We're officially in September. The Yankees stand 4 games out of that 2nd wild card spot, and 8.5 games behind the Orioles for the division. It's been an odd year. 4 out of our 5 opening day starters have hit the DL, and yet our pitching has been one of the strengths this year. Our lineup, which was loaded during the off season with guys like McCann, Beltran, and Ellsbury, has been a real weak point. As a fan, I hope that the Yankees make the playoffs in Jeter's final year, but the practical side of me just doesn't want to see a team that has played this poorly in October. A turn around is possible, and would be very welcome. The Yankees have a 9 game home stretch against the historical rival Boston Red Sox, the first place Royals, and the second to last Tampa Bay Rays. If magic is going to happen, what better time to start than with a September home stretch kicked off by a series with Boston? Just a few years ago, being 8.5 games out of first in September, with 7 games left to play against the first place team, was not at all insurmountable. This year, we are desperately trying to hold onto an ever vanishing hope that we can over come a 4 game deficit for a second wild card spot.
That being said, I have been working on being more optimistic these days, so here's my baseless prediction: the Yankees will win the division starting with a home stand that takes 7-9 including a sweep of the Red Sox. Remember that you heard it here first!