After blowing an 8-3 lead in Game 2 of the American League Division Series and falling behind Cleveland by two games in the series, the Yankees were considered all but done. A return to Yankee Stadium changed everything as this post-Jeter Yankees squad summoned the playoff magic of yesteryear and will play a deciding Game 5 in Cleveland tonight.
Though the Yankees find themselves in a historically unfamiliar position as the underdogs in a decisive road playoff game, this team shows similar potential to the dynasty clubs that captured the hearts of New York City and set the standards for winning baseball as we know it today.
Those Yankees were led by a young, charismatic budding superstar named Derek Jeter.
Aaron Judge is the new face of the Yankees and despite his historic rookie season, smashing 52 bombs, he hasn’t possessed Jeter’s clutch gene thus far in the postseason. Jeter hit .360 in his first playoffs in 1996 as the Yankees won their first of four World Series in the next five seasons.
After a monster game in the Wild Card against the Twins, Judge has resorted to his K-ways. He’s fanned 12 times and has just one hit in 15 ALDS at-bats for a miniscule .067 batting average.
Aaron Judge's strikeouts are forcing the @Yankees slugger to walk the fine line of arguing the umpires' calls https://t.co/a00XUfpMSR
Somebody put an APB out on this guy please. He’s not hard to find, as he is 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds with a smile that can light up Times Square during a New York blackout. If Judge wants his rookie season to be remembered in its proper context and with all of the lasting fanfare deserving of a guy who jacked 52 bombs off the rip, then he has to go bonkers with the bat tonight.
He has to support OG CC Sabathia, who will undoubtedly be at his best as he's already won his World Series with the Yankees in 2009 and has earned the 7-year $161 million contract he signed in 2008.
It’s time for Judge to breakout. So far, the “other” Yankees homegrown phenoms have been carrying the weight. Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez lead the team in hits and Greg Bird is hitting .294 with two key bombs.
El Gary Sanchez with an early home run 😤😤😤 #ALDS https://t.co/D9sJTQ61ba
According to sportsonearth.com, teams that have gone up 2-0 in a best-of-five series have won 66 of 75 series, or 88 percent. If the Yankees could knock off a heavily favored Cleveland team after two-stepping on the brink of elimination, the victory would mark the beginning of a new Yankees era of excellence.
It would be the high moment in recent franchise history and would set up a battle between a star-studded and youthful Houston squad that is looking to establish itself as the American League franchise of the future.
From the looks of things, the Yankees band of ballers have the edge in that they have a strong mixture of veterans who have won rings before, guiding their young talent through unchartered waters. At this point of the season, experience trumps talent every day of the week.