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The Yankees Face Game 7 To Start The Playoffs

Wild CardToday is the day we’ve all been waiting for since Yankee fans knew we weren’t going to win the division. Obviously, right now we would prefer that MLB never added a 2nd Wild Card or that we just won the division and didn’t have to start the playoffs in a Game 7 type of scenario. But that’s where we are. It’s not ideal, but it’s where we are, and it’s probably the best position for us. Saying a one game playoff is a good place for the Yankees sounds crazy, but I really think if we have any shot at winning it all, it has to be this way.

Because this is a Yankees team that only won one of their last seven games. And the one that they did win was won by a guy now doing a 30 stint at Passages Malibu because he had a few too many Natty Bohs during a long weekend down in Baltimore. This team was in an absolutely terrible position on the field, and then their leader walked away so now they have an off field distraction on top of it all. None of that gives me any confidence that they wouldn’t walk into a 5 game series and get swept because the buffer of a full series would give an excuse to come out slow and never gain any footing.

Instead, the team now knows that there is no buffer of a series and that tonight is win or go home. A loss shows we weren’t a good enough team, but a win could change the whole season. A win tonight can light a fire under this team ass that could turn them into that hot Wild Card team, going up against a complacent, slumping Royals team. This team needs a jolt of energy to get anywhere in the playoffs, and a game 7 win to start the playoffs could be just that jolt.

As for the game itself, this is a matchup that this team is built to win. We signed Tanaka to be the big game pitcher he was in Japan and this is a big game. There have been times when we looked to him to stop a skid and called that a “big game” but a one game playoff in the MLB is as big a stage as there has been in his career, as far as we’re concerned, so expect him to come up huge. Part of the reason I expect a big performance is because he probably feels no pressure. In Japan he pitched for their championship where I’m pretty sure the loser has to commit Seppuku, so going up against the Astros at home should be a walk in the park.

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On the other side of the field, we have Dallas Keuchel who has had a terrific year that puts him in the running for the AL Cy Young award. The Yankees have looked terrible against him in the two times they faced him, so everyone thinks we don’t stand a chance. But this is the 3rd time we are going to see him this year and much like a pitchers 3rd time through an order in a single game, I expect this lineup to have a better idea of what is coming. On top of that, our lineup is built to hit home runs and Yankee Stadium is the best place in the world for that to happen. If the big bats show up early and our extended bench can give us some runners to cause chaos in the base paths in the late innings, this is an easy win with a ticket punched to Kansas City.

That’s it, i just convinced myself we’re winning. See everyone at the stadium.

PS: I am hearing more and more rumors that CC is going to rehab to say his problem is to blame for a much larger incident that’s being covered up. Over the next few days, expect more to come out but hopefully the team is still playing to overshadow  whatever it is.