For the first time since 2012, the New York Yankees are on the quest for their 28th World Series title. With an astounding 27 championships, the Yankees are the winningest team in sports history and plan to keep it that way.
Today marks the first postseason game the Yankees have played since 2012, a playoff drought that Yankees fans are not accustomed to. From their late 90’s dynasty to producing an all-star studded team every season, the Yankees have always been a shoe-in for another World Series title, except for this year.
Numerous people have doubted the team’s playing ability this season — living Yankee great Derek Jeter retired at the end of last season and Alex Rodriguez was coming off of a year long suspension, just to name a few. Lots of questions swarmed around the Yankees at Spring Training back in March – Who would step up to be a leader in the clubhouse without their Captain? Would A-Rod continue to be a consistent home run hitter? Were the Yankees going to be able to compete with all the young talent in the MLB?
At the onset of the season, players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Carlos Correa attracted the attention of many and it seemed like the Yankees were going to struggle keeping up with the young guys. But the Yankees prevailed; they made it to the postseason. They’ve worked through a devastating season-ending injury to their Gold Glove first baseman Mark Teixeira, the numerous injuries that plagued their pitching rotation, the ever present scrutiny of the New York media and now the loss of one of their veteran starters CC Sabathia for the entire postseason.
Their first stop to the World Series begins today with a one-game playoff game against the Houston Astros. The winner will proceed to the American League Divisional Series where they will face the American League Central Champion Kansas City Royals. The Yankees put Masahiro Tanaka on the field against the Astros’ 20-win pitcher Dallas Keuchel on Tuesday at 8pm in the Bronx, and although the lineups for the game have not yet been released at the time this post was written*, the pitching match-up alone promises that the game will be a nail-biter.
*Lineups for the Wild Card Playoff game are set to be released on the morning of the Oct. 6 playoff game.