playing the Blue Jays for a three game series. This means that if the Orioles go 0-6 for the rest of the season, the number one spot will be out of reach due to the Blue Jays winning. Not only that, but each team ahead of the Yankees will need to finish with under 86 wins (the Tigers and Mariners have 83 and the Astros have 82). The Yankees only have room for one mistake, as if the team loses one game, then each team ahead of them will have to win one less game, still very unlikely.

The Yankees at 80-76 will wrap up the regular season with a homestand against the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. Both series will last three games each. Matchups are shown below. If you would like to see the matchups of all other teams mentioned click on the link here.

Batter of the Week: Gary Sanchez
GM – 7
AVG – . 240
OBP – .355
SLG – .640
R – 4
AB – 25
H – 6
HR – 3
RBI – 10
BB – 5

Pitcher of the Week: Michael Pineda
GM – 2
IP – 11.0
R – 3
ER – 1
H – 7
BB – 4
K – 18

Matchups vs. Boston
Game #1: (Yankees win 6-4 on Tuesday night – highlights)
David Price (17-8) vs. Luis Cessa (4-3)
Tyler Austin hit a two-run home run in the 7th inning and Tyler Clippard locked down the save in the Yankees’ 6-4 victory

Game #2:
Clay Buchholz (8-10) vs. Bryan Mitchell (1-2)
Game #3:
Drew Pomeranz (11-12) vs. C.C. Sabathia (8-12)

Matchups vs. Baltimore
Game #1:
Yovani Gallardo (5-8) vs. MIchael Pineda (6-11)
Game #2:
Wade Miley (9-13) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (14-4)
Game #3:
Kevin Gausman (8-11) vs. Luis Cessa (4-3)
Weekly New York Yankees Report by David Bieber for FingerLakes1.com