Are We Seeing The Biggest Choke In Yankee History?
The knee jerk answer is no, nothing is worse than being the only team in MLB history to blow a 3-0 lead in a playoff series, but as far as the regular season goes: yes we are!
The latest loss being a 5-2 defeat in Tampa on Wednesday night. Once again the Yanks' bats were mostly silent. For the fifth straight game the Yankees had six hits or less. That hasn't happened since 1990! The combination of Cobb, Peralta, and Rodney shut down the not-so-explosive Bronx Bombers. The Yanks took another bagel with runners in scoring position going 0-5 in those situations.
Things are getting tight around Yankee-ville. Manager Joe Girardi was tossed from the ball game in the 4th inning for arguing balls and strikes.
The largest lead the Yanks have blown in the regular season is 6 games and that dates back to 1933. 15 times the Yankees have gone into September with the division lead and every time they have won the division.
It is interesting for me to note that on Tuesday's program (Game On With Bruce Jacobs, 3-7pm Eastern, 104.5 "The Team" ESPN Radio) I talked about how the Yankees were a soft baseball team and that Girardi has been an enabler fostering that attitude. I cited the little bumps and bruises that some players have incurred and how Girardi sits them and caters to this soft mentality. I mention that here because it was thought that Robinson Cano might not play after he tweaked something the day before vs Baltimore, yet Cano played as the DH and he smashed a home run. I was right on about this malady. Little tweaks have Girardi running to the trainers and sitting players, which is SOFT! But Cano played through the tweak and was the only threat in the lineup on Tuesday.
The Yankees are now tied with the Orioles, yes the Orioles have returned to the big baseball stage after what 15 years away from it, and Tampa is only 1.5 games behind.
The reality is this: the Yankees may not only just blow the division but the wild card is in danger as well. I wonder what the odds were back on July 18th when the Yanks held a 10.5 game lead in the AL East that they might not make the playoffs! Oh, I could be a rich man if I had the guts to bet that!