The Yankees couldnâ€™t have made their final game of the regular season any more difficult for themselves. Dragging it out to the final moment to win the Wild Card, the Yankees are now in a position where they can miss the postseason for the first time in years. With Jordan Montgomery on the mound on Saturday afternoon, the Rays posted 12 runs, including seven earned runs in 2.2 innings, the starter’s worst performance this season.
The Yankees were rightfully embarrassed against a Tampa Bay Rays team that has it out for them. Tampa Bay is doing everything they can to ruin the Yankees’ season, and if Aaron Boone’s squad doesnâ€™t extract a victory on Sunday afternoon, they will be watching the rest of the postseason from their couches with the Baltimore Orioles.
“We’ve got to win. It’s as simple as that,” veteran outfielderÂ Brett GardnerÂ said. “Here we are going into Game 162 not knowing what the future is.
“It’s not ideal. But it’s nice knowing that we still have a chance,” he added. “The way the season has gone, it kind of makes sense that it would come down to the very last day. Seems about right.”
Currently, the Yankees and Red Sox are tied in the Wild Card, with Boston taking a slight advantage based on their head-to-head matchups this year. The Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays sit just one game behind.
The Yankees have multiple ways to make it into the WC game, but they mainly start with a big win on Sunday. Either they can win, hope for both the Blue Jays and Mariners to lose, or hope for the Yankees and Red Sox to lose, while the Blue Jays and Mariners would win and tie the WC with four teams.
Only the Yankees would find themselves in this position with such a strong team, indicating that management might need a shake-up after this season. Of course, injuries have once again hurt the team, with DJ LeMahieu suffering a sports hernia which will require surgery after the season ends. The team will feature Jameson Taillon on the mound versus Tampa Bay, who will host Michael Watcha and his 5.26 ERA this season. The Yankees have a clear advantage, but they must understand the importance of this game and come out firing against a deadly Rays team.